Kampala — Twenty-three students of Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU) have challenged the university decision to suspend them for one year for allegedly indulging in sexual activities on campus.
The affected students have written to the university management for a review of the decision by the disciplinary committee alleging that they were caught coupling in dark corners at the campus, contrary to university regulations.
The affected students were given one week within which to appeal the decision should they feel the punishment was not just and fair.
The 30-year-old institution, which operates on strict Islamic doctrines, bans physical touch involving hugging, pecking, and kissing between students of opposite sex.
IUIU is one of the rare universities that runs an all-female campus at Kabojja on the outskirts of Kampala city.
In one of the latest cases, one of the suspended students said he was unaware of the rules and consumed alcohol two years ago and was made to write hundred apologies to which he affixed his passport size photograph and was asked to pin on all notice boards at the campus.
The university disciplinary committee also found the suspended students on different course guilty of consuming narcotics, and alcohol, among other offences.
University speaks out
Dr Sulait Kabali, the university coordinator, who also doubles as secretary of the disciplinary committee, told Daily Monitor yesterday that the students were found guilty over breach of university rules and regulations.
"The students were found guilty of coupling and having sex on campus, which is contrary to the University rules and regulations," he added.
Mr Kabali said other students were also found guilty of theft of property, consuming alcohol and other narcotic drugs, pregnancy and staging acts of violence at the campus.
The suspension letter dated April 14, states that the students were found in dark corners on different occasions engaging in a love affairs.
"During the cross-examining to which you were subjected at the above Disciplinary Sub-Committee and basing on your oral and written submission in which you stated that you were found in darkness engaging in love affairs, you were found guilty of having committed the above stated offence hence having violated the above cited rule," reads part of the letter.
Mr Kabali said the suspension should act as a strong warning to other students, adding that university administration will not hesitate to expel any anyone who breaches the rules and regulation governing IUIU.
The suspended students, some in the final years of their courses, were about to sit for their examinations, which commenced yesterday.
Ms Rehema Katono, the public relations officer, said the university Disciplinary Committee will soon sit again to reach a final decision on the students, who have appealed against their suspension.
"At the moment, we cannot declare that we have suspended or discontinued them because the final conclusion has not been made as yet regarding their appeals," she said.
One of the affected students, who preferred anonymity for fear that his appeal may be revoked, said disciplinary committee was too harsh in its judgment.
"I find it so astonishing that committee retrieved an offence I committed two years ago when I had just joined the campus but apart from that, they were too harsh," he said.
Ms Katono advised that students interested in one another for sexual relationships should apply to the dawwah committee for consent and be allowed to marry officially.
Islamic university: IUIU is an Islamic-rule governed multi-disciplinary university offering courses at certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate levels. IUIU runs a main campus in Mbale in eastern Uganda, another in Kampala and in Arua plus Kabojja outside Kampala.
At 30 years, IUIU has seen increased enrolment of students from only 80 to more than 8,612, with campuses increasing from one to four. It has also trained more than 1,000 master graduates and over 50 PhD students. It has also produced more than 25,000 undergraduates.