COB survey: Most say PLP, FNM need new leaders

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christie-ingraham-22By JASMIN BONIMY ~ Guardian Staff Reporter ~ jasmin@nasguard.com:

Nassau, Bahamas — More than two thousand College of The Bahamas (COB) students and faculty members voted in a survey that focused on national issues ranging from politics to the economy.

President of the COB Union of Students (COBUS) Jamal Knowles said the survey, which was conducted over the past several weeks, was a direct reflection of the views of more than 2,500 students and faculty members at the college.

“COBUS conducted a survey on national issues to allow students and faculty at the college to participate more actively in the national conversation,” said Knowles. “The purpose of the survey is to gather the collective opinions of students and faculty so that The College of The Bahamas as the leading academic institution in the country can engage in the national dialogue in a significant way.”

Preliminary poll results released yesterday showed that the majority of students and faculty members polled felt new leadership was needed in both the government and the opposition party.

Knowles said 73 percent of polled COB students and faculty believe that the opposition needs new leadership, while 70 percent of COB students and faculty believe that new leadership is also needed in the government. He added that 82 percent said they would vote for a third political party if it “seemed legitimate”.

Knowles said that when it came to representation in their respective communities, 55 percent of those polled said they were not satisfied with their member of Parliament’s representation and performance in their constituency.

On the economic front, the poll results revealed that a large number of students were unhappy with where the country is headed economically.

“Sixty-three percent of COB students and faculty do not support The Bahamas’ level of economic reliance on tourism,” said Knowles.

But while some said they support the current law enforcement strategies, the vast majority said they believed more needs to be done to combat crime.

Knowles said 55 percent of those polled believe that police and the government are doing an inadequate job of addressing crime while only 12.31 percent believe that the police force and the government are currently doing an adequate job.

“I am reminded of the Election of President Barack Obama, when he cited as one of his greatest accomplishments that surveys where done in college campuses throughout the USA and they reported that a strong majority of students and professors supported his movement for change,” said Knowles.

“We realize that if we gather our opinions as student/faculty at the College that is the kind of effect on your country that you can have. It is also important to note that as representatives of our student body, and as students ourselves, that we give our constituency the ability to shape the direction in which the country is heading.”

The COBUS president said his group plans to release the final result of the poll as soon as possible so that the nation can understand how college students and faculty feel about current national issues.

Friday, October 16, 2009