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USP Journalism Programme

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By Matelita Ragogo
USP Journalism Programme

SUVA: Student leader Veresi Bainivualiku needs to do some "serious
soul-searching'' after being fined for an assault on another student
last week by the University of the South Pacific disciplinary committee,
says the staff president.
And allegations by USP Students Association president Bainivualiku that
"some lecturers'' were instigating trouble between indigenous and
Indo-Fijians were today labelled "baseless and unfortunate for a student
Association of University of the South Pacific Staff president Dr Biman
Prasad said the decision to fine Bainivualiku $150 should be accepted as
the disciplinary committee had made its decision following university
Dr Prasad said student leaders and associations should participate in
more fundamental activities like human rights instead of petty issues
which had racial overtones.
"Bainivualiku should now be more responsible, fitting for the office he
holds. He is a student leader and thus should live by example, leading
the students the right way. A student leader should always be
respectable,'' Dr Prasad said.
"Bainivualiku needs to do some serious soul-searching. He has an
obligation to serve all students and not be aligned to a particular
Dr Prasad said the university was one place to learn the skills of being
a future leader of a multiracial community because the university had a
wide mixture of students from different ethnic backgrounds.
"Student leaders or associations should be more vigilant about issues
and work towards positive ones, especially if it will benefit their
future way of life whether regionally or at least in their own
country,'' he said.
On allegations by Bainivualiku that "some lecturers'' were involved in
instigating trouble between Indo-Fijian and indigenous Fijian students,
Dr Prasad said they were "baseless and unfortunate.
"Lecturers really do not care what the students do with their time at
the university but of course they will occasionally consult because of
the student-lecturer relationship,'' Dr Prasad said.
"As a responsible student leader, Bainivualiku should be encouraging
integration between students and their lecturers.''

Title -- 2933 FIJI: USP staff call for 'soul-searching'
Date -- 29 August 2000
Byline -- Matelita Ragogo
Origin -- Pasifik Nius
Source -- USP Journalism Programme, 29/8/00
Copyright -- USP Journalism programme
Status -- Unabridged


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