Students who attended the Forum at the Laucala Campus yesterday.
The University of the South Pacific (USP) held its first Vice-Chancellor’s Student Forum for the year at the Japan-Pacific ICT Multipurpose Theatre on 14 March 2018.
Professor Richard Coll, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Learning, Teaching and Student Services (LTSS) warmly welcomed students to the forum saying it was encouraging to see them in numbers.
Students were shown a brief video about the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) Accreditation and why the University was seeking it.
“The Seeking Accreditation Visit 1 (SAV1) will be held from 11 - 13 April, 2018. USP is seeking WSCUC accreditation to try and provide confidence to our stakeholders about the quality of our operations, not just programmes,” he stated.
USP had applied for eligibility from WSCUC, who then reviewed the application and determined that the University is eligible to proceed with an application for Candidacy and Initial Accreditation.
As part of the forum, one of the major issues raised by students was to find out how the $50 General Service Fees or GSF charged by the University is spent.
Professor Coll clarified to the students that the money went into the provision of services for students including USP Federal, Fitness Centre and swimming pool maintenance, among others.
Students with disabilities highlighted the need to extend the buddy system for disabled students at the Labasa and Lautoka campuses including the regional campuses.
Another issue raised was that the sixth and seventh halls of residence were not usually well-kept therefore there was an increase of house pests.
Professor Richard Coll, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Learning, Teaching and Student Services (LTSS) ran the forum on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor & President.
Ms Dorothy Browne, Manager Residential Halls advised the students to regularly clean their individual rooms and sun their beddings as the cleaners only cleaned the kitchen and common rooms during the entire semester.
Students also raised the issue of costly accommodation off-campus saying it continues to be a major concern.
Professor Coll sympathised with the students but highlighted that the rent agreements are purely between tenants and landlords.
He added there is a rent freeze in place by the Fijian Government and also directed students to the USP Campus Life website which assists students to find a range of accommodation options in Suva.
Another issue raised by students was low water pressure for students staying on-campus, to which the Estates and Infrastructure Department assured the students that they will look at the possibility of the provision of water tanks especially during times when there is no water available.
Journalism students requested for a kitchen and a common room since food is not allowed into the newsroom. This, they said, becomes a problem whenever there is coverage of events after school hours because students return to write up their stories in order to meet their deadlines. Dr Akanisi Kedrayate, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Law and Education noted the request.
Other issues raised included:
• Delays in reaching class as security takes a lot of time to confirm students’ identities;
• Segregation of staff and student toilets;
• Lack of parking space for students;
• Need for more seats, benches and power points around the campus; and
• Need for an overhead roof from the halls of residences to the main buildings.
All issues raised were noted and Professor Coll assured students that they would be looked into.
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