August 31, 1999
NEW students turning out yesterday at the University of Guyana were reportedly generally in line with what are regarded as acceptable standards of dress for an institution of that nature.
They were in the main properly dressed, an observer felt but he is worried about the state of affairs on campus.
A fear expressed is that within a month when the regulars are out in force on campus, these new entrants too would be caught up in what has been called `behaviour unbecoming' of students at a centre of higher learning.
Campus officials have been forced to launch an environmental awareness scheme of sorts for students because of the deplorably low standards to which they had fallen in basics like knowing where to dispose of rubbish and where to answer calls of nature.
That initiative made it into the news because it is unusual and few would have expected that persons pursuing higher education would have had to be `taught' things like that.
Now there is mounting concern about uncouth behaviour and the manner of dress among some students at the University of Guyana.
According to reports from campus, students openly use obscene language and frequently indulge in lewd behaviour not in keeping with an atmosphere conducive to quiet university development.
There are model students and those who adhere to certain acceptable standards of dress and behaviour but the `bad ones' outnumber them, we understand.
This is a situation that the UG students society should be paying urgent and close attention to if the rot is to be stemmed in time.
The administration, in cooperation with the students society and perhaps other groups off campus, should look into developing a programme to help the students address the problems.
This would be all the more crucial since more and more foreign lecturers and students are expected to be at UG and the administration should be doing everything to project a positive image of the university.
Students openly using obscene language and indulging in behaviour unbecoming on campus would not do the national image any good.
Campus life has worldwide been more open and liberal than that in primary and secondary schools and university students are usually in the forefront of revolutionary changes.
But this does not give those at UG the excuse for uncouth behaviour, dressing how they feel like and using obscene language as if they were in a fish market or `rum shop'.
There must be certain acceptable standards which the UG administration and the students society have to insist on.
The start of the new academic year is a good time for a new beginning to try to lift the standard of behaviour at UG into something the nation can be proud of.
A © page from: Guyana: Land of Six Peoples