Thursday, 21 July 2016

Celebrating Matriculation At Home: The Tale Of OAU Freshmen

Like every other student who has just gained admission into a University; the joy of the newly admitted freshmen of the Obafemi Awolowo University knew no bounds as they eventually resumed on the 28th of May, 2016.

It was all smiles as they trooped into the campus, with their parents and guardians, with a view to having a ‘smooth’ stay on the Great Ife campus for the next four, five or six years depending on their respective course of study. Only a few of them could have predicted the current situation – an indefinite shutdown of their dream University, perhaps those who are familiar with the OAU stories. With less than a month in school, the freshmen were told to take a chill pill, only after some registration processes completed. So sad!

If we are to follow the original academic Calendar of the University, today – July 21, 2016 – is supposed to be the Matriculation Day for the freshmen. However, as it stands now, instead of the conventional Amphi Theatre ceremony, where they take the matriculation oaths, the freshmen are currently spending the day at various places, other than the spacious auditorium. Only if many knew “unofficial breaks” are not unusual, the shading of today in their calendar, notepad and dairies may not have been necessary.

The current situation continues to generate mixed reactions from the freshmen; while some believe it is their fate to have their first year spent this way, others believed it was a fault on the part of the University management. Whichever way, establishing the guilt on someone remains a difficult one for those OAU Peeps News Agency has spoken with so far.

In her own words, Elizabeth, a freshman, said “… I have kept myself busy that I hardly think about the break. I didn’t even know today was supposed to be our matriculation day.”

John, another freshman, was of a different opinion as he confessed the negative effects the break has had on him. “I keep thinking about it every day. Even when I tried not to, my immediate environment will not let me. Most of my friends are in school, even my siblings leaving only me at home doing nothing.” John opined.

“This could have been avoided, but the University chose not to. They are toying with our future, and it is really sad”, another heartbroken freshman poured.

However, the generality of Great Ife students are hopeful of an imminent reopening of the school, judging from some huge improvements made in recent days on the situation.

Ridwan A. Oyetunji
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