Saturday, 22 March 2008 12:01 PM

USP Facing Student Unrest

There have been reports of unrest in the University of the South Pacific (USP) campus in Suva, Fiji, as a result of issues between student and the Registrar.

According to Fiji's daily online newspaper, the Fiji Times Online, students want the Registrar, Walter Fraser, removed with Students Association President, Ilifeleti Tobo, saying they want Mr. Fraser gone by next week.

The article also states that the USP Students Association has said that 'they would protest outside Mr. Fraser's office if their request was not granted' and would 'not settle for anything other than Mr. Fraser's removal but assured members would only undertake non-violent protests'.

The problems seemed to have arisen out of what Mr. Tobo claims are unnecessary regulations being implemented by the Registrar which disrupt the 'free movement of students and access to essential areas on campus' along with other issues from the previous year such as the raising of accommodation fees from $600 to $900 per semester. Mr. Tobo added that 'Mr. Fraser was very un-cooperative and "blocked a lot of our activities"'.

Meanwhile, the article adds that USP spokeswoman, Andrea Waqa, said they needed time to respond to queries but that Mr. Fraser 'was appointed by the USP Council and was the custodian of all statutes, regulations and rules' and that 'rules were there to preserve the rights of all students in an environment conducive to study'.