Students question SINU’s action

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SINU student on strike on April 4 at the Panatina campus
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BY LYNTON AARON FILIA

MORE than 2,000 student members of the dissolved Solomon Islands National University Students Association (SINUSA) are questioning the University’s integrity over the termination of eight students in response to last month’s strike.

They are questioning if the termination of the eight students hold any element of justice, truth and fairness.

Late last month, the Solomon Islands national university terminated eight students who the institution claims were actively involved in the 14-day strike carried out early in April.

The students association (SINUSA) had led the student boycott of classes over several issues it said needed addressing by the institution, after giving SINU a strike notice earlier.

The concerned students counter that SINU should have sought the truth from students and open their eyes to the issues underlying the strike instead of opting to merely removing students.

They say SINUSA had resorted to the strike decision since all the formal avenues available to resolve the outstanding issues had been futile, adding that the students were only acting within their rights to ‘things’ which they perceive as ‘not right’ in the institution.

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The students summarise the action taken by SINU to terminate the eight students as a ‘suppression of the students’ rights’.

In response to Island Sun queries, SINU Acting Pro Vice Chancellor Prof Basil Marasinghe said the eight students were terminated because of their direct involvement in the student strike.

He explained this was a result of the Students Disciplinary Committee’s investigation and deliberations into their behaviour which included issuance of press releases, organising protests and call for boycott of classes.

He said such behaviours are in breach of section 1.9 of Students Code of Conduct, which warrants termination with immediate effect.

“That is the truth behind their termination, and the university has nothing to hide by terminating these students,” Marasinghe said.

Marasinghe said only the eight students submitted a signed petition calling for strike and boycott classes and not one of the 2,000 students involved to have signed support for the boycott call.

Meanwhile, Marasinghe assures that there will be a by-election for the SINUSA executive soon.

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