Published on December 2nd, 2011 | by Paul Caruana Turner8
UPDATED: Commerce Graduate Arrested After Fight on Campus
A Commerce graduate was arrested yesterday after being involved in a fight with a member of staff, that broke out during graduation celebrations at the university campus.
Students from the Bachelor of Commerce (honours) course were yesterday celebrating their graduation with a traditional buscade, stopping at certain points of interest along the way. One such stop was the University of Malta campus. The students were bounding about campus with whistles and horn in the good spirit of graduation. After dancing through a few classes they reconvened at the Faculty of Science.
At this point, the Faculty Dean, Professor Charles Sammut, reportedly left his office to confront the graduates over the noise that they were making. Contrary to reports that the Dean was man handled, eye witnesses claimed that the Dean, upon entering the hall, angrily confronted one student, Granville Goodlip, taking from him a fog horn, which he then threw the horn to the ground, causing it to shatter into several pieces.
Eye witnesses continued that when Mr. Gooodlip verbally complained, he was shoved by the Dean and responded by shoving him back. The two then began to punch each other and a fight ensued, but again contrary to reports that the Dean was mobbed by the other students, those present claim that the onlooking students stepped in to break up the fight. Following the incident, Prof. Sammut was reportedly hospitalised.
The student was arraigned in court this morning.
His parents last night sent a message out to his former course mates asking that they attend the proceeding, to show support. His lawyer is reported to be Dr. Stefano Filletti, a lecturer in criminal law at the University of Malta.
Meanwhile, The University’s academic staff association, UMASA, has released a memo, condemning what they call “criminal behaviour” of ex-students, and encouraging staff to avoid putting their persons at risk. It even went as far to suggest that should they feel that attending the graduation ceremonies would put their safety as risk, not to do so.
A student this morning confirmed that video footage of the incident, recorded on one of the student’s mobiles, was confiscated by police. This morning’s court trail has returned no verdict, the trial has been schedules for the 7th of December.
ASCS (Association of Students of Commercial Studies) PRO Jake Azzoppardi commented that ASCS do not support any kind of violence. “We cannot judge the situation before we know who instigated the physical violence”, he said “We do however believe that graduation celebrations should always be carried out responsibly.” KSU (University Student Council) are yet to comment.
The University administration has released a statement in response to the event. In it, the University calls for graduates to restrain their celebrations, and expresses its concern for the safety of other students and members of staff, as well as the equipment found in University laboratories. It concludes by stressing that the University will be cracking down on all inappropriate behavior during celebrations.
The statement is reproduced in full below:
“Whilst the University is pleased to see the new graduates celebrating this important occasion, it is important that their behaviour is kept within reasonable limits.
Unfortunately, the general conduct of some of the new graduates on campus has deteriorated dramatically in the last days resulting in disruption of lectures as well as other more serious incidents.
University is now very concerned about the safety of its staff and students and for the security of the valuable equipment found in the many laboratories.
For this reason, the University authorities would like to make it clear to all that immediate action will be taken against any new graduates who, singly or in groups, act in a disorderly and inappropriate manner or who in any way threaten persons or property on campus.”