Thu | Aug 22, 2019

UWI St Augustine students stage major protest as campus security fears mount

Published:Thursday | October 18, 2018 | 9:07 PM
Professor Brian Copeland, principal of the UWI St Augustine. Contributed

Romario Scott/Gleaner Writer

Fuming over major security concerns on the campus, students at The University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine campus staged a major demonstration outside the university’s gates today prompting quick police presence as tempers flared. 

The students complained that the campus is not safe and there are growing fears about venturing out at nights, a situation which was exacerbated by an alleged attack on a female on the campus earlier. This latest incident was said to have triggered the protest. The demonstration brought traffic in the vicinity of the campus to a standstill for some time.

Intermittent showers of rain were not enough to disperse the scores of students who stood outside the campus gates with their umbrellas demanding to be heard by the administrators at UWI St Augustine. 

In outlining his frustration amid the demonstration, President of the Guild Darrion Narine called on the UWI officials to immediately address their safety concerns. 

“Crime rampant across the country. This is not only a protest about students inside campus and their security and  safety [on] the campus. This is external, this is national … national issues we are addressing here,” Narine said in tears as he gestured in frustration over what is claimed to be a longstanding issue. 

At least one member of the guild was arrested during the demonstration which evolved into a nasty brawl, sparking a fresh round of rowdiness from the angry students who shouted at the police to “let them go!”

The students were scheduled to have an emergency meeting with Professor Brian Copeland, principal of the UWI St Augustine later Thursday evening. The outcome of that meeting was, however, not immediately available.

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