Registrar’s letter was grossly misleading

Dear Editor,

I wish to address various articles which have been circulating throughout the media and which have included my name as a façade for the personal agendas of others.

Firstly, I would like to clarify that the headlines which involved the University of Guyana failing to release my grades on time, leading to the subsequent loss of a partial scholarship and my place at Leeds University, are all true events of 2016 and were published in an article by the Guyana Times in September 2016.

Secondly, while I appreciate Mr Kissoon’s endeavour, I’m afraid he was unaware of the timeline of the events, assuming it had occurred this year. Additionally, as I stand in an apolitical light, I cannot reciprocate sentiments from the rest of Mr Kissoon’s article.

Thirdly and most importantly, the letter published by the Registrar, Dr Gravesande, is grossly misleading. The Registrar misconstrued my text and wholly disregarded the fact that the University of Guyana holds responsibility for the aforementioned occurrences of 2016. In the letter by the Registrar, dated 21st September, 2017, he extracted a few lines from e-mail correspondence we had a few weeks ago, and I was infuriated to see that my words were contorted into a context which benefited the University of Guyana.

Contrary to the implication in the Registrar’s letter, UG did not actually offer to process my transcript free of cost. They carelessly delivered a copy of my transcript to the incorrect address for my visa application (despite me telling them for four consecutive days not to deliver it to said address) and the document was returned to them. When I asked for that copy to be sent to Leeds, they insisted I pay again. It was only after I argued vociferously that I should not have to pay twice for the same copy, that it was done, let’s call it, for free.

Additionally, the Registrar divulged that I extended gratitude for their quick response in delivering my transcript. This was also placed out of context; I requested the document four days (three working days) before I left Guyana. Upon contacting UG a week later, my parents were told that the Exams Division was still “working” on it. My thanking the Registrar was subsequent to his quick response to my exasperated e-mail inquiring why my document had not arrived; that praise was not in regard to any initial act of efficiency on the university’s part.

In his letter, the Registrar turned a blind eye to my situation from last year and his administration has failed to issue so much as a superficial apology. Aside from my scholarship, I lost all non-refundable fees from last year as well as a considerable amount of refundable fees through the bank exchange rate, not forgetting that a whole year of my life and goals were put on pause. Yes, I have made it to Leeds as the Registrar declared, but at an immense personal cost, which he boldly ignored. To add to the sloppiness of the administration, the University of Guyana is now attempting, eleven months after graduation and only because I brought it to their attention, to facilitate awardees from the 2016 Convocation with official acknowledgement of prizes.

I am extremely displeased with the picture that was painted by the Registrar, indicating that things have gone smoothly between UG and me. I will not gratify any institution or person for their nonexistent role in my success.

Finally, I do not acknowledge arguments of racism or politics as the basis of UG’s reprehensible actions as many on social media have been implying. I believe the university simply needs to own up to its mistakes and reorganize its administrative modus operandi rather than try to extricate itself from the plight of frustrated students and alumni ‒ a clear indication of its dysfunctional and callous system.

At this point, I seek no gain from the University of Guyana despite being pressed to file a lawsuit for the losses I incurred. I am putting this behind me and I hope in future, the Registrar and all others will exempt me from any further attempts at appeasing them in their institutional folly.

Yours faithfully,

Renita Chanderballi

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