Opinions of Thu, 2 Aug 20183

The untold: Say no to Conti and Katanga mixed hall

*Disclaimer:* The content of this piece was written with high emotions and the writer sincerely apologise for any unauthorised and inconvenient words used but he probably couldn’t use any words else.

All attempts have been made by the writer to provide factual and accurate content. No responsibility will be taken by the writer for any damages caused by misuse of the content described in this piece. The content of this piece has been derived from various sources.

*“Nyansapo wosane no badwemma”*

meaning

*“The knot of wisdom is untighten by the wise”*

I remember when I was a fresher, at *“Always around”* where we thought power was in the hands of the students because we were so much enlightened and knew our rights. But what do we see today? In mathematics the status now would be referred to as *inversely proportional in the opposite direction.*

Since everybody is congratulating the VC on the recent transformation in the school in his time of office, let me also commend him, *“Mo ne yo Mr. Vice Chancellor”. Y3b3 fa no saa.*

*Why convert CONTI and KAT into mixed halls?*

The Vice Chancellor and the University authorities have equivocal reasons as to why this conversion by pin pointing these;

*“Increment in Female population; improving STEM education for females, INSECURITY; specifically female insecurity and promoting discipline between CONTI and KAT.”*

It is so pathetic and is a lie, they have their own personal reasons of shuttering down and paralyzing student activism because they fear KAT and CONTI and they know we are the only student soldiers that will stand with the student body and resist any incompetence of theirs. But interestingly, they have already succeeded in some way by muting our so called student leaders; SRC, NUGS and USAG we put our trust in. In communication studies this is termed as *Spin doctoring*

All they know is; occupying a position is one step ahead of getting to the higher political ladder and a good CV to impress in the near future. They cherish the certificate of the positions they hold even more than the degree certificate they came to school to acquire. They just forget about why they occupy such positions and their service to the students.

It is so evident that females are relaxed in taking actions and don’t question authorities either. Even though some females are aware that the authorities want to use them as tools to accomplish their only God knows agenda but yet these females can’t even talk for their gender. The authorities have overrated their power and underrated the power of the students. It is high time they become cautious of their ignorance. Unnecessary Evil!

It is never that we can’t stand for our rights but it’s always that whosoever stands out must be ever ready to face the repercussions from the authorities. Stop threatening the 4 year certificate of our students, KNUST authorities.

They have tamed us and it’s high time they set us free. Because we are mute, they would be coming out with fancier project each and every year to siphon money by wanting to increase our academic fees.

Regardless of the mixed hall issues, I dare any media on any day to come to campus and interview any student at random about things going on at KNUST and the status quo now and they would be marveled at the response that would be thrown at them.

The argument of converting CONTI and KAT into mixed halls by the university authorities is of no basis. KNUST is not an autocratic institution that the university authorities can just make autonomous and unilateral decisions without any consensus or whatsoever between students and authorities.

All we are seeking for is JUSTICE! The conversion is very threatening and it’s not getting funny each day. It should be treated with all seriousness and cautious damage if necessary. Converting Conti and Kat into mixed halls is not a remedy to the accommodation problem at KNUST neither would it reduce the unemployment rate in the country at large. Building more traditional halls is the only permanent solution to curb accommodation and insecurity issues at KNUST.

The KWAME NKRUMAH UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY is the modern KUMASI COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY which was established in 1952.

Before 1967 and 1968 when Africa Hall and Unity hall was built respectively, there were 4 halls in existence already; 3 halls which were later converted to mixed halls and the University hall as an all-male hall.

Why didn’t they build Africa Hall nor Unity hall as mixed halls but rather as a singled sex hall? Why didn’t they convert the University hall also into a mixed hall?

The University Hall also called KATANGA in the public eye was established in 1963 as an all-male hall and was built to commemorate the attainment of University status of the then Kumasi College of Technology now Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and was officially named UNIVERSITY HALL. The pioneers of the hall chose not to make it just a hall of residence but rather make it the fulcrum of academic excellence as well as student activism and therefore their motto “REST NOT”. The University hall has legacies and the Legend still lives on.

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In 1967 Africa hall was established as an all-female hall and then in 1968 the same university authorities established Unity Hall as an all-male hall and the largest university hall in West Africa. These two halls represent the Africa emancipation; Africa struggle. Therefore these two halls are very unique and symbolic and as a matter of history they stand for Africa Unity. Africa Hall as an all-female hall represents ‘Mother Africa’ and therefore their motto ‘WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE’. Unity hall as an all-male hall represents ‘the strength of man and how strong Africa could become if we unite as a continent’ and therefore their motto ‘UNITY IS STRENGTH.

