2016 UPNG campus

UPNG student facilities to close

In a statement, the institution said: “All student facilities and amenities will shut down at noon on Saturday, 17 December, and all students must vacate the Waigani and Taurama Campuses.

“This situation is necessitated by the extraordinary circumstances that surrounded the university in 2016 as a result of the four-month student boycott of classes.”

As all dormitories have had an additional two months of occupancy, it is essential that they are vacated so that the necessary maintenance work can be carried out.

UPNG academic: Students withdrew, unable to concentrate

This follows the shooting of students by police on June 8 during an attempted peaceful protest to Parliament. Four male students were admitted to hospital with bullet wounds while several others suffered minor injuries, allegedly at the hands of law enforcers.

Academics from the university revealed to Loop PNG that most of the students who have withdrawn are first years.

A staff from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences said at least 20 first year students from her group pulled out after classes resumed on September 5.

Classes resume at UPNG

Pressure is mounting as students now have only four weeks to revise and prepare for examinations.

Students revealed to Loop PNG that there are still mixed emotions as a few found it odd that the reconciliation ceremony was held without the student leaders’ participation.

Some supposed it would have been far more significant if the leaders had been a part of the event.

“They can’t be expelled; they have to be allowed back in. If not, this makes a mockery of the reconciliation,” said a political science lecturer.

UPNG halls of residence closed due to security concerns

The following halls of residence are inaccessible: Toa 1, 2, 3 (senior male students’ dorm); Veari Village (for post-graduate students); Hetura (first year male dorm); Luavi (final year female students’ dorm) and the International Village.

“When students stay in one area, security will be able to monitor them,” acting chancellor Dr Nicholas Mann told Loop PNG.

“But if students stay all over the place, perpetrators and opportunists will come in and mingle with them. That’s why management made the decision to congregate students in one area.”

Security beefed up at UPNG’s main Waigani campus

Loop PNG was on site yesterday morning to witness groups of students forming outside the barrier next to the Uniforce Security base, arguing with the guards stationed there.

Some of the students told Loop PNG that they have not been issued ID cards.

“We have been waiting since beginning of this semester to get an ID card. The IT office kept on delaying until the boycott happened.

“It took us 5-10 minutes to argue our way through. We showed our transcripts but the guards refused to accept it.”

UPNG quiet since 7pm

Almost 90 percent of the student body had left while only a few remained. Less than 15 female students had spent the night on campus. Uniforce guards locked the gate to the senior female’s hall of residence at 8pm, when the gate normally shuts at 11pm.

The police had exited the main campus by 6.30pm.

Apart from the occasional sound of the guards’ vehicles patrolling the campus until daybreak, all was deathly quiet.

“I didn’t sleep well last night. I was too scared,” a female student told Loop PNG. “One small sound would jolt me awake.”