Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer
STUDENTS AT Northern Caribbean University (NCU) are disgruntled following a new rule by the administration to expel them from the Manchester-based institution if they are absent from more than five chapel sessions.
Jevon Minto, past academic vice-president of the United Students Movement, the premier students' body at the institution, said students received an email on October 3, outlining the new stipulations which took effect on October 7.
"If u miss one (chapel time), you will be given a letter of counsel which goes on your file, if you miss two, you are placed on citizenship probation, three, you are blocked from accessing information online (which includes uploading assignments and receiving emails) four, you are placed on two weeks suspension and the fifth one you are expelled from the institution" he told The Gleaner.
He pointed out that though students are becoming livid, plans were in place to have a meeting with the school board. That meeting was expected to be held yesterday.
"I must be honest, the attendance has been poor. Sometimes when you go to chapel, there are several empty chairs in front of you because students are loitering on the compound and engaging in other activities. However, I don't think persons should be coerced to do anything because there must be a more amicable way in coming to decision that works for everybody," said Minto.
Associate director at NCU Corporate Communications, Marketing and Public Relations Department, Charles Evans, said he was aware of the new policy. However, he declined to comment further on the issue.
"Where it's at now, I am currently awaiting a written statement from the affected division they are working on a document which I will have access to," said Evans. "Personally, I was not really privy to the conversation that led to this decision, so I definitely have to wait till I have received further instructions," he said.
Efforts to reach Dr Trevor Gardner, president of the NCU, were unsuccessful.