UNITY HALL was built in acknowledgement of the vision the first Prime Minister and President of the Republic of Ghana; Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and Julius Nyerere of Tanzania at the time of the formation of the then Organisation of African Unity now African Union.

*THE ACT OF DISCRIMINATION;*

The university authorities are just discriminating by promoting education in one gender which goes against the gender equality law under the FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS LAW article 17(2) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana “A PERSON SHALL NOT BE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST ON GROUNDS OF GENDER, RACE, COLOUR, ETHNIC ORIGIN, RELIGION, CREED OR SOCIAL OR ECONOMIC STATUS.’’ And article 17(3) of the same constitution “FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS ARTICLE “DISCRIMINATE’’ MEANS TO GIVE DIFFERENT TREATMENT TO DIFFERENT PERSONS ATTRIBUTABLE TO ONLY OR MAINLY TO THEIR RESPECTIVE DESCRIPTIONS BY RACE, PLACE OF ORIGIN, POLITICAL OPINIONS, COLOUR, GENDER, OCCUPATION, RELIGION OR CREED, WHEREBY PERSONS OF ONE DESCRIPTION ARE SUBJECTED TO DISABILITIES OR RESTRICTIONS TO WHICH PERSONS OF ANOTHER DESCRIPTION ARE NOT MADE SUBJECT OR ARE GRANTED PREVILEGES OR DISADVANTAGES WHICH ARE NOT GRANTED TO PERSONS OF ANOTHER DESCRIPTION.’’

In this respect our gender is *MALE* and occupation is *STUDENT.*

*INCREASE IN FEMALE POPULATION;*

Let’s get this clear without clouds, balancing gender is extremely different from increase in female population such that; Gender balance means if males are more than females, the number of males would be down cut to be equal to the number of females regardless the number of males left behind. Increase in female population on the other hand means that if males were more than females, now the number of females is gradually catching up. This is never in simultaneous with decrease in male population.

The attention as to the rise of female population at KNUST didn’t begin in 2018, it started over 50 years ago, that was why Africa Hall was built in 1967 for only females and for the same reason why Independence hall and Republic hall were converted to mixed halls in 1991. Is the university authorities trying to say that for all these years when the rise was exponentially climbing they had no future plans? Is it now that they are beginning to reason? Were those authorities at that time fools to have maintained the University Hall and go ahead to build Unity Hall as an all-male hall?

We can’t just throw away and dissipate history for anything sake. Whatever our forefathers handed over to us, if we as the new generation do not add to it, we have no excuse to deceive history by destroying it. We can either add to history and build upon it or just maintain what we came to meet. We can’t afford this bad luck in our time! NO! Not now that our Yellow clan is 55 years. No! Not in our time that our beloved twin towers is about to turn 50 years. Not at this Golden Jubilee of ours. How can we protect and preserve our noble hall for 50 years only for you to destroy it just when we are about to celebrate our Golden age? NO! Who does that?

Would Ghana have ever accepted to celebrate her 50 years of independence with slavery? NO! For what reason? Just because our leaders went to sign some slavery agreement to counter our freedom? NO!

Would the Vice chancellor or the Dean of Students acknowledge and share their positions and office with a normal student? NO! For what reason? Just because they played a truth or dare game with that student? NO!

Why then do they want the over 2000 wine army of the great CONTI to celebrate her 50 years of Continentalism with females? NO! For what reason? Just for the sake of gender balance? NO!

Why then do they want the warriors of the great KATANGA to accept females in her yellow city of Katangeism? NO! For what reason? Just for the sake of gender balance? NO!

Continentalism and Katangeism is Historic, it’s a Tradition and Legacy and it needs to be preserved and protected. It must not be altered. We will destroy anyone that obtrude our heritage.

They are discriminating in such a way that, they are favoring female accommodation as against male accommodation and specifically to historic all-male halls like the Unity hall and the University Hall. Does this mean they will be admitting more females as to males in the 2018/2019 admission? Does it mean that even if statistics provide that more males passed the WASSCE exams than females, more females would still be admitted than males?

Is female population really increasing at KNUST? Or the authorities are just increasing their numbers for an agenda?

It would have even been fair if they plan to admit the same number of females as to the number of males. Since they have not yet allocated anyone to the halls, admitting the same number of females as to males would even allow the university authorities to accommodate the females at Africa hall and the other mixed halls.

