INTERVIEW: The Journey so far with MASCOT as SU President (Part 1)

The Union of Campus Journalists, University of Ibadan had an interactive session with the Students Union President, Adeyinka Adewole (MASCOT) on his strides so far as the Union’s President, and issues affecting students on campus. The interviewers challenged Adewole with some of his promises while seeking votes, and he outlined his efforts in actualizing those  promises.

Below is an excerpt from the interview, which was conducted on March 3, 2022.

UCJ UI: One of the promises you made when you were seeking votes from UITES. is that you will lobby for more street lights especially to boost security condition on campus. I will like you to give us an update of how far you’ve gone concerning this promise.

MASCOT: Okay thank you so much for that, I think you were there when we held a meeting with the Vice Chancellor. There are currently street lights in places like Awo, Agric, Vet and Tech but the school management keeps complaining about the type used. That is why they are still test running some others, making use of solar panels. So currently most of those street lights are using solar panels. During the administration of my predecessor, you will discover that the street lights on the way to Ajibode would be turned on around 6:45 pm to be turned off around after-7, and that one was running on generator. Before, the Tech one which runs on solar panel just like the ones around Agric and Vet medicine.

The partnership between the school and the proprietors of the private hostels, will also allow for the construction of street lights around there.

It has been approved that there would be a construction of a new motor park around Awo, Idia and Tech junction; but there is no money

UCJ UI: How about this Zik river to the faculty. I’m not sure they’ve repaired the street lights.

MASCOT: Zik river? There are some street lights working. In Fact, even at Saint Anne’s, to Idia. Last week we had a meeting with the Dean of Students. And we are planning on holding a hall meeting with the VC. 

I want to hold like 3 town meetings before leaving the administration.

UCJ UI: When you were campaigning, you mentioned specifically that you have a plan for entrepreneurship and you were particular about The Tony Elumelu Foundation and encouraging students to apply, if my information is right, the application is currently ongoing and we have not heard anything from you?

MASCOT:  Before we can get a facilitator it is actually tedious. One of my seniors that I work closely with was doctor Biodun who graduated from vet medicine and contested for PRO Student Union, Ecnom foundation. I’ve been working closely with him. To ask them to come to UI might not work because most of them keep saying they are busy. 

I’ve been posting a lot of entrepreneurship information but most of our students don’t show any interest in most of these programs. Most UITES that apply are alumni of UI

UCJ UI: Before the application closes, why not try pushing something out to the students, to motivate them to apply?

MASCOT: Putting out the drive is another problem. Publicity is an issue as I can’t be everywhere.

UCJ UI: Does the PRO have a publicity team?

MASCOT: I don’t know, it’s going to be better if you schedule an interview with the PRO too. 

UCJ UI: But you are overseer of the Union’s affair

MASCOT: The Constitution states that I’m the supervisor. And when I want to take charge of any office, the people in charge of the office say it’s their office. 

UCJ UI: Moving forward, how do you tackle that?

MASCOT: One program is starting this week, it is being held by the departmental president of Elect Elect.  We call it ‘Training the Trainer’

So I believe it is high time we went down to the grass root. We’d have a meeting where the  departmental president would be represented and the faculty president (represented by 2 people) of each department and faculty would be trained in data science. 

Then they would go ahead to train the members of their faculties and departments. I have more than 7 partnerships that I have shared with faculties.

UCJ UI: Would the facilitation still hold

MASCOT: Yes, I’m currently planning a partnership with TedX. But students are not coming forth and we can’t possibly ask the alumni to do so.

UCJ UI: You mentioned training on Data Analysis during your campaign.

MASCOT: We held two Programmes last year in conjunction with the HOD of Computer Science.

UCJ UI: How far have you gone with your comprehensive war against malaria if you’ve started at all?

MASCOT: errm, Thank you so much. Concerning that. Before now, it was only when people were contesting that they wash tanks and all everywhere… I think we’ve done that even after the election. We requested 5,000 mosquito nets from the state government, through the commissioner. Our letter has been approved but the only thing is we do not have a vehicle to convey it. 

From the state house, for students, for the hostels, especially for Freshers. You know, we 200, 300 level students, we are strong with UI.

The last administration did not have any one representing  UITES in any government, but with our own involvement, currently we have around… We currently have six committee members now. Yes, we are representing students in six, yes.

Currently now, we’re in disciplinary committee, revenue, UFB, transport… So in Disciplinary, the General Secretary and I are the main solicitors for students and I think some of our students were saved on December 13 & 14 when we had disciplinary cases. Instead of having two semesters, three semesters for just small minor cases, we pleaded and some of them were reprimanded that they should go, and never commit such offense again.

And on the Revenue commitee, currently, there are so many issues concerning the Revenue. So, if we have only some of our money… We need commissions. The money for postgraduate college has not been paid. Postgraduate students are paying 1000 naira and they’ve not remitted the money to the Students’ Union. 

So, we have University Bureau and Social Welfare. This committee deals with sockets, repairing bulbs and other stuff. So, we have the vice president and house secretary representing the union because they asked us to present two people. And I feel the house secretary is better because he is in-charge of the welfare of students. Right now if you have any issues in your hall, just through the HG, to the house secretary, we’ll come to repair it.  

Whenever any decision is being made (by the management), the student will be aware of any decision, that was when they wrote back to us that we should bring back two people and it’s not all committees that have two. For the health Committee… Last December,  some of our students in the College of Medicine contacted covid-19; we had to bring them to Jaja, and the annex is not working.

It was like three days ago, I had to text Uncle Jegede in ABH to send someone, preferably the elected ABH president to be part of the committee, and join me for the first committee meeting. Because, if Jaja annex is not working in ABH again, then there should be a way they are going to liaise with UCH. So, those people in the committee are the CMP…..

I’ll be starting my visitation on Monday, across all Halls, probably on Saturday and Sunday. We’re going to give an advance letter to UCH, so we’ll be moving around with students…

A second part of the interview will be published tomorrow

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