USM President to propose plan to cushion financial blow on students
President of the United Student Movement 2020-2021 regime, Ruel Haye.
By: Suzell Wray
Mandeville, Jamaica– Newly-minted President of the United Student Movement (USM) 2020-2021 regime, Ruel Haye is seeking to propose an innovative plan to the Northern Caribbean University’s (NCU) administration that could alleviate the financial burden on students due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
His statement comes amidst declarations made by NCU President, Dr Lincoln Edwards that the university had done its best to assist students by facilitating a 1% reduction in general fees for the upcoming 2020-2021 academic year.
In an interview on Wednesday, August 05, 2020, with the Hilltop Trumpet, Haye argued that a strategic approach should now be taken to assist students and keep the university afloat by efficiently utilizing the university’s current assets, starting with the institution’s 1200 acres of farmland in St. Elizabeth.
According to Haye, he’s preparing a comprehensive proposal to the institution’s admin that could see students engaged in farming and aquaculture practices on the land in order to sustain themselves and cover the cost of fees.
“The capacity to facilitate 7,500 student workers, while practicing social distancing, is a feasible figure we can intertwine with the prospective outlook of the total student populace, financial stability and profitability for the university as well as creating standardized and optimally manageable school fee for students.”
He added that a broadband hub would also be ideal for the initiative to ensure that students will have access to their online studies while they work. Haye noted that he will be gleaning from the university an idea of the types of plants and animals the school would be willing to produce and rare.
The St. James native, who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Religion and Theology, explained that he will be seeking clear answers on other elements that could be added to the farming production even as he prepares to make this projection to the institution.
Meanwhile, Haye argued that NCU is linked to two seventh-day Adventist unions, namely the Jamaican Union which comprise 5 conferences and the Atlantic Caribbean which comprise 4. He explained that the institution should also capitalize on this privilege by creating a recruitment hub across both unions.
“We want to know the youth population within those unions from different perspectives. What is a target figure we can look at for the eligibility of those who would qualify to be prospective students of NCU and how much can actually afford it with a good financial plan?”
Haye, who is also a student in the Department of Business Management, said the regime stands ready to merge with the office of recruitment to reach prospective students within the church who would be willing to work with the plan being proposed.
“With the assistance of education officers at the church level and Youth Federations based at the parish level, we will be able to access information that will strategically aid us in targeting these prospective students with the aim of having them enrol at NCU.”
The 22-year-old further explained that with the Jamaican Union having a membership of 319,066 followed by 31,577 at the Atlantic Caribbean Union, recruitment efforts can easily be fueled.
“Let’s argue that of both unions 20% of their respective populations are eligible students, we’d be looking at figures encompassing 80,000. Realistically speaking it is possible for us to target 4500 additional students from both unions.”
He said the student body will be officially updated once the proposal is made to the admin. Haye added that feedback from the students, who are the prime stakeholders, will also be facilitated to garner their interest in being a part of the initiative.
President Haye won the USM virtual election to his opponent, Synokia Hibbert, in April with 408 votes. The movement is the governing student body of NCU that seeks to advocate and protect the interests of the institution’s students while also contributing to their holistic development.