WELCOME ADDRESS AND MID-TERM ACCOUNT OF OUR STEWARDSHIP: “AWE 2014”
"A man without answers for posterity is an epitome of failure"
We like to use this medium to welcome everyone back on campus and wish us a happy new year. With due civility and veneration we salute the doggedness, consciousness cum resoluteness of Great IFE students in standing with the current leadership of the Students’ Union in ensuring that the dividends of a 21st century Union are delivered to Great IFE students and the Great IFE community as a whole.
Over the years, in the history of our union, confrontation of issues with massive mobilization of students for demonstrations had been the means of venting disapproval and grievances on issues as it affects them. This measure due to the then existent order, had produced results as well as its attendant consequences on all and sundry in its diverse pictures.
Today, the question is no longer whether the course we are fighting is just or not, for that is incontestable BUT whether the mechanisms and methods of prosecuting the cause is still as potent and productive?
As a brief reflections on the past, the current make-up of the Union leadership emerged as an alternative to the status quo, crisis managers and never crisis-instigators. Flowing from this; movement from *consultation, *consolidation and *confrontation has been the fundamentals of every strategic plan towards attending any problem that it is faced with. This in the final analysis is set to project a constructive, result oriented and developmental unionism. We promised to employ mediation, high profile deputations and students' interest based lobbying, negotiation, boycott, sit-ins and the last/physical resort, confrontation in meeting the desires of Great IFE students.
Also we pledged to re-brand the Union into one which is financially meticulous such that more funds are dissipated on developmental endeavours for the benefit of all and sundry within the mental and physical space of the Great IFE community. This is in line with 21st century best practices of students' movements in developed countries such that we can be respected and indisputably accepted as stakeholder in the varsity system and comity of unions globally. On the basis of the foregoing we promised AWE2014 which the OAU students bought into and thereafter voted us in.
With reverence to dictate of reason and respect for the most obvious, it is correct that we address first our challenges. Not for provision of excuse but to position us for better service. Some of our challenges were:
The dearth of true traditions and conventions of the union due to the longtime proscription, a situation that gave room to ungodly manipulation of such to sooth personal interests instead of general interest by various components. No handing over of union property no matter minute (but for the structure christened Students' Union Building, SUB) which would have aided the smooth start of the union activities, at a time when the management and various terrestrial and cerebral forces had more than enough to fight us. No union finances at our disposal even as at the time of starting the increment struggle, except when we solicited and when we collected freshers' dues which was wholly spent on the about four months long struggle. Even after having access to finances we could hardly spend because passing of budget met brick stone and fire until the 10th week into the first semester due to internal crisis. The increment in fees was wickedly flung at the toddling union in order to consume it but for the doggedness of Great Ife students.
We must admit that shortcomings abound in certain areas, meanwhile these have been/ are being addressed. Despite the odds we still have successful mid-term records under our campaign slogan "AWE2014" of which we shall appraise without further ado.
A (ACADEMIC PROGRAMS)
We have succeeded in securing prompt mobilization for NYSC and release of results as against the usual unnecessary delays OAU is known for.
We were also able to achieve putting a stop to forceful sales of materials and unnecessary/excessive billing of students in the name of textbooks, materials or handbooks by some departments/ lecturers.
W (WELFARE PROGRAMS)
We have secured functional wells in Angola hall and Mozambique hall.
Bridges along Fajuyi/Akintola Halls and Fajuyi/Awolowo Halls link paths 90% completed.
Over 100 students got installment payments through the efforts of the Union
Over 100 students got work study as against the usual meagre number that enjoyed this in times past.
Refurbishment of Awo Hall reservoir
Constant supply of qualitative water through tanks and taps to the tanks
The Union advanced loans to some students to pay their fees.
Constant water supply to the halls through alternative power supply to the dam was ensured.
Three (3) buses were secured during the tenure to aid internal transport system, excursions and other trips.
Preliminary work on the over 1,500 bedspace-capacity students-union hostel such as securing Architectural, Structural detailing and Mechanical and Electrical designs as well as bill of quantity needed for its construction.
E (EMPOWERMENT AND OTHER PROGRAMS)
Availability and test-running of the prototype of the Great Ife app, the professional/career network for linking OAU students and alumni & companies.
Two days entrepreneurship summit and 10day skill-up program organized to breed young and skilled students, exposing them to the world of business and becoming young Entrepreneurs.
Social programs such as; +First of Many, +Coke Studio, +Ongar cooking competition, +Campus invasion by WEMA Bank, Swag+Minds, among others were organised /co-hosted to empower and project OAU up-coming stars to the world.
Ongoing work on the documentation of the union's history.
Reinstatement of three (3) out of the suspended students, although the Union has made it clear to the authority that all be reinstated. Enough of divide and rule tactics.
PROGRAMS/EVENTS TO EXPECT IN SECOND SEMESTER
Congress, symposium and debate.
Reinstatement struggle to be furthered through symposium, constant political education, mass actions as well as other tactics.
Commissioning of completed various union projects such as the wells/taps, the mini pedestrian bridges, the buses, Great Ife app, etc.
Union website, free newspaper booth at SUB and Students Union Constitution app.
Bamidele Aturu Public Lecture & Inter-varsity debate.
Sourcing for funds for and starting the union hostel project.
Launching of compendium on union history.
Securing more buses
Constitution review, etc.
We shall strive to achieve these and more because the work goes on, for hope still lives and the faith will never die and upon this we stand and shall never do otherwise, so help us God!
BAMIDELE OLUDARE J. IBIKUNLE ISAAC M.
The P.R.O The President