The Guild of Students at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, is defending its recent decision to disqualify three Barbadian students from contesting this year’s Guild elections.
This after the President of the Barbados Students’ Association (BSA) Kareem Smith last week cried foul on the entire elections process, saying it was unconstitutional.
Smith had further questioned the legitimacy of Returning Officer Annika Bellot to exclude two of the students on the grounds that disciplinary proceedings had been brought against them by the university.
He had also charged that the committee responsible for facilitating the election was not approved by the Student Guild Council, but was “appointed” by the returning officer, contrary to the Guild constitution, which stipulates that those who sit on the committee must be appointed by the Guild of Students.
However, in a statement this afternoon, the Guild neither addressed Smith’s concern that the election had been compromised nor his call for the poll to be postponed “in the interest of fairness and the interest of clarity”.
It only addressed the recent disqualifications, saying that as indicated on the nomination forms, there were two reasons why such action would be taken.
These are that “a prospective candidate must not have come into disrepute by the university administration that would have resulted in disciplinary actions being taken by the students”, as well as “verification by the administration that you are a registered student in good standing.
“Any student who does not meet all of the above requirements listed, will be debarred,” the Guild said, while pointing out that not only Barbadians but also non-Barbadian students were deemed ineligible to contest the 2017/18 elections because they had failed to meet the requirements.
The Guild also pointed out that of the 25 candidates contesting this year’s elections, Barbadians represent the largest contingent by nationality. However, it said strict vigilance was exercised during the election process, for which domestic and international observers were invited to ensure the integrity of its annual exercise.