UG students urged to be more militant for change

Published on 2011-04-29 19:48:46 in News

University of Guyana (UG) students were on Friday urged to become proactive and look to themselves for the solutions and leadership they would like to see in Guyana instead of waiting for someone else’s opinion of what should be done.

The call was made by speakers at a symposium dubbed the Guyana Labour Forum which was organised by the UG Students for Social Change (UGSSC) and was in response to a student’s question on their role in solidarity for development.

The event’s theme was Poverty, Development and Labour in Guyana with the panelists being Red Thread’s Andaiye, GAWU’s General Secretary Seepaul Narine and labour attorney Randolph Kirton.

“I used to read about the University of Guyana Student association … about how active they were and what they used to do about changes for this university; you don’t do those things now, simply because many of you feel that it has become a situation of hopelessness. You can’t give up hope, you have to continue and if it means being rebellious you have to do that,” Narine declared.

He told the mostly young students that they will one day become workers and parents and if they witness wrongdoings without doing anything about it then they too are culpable. According to Narine, they need to examine how much importance they will attach to their working lives and proceed from there.

“You got to ensure that as students, as lecturers, as teachers at this university, you also have a role to play in ensuring the administration does what it is required of them,” he said.

“Somebody believe I shouldn’t talk because if I talk I will annoy somebody, but once you say the right thing it doesn’t matter who you annoy, history will record you a saying the right thing.”

Meanwhile, Andaiye lamented that students seemed to believe that it was up to someone else to provide them with impetus to effect change. She urged them to band together with other groups in the society who may have similar issues.

“Don’t think of yourselves only as students and so the market vendors who are being set aside and these other categories who are being set aside are somehow lesser than you,” she said. Andaiye told them to analyse who comprise those groups and to start small since they are feeling “relatively powerless” at this time.

Anthropology Professor Christopher Carrico, who moderated the programme, told the students that the generations from the late 1960s, 70s and up until the 80s, were changing things while still in their 20s and he cited the example of Walter Rodney.

“If you’re looking for leadership you have to look around the room at each other,” he stated.
The UGSSC is an on-campus society which states one of its purpose as being “to agitate on and of campus for changes that are conducive to the accomplishment of the age-old ideals of freedom, justice and equality.”

It also lists social research and the development of practical and implementable solutions for social problems among its intended objectives.


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