Kampala. As Makerere University students settle in for the new semester, tension continues to simmer over the new policies that were recently introduced by the University Council.
The policies, among others, require students to desist from masterminding or participating in strikes, sexual and drug abuse, use of vulgar language and indecent dressing.
The policies have since sparked a heated debate among students and on the social media.
Whereas sections of society have criticised the institution for introducing what they called policies that violate studentsâ€™ rights, others have sided with the university, castigating students for their failure to heed the rules that would embellish their moral uprightness.
According to the vice Chancellor, Prof John Ddumba Ssentamu, the aim of the policies is to restore sanity at the countryâ€™s higher institution of learning so as to nurture good leaders.
In an Interview with Daily Monitor yesterday, Prof Ddumba said the university was not ready to revise the new policies and that any student who fails to comply, would cease to be a student at Makerere.
He dismissed claims that the university administration did not engage student leaders while formulating them.
â€œHow do you expect me to revise policies on alcohol? Are we teaching drunkards or future leaders? What we need is to have students who will turn out to be important people in the country,â€ Prof Ddumba said.
â€œWhen we leave them to act the way they want, that would mean that as administrators, we are doing nothing. Students must know that this is done to benefit them,â€ he added.
â€œMakerere University used to be referred to as the Harvard of Africa because of the intellectual dialogues on different issues. These would empower students to appreciate the fact that they are at University and therefore, they would keep their integrity clean,â€ said Mr Ndabahika.
â€œWhat our administration ought to do is to always engage students such that a relationship is created. Also, students should know that the University has installed CCTV cameras and this means that they should be careful in order not to fall victimâ€ he said.
Last week, Majority of students that Daily Monitor spoke to, condemned the new rules, arguing that they are adults and that once such rules are imposed, the University would be crippled by yet another demonstration opposing the rules.
Mr Davidson Ndyabahika, the guild information minister, urged students to embrace the new developments, saying it was the only way their image would shine as intellectuals. However, he castigated the administration for failing to engage students into intellectual dialogues where such issues could be addressed. He said that through dialogues, that students would be empowered.