Giving admissions to just 1% or 10% more of females than male means that they are rejecting 1% or 10% of males that would have gained admission to the university. Accommodating just 1% or 50% of females to either of these halls means that they are rejecting 1% or 50% of males that would have occupied the hall. This is a bias decisions of some dump authorities and all we are seeking for is JUSTICE. Converting Kat and Conti into mixed halls is not coming simultaneously with increasing male population in the other 3 mixed halls.

The University authorities could just assist in the completion of the SRC hostel so that they can accommodate the females at the rooms available at the SRC hostel which is funded with our SRC dues and only God knows the number of years they want to use to complete that hostel.

The university authorities collaborated with the HFC bank and other banks to put up a shopping mall called Jubilee Mall at the KNUST commercial area within just few months which has now turned into a banking hall and office apartments due to lack of purpose, hahahaha.

What prevented them from negotiating to build another traditional hall?

What better benefits are they deriving from the Unibank and Vodafone partnerships with the school?

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*IMPROVING STEM EDUCATION FOR FEMALES;*

We really appreciate that female education is on the rise but this never insinuate that male education is decreasing either.

As an education institution; the university authorities could provide statistics to the government as to how study has realize the increment in female education and the need for infrastructure establishment to face the issue.

They could have then requested for assistance to build more structures for this increment. Or maybe caution or advice the government to build a singled sex university for only females and channel education at that particular institution to championing the (SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING and MATHEMATICS); STEM project.

It is a very good idea that the Ghana Education Service wants to champion the courses of STEM among females in the country in respective of the SDGs and the university authorities are being supportive.

But would GES ever think of converting either Prempeh College, Mfanstipim School, Adisadel College or Presec Legon into mixed school?

Since, these schools have proven to produce the most brilliant and intelligent students in the field of STEM.

Also since most of the new entrants for a degree programme in the university including the females are high school graduates.

The university authorities already knew female education was on the rise because it is simultaneous with civilization. If university professors claim to be doing research and they are blind on this revolution then am very disappointed in them. Nyansapo wosane no badwemma!

If it’s because of STEM, neither of these halls is a lecture room for studying neither are they labs for experiments. Converting Unity Hall or University Hall into a mixed hall will not solve the issue.

*INSECURITY;*

Accommodating continuing students; females to be specific at either Unity Hall or University Hall sins against the university’s own standing accommodation policy of KAT and Conti being an all-male hall and only freshmen; new entrants are accommodated in the traditional halls. All continuing students are obliged to go outside campus to seek for accommodation.

Again, all we are seeking for is JUSTICE! Selection of female continuing students to accommodate these traditional halls is of a fiat basis and also bias against some female students.

But is it only females that are liable to insecurity at KNUST? On what basis do they know males are safe both on and off campus? Are males allergic to crime issues and attacks? Is it that girls come to school with WASSCE certificates and boys come to school with protective clothes?

What level of insecurity is higher than Injustice and Discrimination? This is a bias decision of the university authorities in favor females in the university.

Regardless of the number of security men on campus, what shows that campus is secured? What is the security on campus if a common security personnel or a hall porter can threaten to have sex with female students in their hall of residence?

What is security on campus if all the emergency exits and fire escapes in the halls are blocked and locked? So what if there is fire outbreak or an emergency?

*Insecurity is not only crime issues and rape cases!* The lives of students are in extreme danger. The university authorities don’t sleep in any of the traditional halls so they don’t care about our safety.

Is the university authorities choosing a lazy way out to curb accommodation crisis? Why would they think of admitting more if they can’t provide for them an accommodation to enhance their comfort stay on campus?

KNUST is not a hotel or a guest house to accommodate people but rather, it is a learning institution and as a matter of fact we go there to study. It was only that students come from different geographical localities in the country and even some from outside the country and therefore there was the need to accommodate them to enhance the completion of their 4-year journey on campus.

Does the school authorities think about only the Freshers? Are they the only ones to be accommodated by the school? This is not fair! Both males and females should all be given equal treatment by the school authorities.

Previously all students were accommodated in the traditional halls for 4 good years of their degree programme with each room per student and flats been used as guest rooms and store rooms.

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It was later changed to 2 students per room and then flats for executives for 4 good years. Which further changed to 4 students per room and flats for executives and ex officio but this time around with a scheme called in, out, out, in.

This was because there was an increment in the student population and also the university authorities saw the stress students go through off campus and pardoned to accommodate final years back to the traditional halls to help them easily access school facilities like the library to aid them finish their thesis on time and graduate.

