We are definitely behind everyone else in doing this, no doubts. Nonetheless, we are delighted to welcome students to another new session most especially distinguished gentlemen of the press. All thanks to the almighty for keeping everyone save. The session has begun already and a plain sheet has been given to everyone to use it the way they want- Some to the path of honour, some to the path of dishonour. It should be noted that this session is a very significant one. It is not only significant because it marks the beginning of a new academic session, but it is also significant because the Union will be having its ‘third’ Alumni Reunion and final setup of a structured Alumni body to always support at all time, the student body. Although, journalism in the University of Ibadan has since started, as far back as the 1940s but what we are celebrating is the integration and institutionalisation of campus journalism in the University of Ibadan. Therefore, do not be deceived that campus journalism is new in the University; we pioneered campus journalism and gave other institutions the opportunity to ride on our back.
The Union of Campus Journalists, University of Ibadan since inception, has religiously performed the sacred role of being the conscience of the society (Campus) and will never jeopardise that for any reason. This is because the press being the fourth estate of the realm is expected to among other functions, inform, educate, entertain, enlighten, as well as perform the watchdog function in the society and that is why the Union will continually strive for a favourable atmosphere to discharge these journalistic duties. The Union is forever committed to seeking to further improve the welfare of her members and will not condole any ingenuity or unscrupulous elements to stand in the way of journalistic practice.
This administration has been working tirelessly to ensure a hitch-free session as well as further strengthening that platform that has brought every member of the press together. Even before the swearing-in, all hands have been on deck towards fulfilling the electioneering promises and also towards achieving the primary aims and objective of the Union.
The Union has, since swearing-in:
Provided internship slots for members to Tribune NG, Sahara Reporters, Splash FM and Vanguard newspaper
Led the collective struggle to reopen SUB for the collective use of all bodies concerned
Gotten one of three new patrons it aspires to get to support its functionality… and many more
Tangible steps have been taken to strengthen Local Press Ogranisations because we believe in a strong grassroot system. Other programmes will be unveiled during the course of the session.
Our major essay contests will be unveiled sooner beginning with the grand Fisayo Soyombo National Essay Contest. Plans have been concluded to have the Hamid Ibrahim photojournalism contest too while Kola Tunbosun creative writing challenge is also a possibility.
However, there are others in the vogue such as ICIR National Writing Competition and the convocation award for campus journalists. Once they are warped up, they will be brought to public notice.
To all pressmen, this is another opportunity to perform the sacred role the society has bestowed on us. It therefore behoves all pressmen to be fully active in this regard in order to have a balanced society. Just like the mainstream system, the press in the University occupies a very significant position which has made inactivity a sheer act of irresponsibility. As part of the tradition of the Union, improved awards of recognition will be given to outstanding pressmen; this is to encourage hard work and reward total commitment to journalistic duties. However, beyond the recompense, it is safe to conclude that the ultimate goal is to make the society a better place through the power of the pen. In the same vein, the primary goal of being in the university is academics hence; it should not be substituted for any reason.
On the other hand, to freshmen and satellites who might be looking forward to becoming members of the esteemed fourth estate, sales of forms have commenced already at the level of the faculty, department, hall and religious press organisations. You can obtain the form either from the local press in your hall, faculty or department for a token. This follows with a training to be arranged mid semester, culminating in the induction proper which is a week-long exercise at the end of which you become identified as a campus journalist (CJ). We also entreat all editors in chief to continue in their spirit of solidarity and support to the Union while we continue this part to greatness.
Indeed, for every end, there is a beginning. For everything that starts, there is an end to it, even to your studentship in this citadel. In sustaining this new beginning, the Union however pledge her continuous support to all Local Press Organisations to further facilitate a favourable ambience for journalistic practice. The making of an intellectual is not confined to learning but also in practise. Why not wake up to the call of entrenching intellectualism which is the core idea of studentship?
Martins Isaac [MI SPY]
32ND President, UCJ UI
(An exclusive adaptation from the welcome address by Alagba Arowosafe Samuel – 30th president)