UoN Students Protest New Hostel Regulations After Nights in The Cold
After the alleged spending of several nights in the cold, students at the University of Nairobi resolved to stage a major protest in Nairobi over accommodation concerns.
In a notice to the Inspector General of police, the University of Nairobi Students Association (UNSA), formerly SONU, informed the police of the planned protests slated for Tuesday 25, Sep, 2018.
The students argue that the Commission for University Education had plunged several of their colleagues into misery and that they are suffering for lack of on-campus accommodation.
According to the association chairperson, Collins Mboha, some students are forced to sleep along hostel corridors, in lecture halls and entertainment rooms after being locked out of access to the institution's residential rooms.
In their notice to the Inspector General, the association stated that they shall hold protests "to express displeasure and frustration from the students' community regarding a number of new rules and regulations imposed by the commission for University Education on accommodation."
In an interview with Kenyans.co.ke, the student leader stated that initially, four students could share a single room at the institution but this had been scaled down to just two.
"As at April this year, we could have four students in a room but now the regulations require that only two students are allocated a room. This has made many students miss accommodation in school and it is very costly to live off-campus," stated the student leader.
In a single academic year, a student spends an estimated Ksh80,000 for eight months as house rent paid out to private hostels in either Ngara, Uthiru, Kangemi among other residential areas in Nairobi.
This amount, the students argue, is too high given the institution's accommodation facilities cost Kshs5,500 for two semesters.
"We want the new laws limiting the number of hostel occupants scrapped until a permanent solution for the accommodation crisis is provided. We can not have a situation where securing accommodation is more costly than learning itself," stated Mboha.
He went on to indicate that the intended protests would be peaceful but could not guarantee that the aggrieved students would abide by the terms of the peaceful procession.
"The demonstrations will be peaceful, to ensure orderliness, we have made arrangements for peace marshals who will guide and manage the participants to ensure they don't break the law.
The students plan to protest along Lower State House road, Uhuru Highway, Kenyatta, Moi and later to Harambee Avenue.
The University administration earlier on Tuesday dismissed the complaints by the students saying some student leaders had stage-managed the scenes trending on social media.
"The University management has set aside funds to do extensive renovations of the hostels to meet the standards set by the Commission for University Education. The work is ongoing." held Isaac Mbeche, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Students Welfare.
Mbeche went on to note: "The institution gives first priority to all first years because they are new to campus. However, we cannot accommodate all students. We have a capacity of 11,000. Students are expected to apply online."
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