University of Sierra Leone (USL) Press Release | Education and the Rule of Law

University of Sierra Leone (USL) Press Release | Education and the Rule of Law

The public is hereby informed that letters conveying various sanctions levied against students of Fourah Bay College (FBC) for various acts of gross indiscipline, were recently given to the affected students, following the meetings of Court and Senate of 18th and 20th December, 2012, respectively.

The University Court had the painful duty to re-affirm disciplinary decisions which had been made on August 1, 2012, but which the students had resisted resulting in threats and multiple acts of vandalism, and general indiscipline.

It should be recalled that following the disturbances in the operation of the end of the Second Semester activities of the University in August 2012, a process of investigation was initiated which culminated in disciplinary actions against those found guilty. Having been informed by the Administration of their rights to appeal as stipulated by the Universities Act 2005, most of the affected students appealed and their appeals were considered by the Legal and Discipline Committee, which is a Court constituted committee set up to consider such appeals. The report of the committee recommended mitigation of the penalties which had been meted out at the conclusion of the initial investigation. Expulsions were reduced to two years suspension and two years suspension to one year.

It must be stated that these considerations were for students who had appealed and appeared before the Appeals Committee. A number of students did not appeal.

A second set of investigations involved student leaders who led actions of inciting students to rebuff warnings of disciplinary actions by the Administration. These acts of defiance contributed to the scenes of violence and destruction of University property, seen on the national television in August 2012. Letters conveying Senate’s decisions have been sent to these students and they too have been informed of their rights to appeal.

It is worth reminding the public of the following excerpts from the press release issued by the University on 4th August 2012, under the caption ‘Training Future Leaders’:-

‘The University wishes to point out that it is on a forward march for progress to ensure that it meets the needs of the nation and that future leaders are trained in scholarship, integrity, moral courage and respect for law and order. Although the current situation is painful, it must be handled in such a way that the students are trained to be disciplined and become future leaders who will conduct themselves, with total respect for law and order. The section of the students concerned must not be encouraged to believe that vandalism and taking the law into their hands will absolve them from the consequences of indiscipline. It is the conviction of the University that the respect for law and order will be of great benefit to the students, their families and the nation.’

The University has a clearly defined pathway to address issues of discipline and appeals. This pathway, which is available to students, is clearly encapsulated in the Universities Act 2005 and is being followed by the Administration.

Affected students and the general student body are therefore advised in their own interest to follow due process as captured in the university regulations and avoid situations that would threaten peace and progress as well as attract further disciplinary action.

Parents, Guardians, the Public and all citizens are urged to support the emphasis on discipline in every aspect of the University’s life, so that this great heritage of our beloved country will accelerate the production of men and women of character and discipline to propel our country to peace, progress and prosperity.

Signed this 4th day of January 2013.

Professor Jonas A S Redwood-Sawyerr
The Vice-Chancellor and Principal, USL

Mr. Sorie N Dumbuya
The Registrar, USL


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