Currently as it stands now, it’s 4 students per room with flats for 4 or 6 more students depending on the room size of the flat with another scheme called in, out, out, out….. for whatsoever years you would complete your programme of study. This has caused much insecurity to the lives of students both males and females and the authorities don’t care because all these didn’t just happen in a day, it was progressively gradual.

All the hostels at off campus that the university authorities claim to negotiate to supplement and assist in the accommodation crisis for Freshers who wouldn’t get chance in the traditional halls are the individual hostels of the lecturers and university authorities.

What’s hindering them from building at least an annex at Africa Hall for the females?

Is the university talking about money being their problem for not building additional halls after over 50 years when the last hall was built?

How would they get money if they spend on useless projects?

How would they get money if they can construct and reconstruct a single road twice in 4 years?

How would they get money if they are printing new uniforms for campus security personnel just by changing the color while they already look good in their old uniforms?

How would they get money if they are building walls to prevent access of students at off campus to easily enter campus?

How would they get money if they are building access controls to sophisticate the movements of students especially continuing students on campus?

Where did they find money for all these projects? Why did they rather prefer to invest in building GUSS hostels on campus and booming hostel prices exponentially to negotiating for funds to build more traditional halls?

They already knew these crisis were coming but they never bothered to prepare for it but rather planed on taking advantage of the crisis and filling their pockets first and now they want to temper with tradition and legacy by converting CONTI and KAT into mixed halls. NO WAY! It is just for their selfish interest and personal reasons.

Ladies before you accept to sleep at either CONTI or KAT, Please get it that the university is still under the accommodation scheme of in, out, out, out….. for whatsoever years you would complete your programme of study. This means that new entrants wouldn’t be accommodated in the traditional halls from the start to the end of their programme of study.

They will only be accommodated for just 8 months; for just a single academic year and they would be sent back to the wilderness to be victims of the same insecurity the university authorities claim to accommodate them for. The university authorities only thinks about freshmen and the females would be the next victims of insecurity after a period of 8 months.

This is a very dumb decision of our so called university professors. Is this how the university authorities claim to solve insecurity problems at KNUST?

Females that have been or will be assigned to either CONTI or KAT should know that they have no halls yet! The university authorities themselves know this is never possible, they are rather denying accommodation to the females they claim to protect because these females have no chances of surviving in either of these 2 halls, not even for a day.

*PROMOTING DISCIPLINE BETWEEN CONTI and KAT;*

What’s discipline?

From google, Discipline is the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.

But does the university authorities want to discipline Conti and Kat or they want to promote discipline between Conti and Kat? These are unequivocally two different things.

This is a university, a “universal city” for that matter. Leave us alone to enjoy our friendly rivalry.

Making reference from the Atlantic Hall from UCC and the Mensah Sarbah Hall from UG, conversion of these halls into mixed halls didn’t curb the clashes neither did it stop them from enjoying their friendly rivalry with their alleged rivals.

Looking back at the past, one can only say that despite the incidence of clashes that have earned Conti and Kat some notoriety, they have played a remarkable role in the education of this country.

Members of these 2 male halls have proven to have achieved high academic excellence and stood tall in producing prominent alumni.

The breaks in our struggle are so evident. The mistakes are always regrettable. However our involvement towards student activism and social change is our famous identity. The university authorities are so afraid and that is why they are against us.

Irrespective of the number of clashes, there are many indecent acts that happens in the mixed halls that are even more serious. Victims of indecent dressing, multiple sex tape leaks and other sexually related activities in the mixed halls resulting in suicidal cases and defaming the school’s identity and all these have been left untouched.

Maybe you want us to engage in fornication or you want more of the young and innocent freshmen to be victims of the September rush syndrome, love sex, pregnancy and abortion and also spread STD’s.

But we prioritize our lives and safety so we wouldn’t allow this to destroy us. NO! It would never happen!

................ to be continued

Let the bombard resonate across the land. Let the divine drummer breathe some life into the drums. Please join me as I sing this song;

*I give my life to Conti*

*The hall which I like*

*I tell my mother that*

*She won’t see me no more*

*If I die in Conti, I die in Power*

*Every continental is fighting for his right!!*

I am *GODFRED SMART* and I solemnly pledge my fidelity to Unity Hall and student activism. Together we stand in defending the rights of students.

Long live Ghana, Long live KNUST.

Long live Unity hall and the University Hall as all-male halls.

Long live Continentalism and Katangeism.

Long live our Tradition and Legacies.

*CONTI………..POWER!*

*FELLOWS…...CHARGE!*

Columnist: Godfred Smart

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