By: Olanshile Ogunrinu
The Students Representative Council, commonly known as SRC, is an integral part of the students’ union. Constitutionally empowered with oversight functions, the SRC, made up of elected representatives from the halls of residence and faculties – including presidents of faculty students association — in the university, serves as the legislative arm of the union and it is saddled with various responsibility including advocating and promoting the interests of the student populace. However, after more than a year, it is pertinent to reflect on the activities, actions, and inactions of the Rt. Hon. Eniola Olatoye-led 9th assembly of the SRC.
According to section 23(2) of the student’s union constitution, “Meetings of Council shall be held as often as necessary for effective running of the Union. There shall, be at least, 2 meetings of Council every semester”. While the council might have satisfied the required numbers of meeting per semester (at least 2), it is astonishing that the house has not convene for any sitting since its last sitting on the 3rd of December, 2023. This is a whole 3 months without the council meeting to deliberate on burning issues affecting students – of which there is actually a lot. Does this mean that there has not been a need for a meeting since the last one or the constituency they represent do not have complaints or the house is simply not concerned about the burning issues that affect students? Not convening a sitting for 3 months, and after about three weeks of post-election break, portrays the house as one oblivious to issues on campus.
It is also noteworthy that there seems to be a disconnection between the house and the students’ populace. It is easier finding water in the Sahara than seeing ordinary students as observers in any sitting of the house. This could be as a result of little or no publicity from the house to inform the students of its sittings, resolutions and its activities except for inconsistent statements on one or two occasions.
It is the sixth week of the second semester and the students representative council is yet to sit despite a plethora of issues that beg for reviewing.
EXECUTIVES GETTING SLAPS ON THE WRIST FOR MISCONDUCT: PADI PADI SOMETHING?
The union’s constitution mandates the house to take cognizance of any report which may be brought before it involving the conduct of any member of the Union which affects the reputation of the Union and take decisions after an investigation has been concluded. However, since the house’s own disciplinary committee led by Hon. Idoko Adoyi made its finding public on the allegations leveled against the Public Relation Officer of the UISU executive council, Olalekan Micheal Oma, on his handling of the UISU TV, the house is yet to stipulate a deserving punishment despite the recommendation of the committee. The committee, after its investigations, acknowledged the violation of different sections of the constitution and abuse of office by the PRO. The committee therefore recommended 2 weeks suspension and a public apology by the PRO to the student body among other recommendations. However, the house is yet to act on the recommendations for over three months and this makes one wonder if the SRC is trying to kill the case?
Another scenario suggesting that the SRC is in bed with the Executive is also the issue of the SU president, Adewole Yinka Mascot, declaring the support of the entirety of the union for the presidential candidate of the ruling All progressive congress, a development that generated condemnation from many students. The action of the president is considered sacrilegious going by commentaries of alumni as they stated that no president of the UISU would try that during their days as students without facing dire consequences from the Union. However, confirming the satirized article on the trend, the house only mandated the president to write an apology letter. For the misleading and disreputable claim that brought the students under criticism on twitter, it is alarming that just an apology –that did not denote remorse- is what the house deemed fit in addressing the matter.
SRC TO MEET ON FRIDAY
Meanwhile, it’s come to the notice of this writer than the SRC will be having an overdue meeting on Friday, April 7. I can only hope that these issues are addressed on the said day. I hope to see the SRC wake up from its slumber.
Overall, the current assembly appears lethargic despite various salient issues begging to be visited, ranging from a constitution review –because the current constitution is outdated, not all encompassing, confusing and not reflective of the will of students, to the issues in classrooms and halls of residence, the planned commercialization of education in Nigeria, among others. These are a plethora of issues that the Student Representative Council should be preoccupied with. It is important that the SRC realizes that student leadership is a sacrifice that must be diligently pursued, and it goes beyond meeting the management for photo-ops.