The president of the General Council of Students (CGE) of the Medical Sciences Campus (RCM), Glizette Arroyo, reiterated that the request of the student community through a resolution is that the rector Ilka Rios Reyes be removed from office.
“My approach will continue to be in line with the students’ requests,” stated in statements to The new dayin response to the president of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), Luis Ferrao, who in the midst of a threat of indefinite strike at the RCM stated yesterday that he will not dismiss the rector. The university community has expressed concerns about the effect that her continued tenure may have on the accreditation of the School of Medicine.
The students approved last Friday, in an extraordinary assembly, a vote of indefinite strike starting tomorrow, Wednesday, at 7:00 am, if Rios Reyes has not been removed from office by today, at 6:00 pm
Arroyo indicated that the CGE of Medical Sciences was summoned yesterday to a meeting by the dean of Student Affairs, Maria Hernandez, in which Mr. Marcos Roman, director of the RCM Legal Affairs Office, and doctor Sheyla Mendez, executive assistant to the rector.
“We feel that it was to intimidate us, that was what we could perceive,” The president stated in her statements to this medium. The student leader explained that The representatives of the rector – who was not present – repeated “over and over again” the regulatory provisions related to sanctionable student conduct, in the face of the indefinite strike. “We questioned the purpose of the meeting,” Arroyo said.
Yesenia Acevedo, vice president of the CGE, was also present at the meeting; Jorge Rivera, representative before the Administrative Board; and Juan de Jesus as a guest of the CGE. In addition, Marcus Ramos, interim student attorney, participated; and Professor Irma Vazquez, representative of the Dean of Students.
In a letter from the Council addressed to the student community, released last night, the body explained that “On behalf of the rectory representatives, an attempt was made to intimidate the present representatives of the CGE-RCM regarding the possible repercussions of the stoppage of work in our premises.”
“In response to this matter, they were told that the work of the CGE-RCM lies in representing the RCM students and that what was mentioned responded to the parliamentary processes by which said assemblies are governed. That is to say, the CGE-RCM works to ensure and elevate the needs of our representatives before the university authorities,” read the letter.
According to the letter, the meeting discussed current university regulations regarding the duties and rights of RCM students.
“It should be noted that the meeting concluded without any type of agreement or commitment between the parties present, since the approach for which we were summoned deviated during the course of the meeting,” states the letter signed by the Council as a body.
The vote for the indefinite strike is the most recent action in a wave of petitions for the dismissal of Dr. Rios Reyes – from the University Board of the UPR, the faculty of the School of Medicine and other medical groups, the General Councils of Students from the Mayaguez and Rio Piedras campuses, among others – that have been ignored by Ferrao.
The doctor occupies the position of rector after being recommended by Ferrao and appointed by the Governing Board of the UPR, despite the fact that the Search and Consultation Committee of the RCM did not favor her.
Rios Reyes was removed from the position of rector in August 2022, when Ferrao ordered an investigation that concluded that she violated university regulations by abusing her power and intervening in a student’s grades.
The confidential agreement that Rios Reyes reached – with the student and her parents – to favor her in her grades and protect her permanence in the School of Medicine, violated at least five evaluation criteria of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), Four doctors with knowledge of the accreditation processes warned in an interview with this medium last week.