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Sep 6, 2012

UB students protest for change

Late this evening, a demonstration was held at the University of Belize campus on University Drive. The students are protesting the deplorable conditions of the campus and demanding better classrooms. As the protest got underway and the students gathered with placards in hand, they were informed that an agreement had been made between the administration and the student government. But that didn’t stop them from coming out in numbers to publicly make their demands known in front of the Faculty of Arts and Education on University Drive. News Five was there.

 

Cordelia Bellezaire, President, UB Student Government, Bze City Campuses

“What we have been facing over the past couple months is that the grounds; it is very uneven. There is a lot of potholes, especially for those who drive lower vehicles, under their vehicles always get scraped. So at least that needs to be addressed. When it rains, the potholes are filled with so much water, the yard is muddy, water settles around campus which causes the manifestation of the mosquitoes. And everyone who goes here knows that they have been having a lot of problems with the mosquitoes. And those are just minor compared to some of the classroom issues that we have in regards to the poor lighting around campus, the screens, the louvers, the bathrooms—those are just some of our concerns—our computer labs; those are just come of the concerns that we have.”

 

Andrea Polanco

Cordelia Bellezaire

“Now you say for months you guys have been experiencing this. What has the status of the negotiation been like over those months?”

 

Cordelia Bellezaire

“Well we have been contacting those in administration for quite a while now, but as of today, they met with the student government this morning and we started that process and decided that we have come to an agreement that we will be giving them the time necessary in order for them to address our concerns because we know that it will take time. However, we didn’t want it to come to this point, but we are already almost a month in and this is something that has been prolonging for too long. We want to welcome our new students, let them feel welcome and an environment like this at the Faculty of Education is not really an enabling environment.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Now you met with them this morning, what have they said will be addressed and what is the timeline in addressing those issues?”

 

Cordelia Bellezaire

“Well we have come to an agreement and in regards to the campus grounds, we had agreed that up to Wednesday of next week which will be the twelfth of September, the campus ground should have already been leveled and also all the potholes should already be filled. And that is just an agreement that we agreed upon until after—you know they have to do the upkeep, but until after the rainy season is over because the grounds need to at least be paved. Throwing stones is just temporary and they had agreed with us and we had also agreed with them.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So now you’ve come to that agreement, why are you guys still out here with your placards, with your signs? What message do you want to send out and who exactly do you want to direct this message towards?”

 

Cordelia Bellezaire

“Well we had already organized this demonstration, so we didn’t want to back out because students’ momentum was already at peak.  So we don’t want them to feel as if though the student government would just leave them behind. And we are just trying to let administration know that we are united as one and we are willing and ready to work with them.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So now I must ask; what is the status of classes? Are classes being held right now or are students not inside the classroom because of this staged protest?”

 

Cordelia Bellezaire

“Well the teachers have a job to do and they have their own management; their own board to report to. So they have to have class sessions; however, without our presence that would be impossible. So we are just asking the students to stay and unite together as one because their issues and their concerns need to be heard.”

 

While the student body and the UB authorities have reached agreement to improve the conditions, there is another issue that is looming. As recent as this past July, government announced that due to budget cuts, it is going to cut off the one hundred and fifty dollar subsidies on student fees; effective in January 2013.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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9 Responses for “UB students protest for change”

  1. Rod says:

    While all the ministers drive brand new vehicles get free gas get big salaries all the rest of the infrastructure in the country crumbles the students are all coming out dunce or dropping out of school period due to the lack of qualified teachers just like the rest of this gov. Doesn’t matter if you dunce or incompetent as long as your udp or black you’ll get the job over well qualified people it’s a sad state of affairs in our country but when you have the biggest bigot who is prejudice beyond belief this is what this country will get everything Ina dirt box.

  2. Dude says:

    Seems to me the university should also work at training students how to speak in public, using correct grammar. I was so distracted by her bad grammar I lost sight as to what the actual issue was.

  3. Vuk says:

    Stop your nonsense, Rod. Being prejudiced and reactive instead of constructive will not solve the country’s problems. If people like you become more prevalent, it’s only going to help make them worse.

  4. CeeC says:

    I totally agree with Vuk and as for Mr. Dude because of people like you Belize is in the state it’s in because instead of you help and support others you be litte them.

  5. CeeC says:

    You can’t descriminate someones boldness because you do not know what it felt like to be in her shoe, all you could do is imagine. Atleast they stood out for a change. Also yes Belize is a English speaking country but do a survay and calculate the results to see who does speak proper English 24/7. Creole is one of this country cultural language as well and if u knew the definition of it maybe you would think and take back your words.

  6. CeeC says:

    Also we all know that a school can not account for all of it’s students to be Excellent for every subject it has it’s leaders. In every class you have those that are excellent , you have the students that are moderate and u have those that arn’t so good. At the end of they day it is up to each student to hold their responsability to which she or he wants to be and achieve, And you should practice yours aswell because there is no such thing as “Bad English” in Grammar I believe it would be addressed as Gramatical Errors.

    Thank You

  7. UBelize says:

    Great UB Students? Great!!

  8. Rod says:

    All I can is the truth huts right I know.

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