Lupane State University (LSU) students are up in arms with the university authorities over the relocation of the university`s main library which has made it inaccessible to students with disabilities.
LSU students have been protesting on campus for the past three days after the university barred students who had not paid fees from attending lectures and accessing other facilities.
In an interview with CITE, LSU student representative council (SRC) president Silas Makusha said they were not consulted on the relocation of the library which was moved from the ground floor to the second floor.
“The library was moved from the ground floor of the building to the second floor, the authorities did not inform us beforehand that they will make such drastic changes,” said Makusha.
“The library being moved to the second floor is proving to be difficult for students with disabilities to access it as there are no elevators”.
The SRC president said the university authorities did not give any reason why the library was moved.
“There was no reason why the library moved but it has inconvenienced some of the students,” said Makusha.
He said also students at the Bulawayo campus were also facing challenges using the library after it was moved to the outskirts of the city center.
“Most of LSU students reside in the western suburbs, and from the time the library was moved to 2nd avenue and Hebert Chitepo street, most of these students have been avoiding using the library especially in the evening,” said Makusha.
“The library is proving to be too far and inconvenient especially if one has to board public transport at Hyper or 6th avenue at night”.
He said the SRC will be submitting a final petition with all the grievances that students face at the university and hope action will be taken.
“We are engaging officials and signing a final petition that is giving the university a specific time frame to act on the challenges we are facing,” said Makusha.
“We are not primary school children, we have serious problems that need urgent resolutions.”
LSU director of marketing and communication, Zwelithini Dlamini confirmed that the library has been moved and will be hard for students with disabilities.
“The library was moved to the second floor and it will be inaccessible for people with disabilities to use it. l tried looking for the librarian to find out the reason why there has been this sudden change but she is stuck in meetings,” said Dlamini.
He said the dean of students is working on addressing some of the grievances that have been presented by the students.
“The dean is working together with SRC on some of the grievances affecting students”.