Old students fight conversion of ‘Katanga Hall’ to mixed hall

The Alumni of two halls of residence at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Unity and University Halls, have described the school management’s decision to convert the all-male halls into unisex ones as an attempt to promote a culture of silence at the school.  Management of the University has begun assigning female students to the all-male halls. The school explains the conversion is to make room to contain the growing female population.Speaking to Citi News on the subject, Greater Accra Press secretary of the University Hall alumni, Raymond Laud, called on the Chancellor of the university, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II to intervene to prevent what they describe as a misplaced priority by the management of the University.

“We think that the reasons they are giving are not tenable. We know that they just want to promote a culture of silence on campus. The University Authority wants to have their way in everything they do. We are appealing to parents not to send their female wards to Katanga. We are appealing to the powers that be, President Akufo-Addo and the Chancellor, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II to step in and call the Vice Chancellor to order.

Some alumni earlier this year petitioned the government over the matter.Some students of the school also in February this year protested the decision to convert two all-male halls University Hall, popularly known as Katanga, and Unity Hall, to now accommodate females.

They vowed to resist the move saying they will stage a massive demonstration to register their displeasure over the decision.

They argued that the decision, should it stand, will erode a long-standing tradition of the two halls, which must be guarded.

The spokesperson of the University, Kwame Yeboah Jnr. in an earlier Citi News interview said that the University was seeking to meet international standards of gender balance on University campuses.

“It is to provide accommodation for more females students in the University. We will need more places for females so the result has been to continue the process of making the male halls mixed ones,” he said.

Halls such as Independence Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, and Republic Hall at KNUST were all occupied by only males in the past, but were converted to mixed halls later.Africa Hall remains the only single-sex hall at the school for only females.

‘UG’s Commonwealth Hall to be mixed hall’

In 2010, there was an attempt to convert Commonwealth Hall of the University of Ghana to a mixed hall.

The Hall, which is the only men-only hall at the University had gained notoriety for resistance to many University policies and have openly staged protests against University management.

The attempt to convert the hall to a mixed-sex hall was seen as an attempt to limit the hall’s influence against management.

It came at a time when members of the hall heckled the Chancellor and former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, and other dignitaries who attended the 2010 Congregation of the University.

The University described their behaviour as “unruly”.