Authorities of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, have for the purpose of providing sufficient intern accommodation for female students taken a bold decision to convert two male halls into mixed halls.
The two halls to be converted are Unity Hall and the University Hall popularly known as ‘Katanga’
Spokesperson for the University, Kwame Yeboah Junior in an interview with CITI FM news indicated that “from the university’s decision, it is to provide accommodation for more female students in the university therefore the move to change the male halls into mixed ones.”
However, mixed reactions greeted the dean of students, Professor William Gariba when he officially announced to students that the unity hall and Katanga, strictly male halls will be altered into mixed halls beginning next academic year.
This announcement has caused some students to threaten to go on demonstration if the decision taken by authorities is not rescinded.
While authorities of the school say the conversion of the two male halls is to increase the number of female students admitted into residential facilities on campus, in order to achieve gender equality per the international standards, rumours have it that the authorities have taken that swift move to curb the long standing clashes between the two main halls which sometimes turn bloody.
The University Hall was named to commemorate the accession of the Kumasi College of Technology to full University status on 22nd August, 1961. It is an all male Hall. The main hall has 198 rooms excluding flats, and the annex has 95 rooms. It is popularly known as” KATANGA”.
Facilities include Games room, A Gym, Chapel, Internet Cafe, A mini market, Communication centre, Barbering Salon, kitchen that serves food etc.
Unity Hall is the largest hall with an original accommodation capacity of 448 rooms but presently have 36 extra flats. It is an all-male hall with modern facilities and nicknamed “The Twin Towers”. Members are known as “Continentals”.
Facilities include a modern internet cafe, Communication & Business centre, Basket ball court, Games room, A Boutique & Gift Shop, Barbering Salon, kitchen that serves food and a Shopping mall with a well stocked Supermarket.
Unity and KATANGA Bad Blood
The Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Professor Otoo Ellis in 2014 threatened to convert the two male halls of the University into mixed halls.
According to Professor Otoo Ellis, the leadership of the University will be forced to embark on this quest if students of these halls break any more rules of the University.
In recent years, both halls have developed bad blood against each other which has resulted in some unnecessary casualties on few occasions.
For a rivalry which seemed healthy and friendly in previous years, many fear to involve themselves in any of their activities because it turns violent anytime they meet.
These practices have not only affected only them but other persons and social activities in the University.
On two occasions, the annual debate competition by the National Union of Ghana Students have truncated because of the two.
Notable was a clash between the two halls that led to the rustication and arrests of some students.
Leaders of these halls were subsequently denied of graduation as a result.
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