Although the University of Guyana (UG) caters for more than 7000 students, it was announced at a recent installation ceremony, that only some 400 students would have participated in a democratic election process to select a new President for UG’s Students’ Society (UGSS).
This is according to a Registrar of the University, Dr Nigel Gravesande who shared remarks during the brief ceremony convened at the University’s Turkeyen Campus.
He said, “Student governance here at the University of Guyana generally goes unnoticed by the average UG student but your efforts are felt everywhere on our two campuses and four centers…having less than 400 students participating in a democratic process that involves in excess of 7000 students needs us to urge and work assiduously to do better next time”.
Gravesande told this publication that the number of students who participated in the election process, happens to be about the same each year although the hopes the number of voters can be increased.
“I wanted to see much greater involvement in the democratic process, its important and I hope that as the years go progress that we would have a larger turn out to select the representatives that will lead the governance structure of the students,” the Registrar added.
He said he believes it is because the students try to stay focused that they choose not to participate in such events, although it does not take away their focus.
Nevertheless the University had its new President of the student body sworn in.
Elected to serve was Devta Ramroop of the Natural Sciences Faculty. Along with her, several other representatives were elected to serve in various capacities.
Ramroop will be responsible for making representations on behalf of her fellow students at decision making meetings and at other forums.
She was also elected to serve in the capacity of a faculty representative in Natural Sciences.
She was warned by the past president of the UGSS that she will no longer have time for herself as it will go towards the development of the University, even as he congratulated her.
While giving her remarks, the newly elected president expressed how happy she was to be appointed to the position, as a female.
According to her, “In recent years women throughout the world have been tirelessly working towards breaking the glass ceiling. At nearly every decision-making firm in our country men have been the dominant voices, I mean nothing is wrong with that but today I stand on the strong shoulders of two females presidents before me…the 16-years drought is finally over”.
Ramroop said she hopes her sincere service will embolden others to rise to take up the challenge as well.