Dean of Students Affairs (DSA) and Students Affairs Division (SAD): For or Against their Students?

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Sometimes in the past year 2016, we had a lot of cause to meet with the Dean of Students Affairs or visit the Students Affairs Division both in Akoka or Idi-Araba as random students or students belonging to different bodies in the university either for our personal, group or general needs; and each encounter have been “interestingly multidimensional”, some ending with smiles, some with straight faces and others with outright frown.

Recounting these events from when different calls were placed through to students from the DSA’s office in Idi-Araba concerning their international associations and bodies their students belonged to, their activities in these associations, opportunities they get and on the long run turning out well, up to the extent of been sponsored to attend programs and event abroad, been organised by these international associations. This is one of the many situations that makes us happy and believe that our DSA is for us and not against us.

Even in Akoka, there were cases of when we (UNILAG students) had to host our national bodies and other international bodies, and the school was receptive and albeit helpful about it. Another plus to them and more reasons, why we love them. Also at a point, we were discussing in Akoka, and a student mention how the Counselling unit of UNILAG had different laid down plans and schemes for both indigenous and non-indigenous student of the great institution to make them comfortable, such as the “DAILY Meal FOR Students or One Meal DAILY SCHEME”, “WORK Study Scheme”, “various scholarships and gratitude to Scholars” amongst others.

But in all of these good deeds lay some major flaws and shortcomings, such as their actual “one to one relationship”, “one to many relationship”, “intermediate relationship” with the students and “DSA to Students Bodies”, which on the long run counters all the effects their good deeds; which isn’t supposed to be so. Without laying emphasize on any particular issue, but to start with, “whatever goes on in the four walls of the different offices, decisions we make and actions we take in the university as a whole, translates into what people – even outsiders – would say about us all… whether good, bad or ugly.

Of such cases is that of the fumigation exercises; sweet for some and sour for others, both in Akoka and Idi-Araba. Different news and various rumours were flying around but one thing remained constant and that is “the complete welfare and consideration of the students” was put in shades of grey and cyan – Unpleasant; which is supposed to be the priority of the DSA – Our keeper and Friend (relating our plights, pains and problems, our views and opinions to the school authority and management… Our Dean of Student Affairs is supposed to be about us, for us – the Students, even if it’s not “all” about us, it should be at least 50% of our welfare) like our Police Officers #StateOfTheNation.

Without sentiments or Emotions attached, just from the point of view of an onlooker, I feel our DSA should be for us, never against us. They should understand us, see and hear things from our point of views, know what we are going through at every stipulated time, understand our pains and cries, and not take our silence for granted. Our DSA should be Our “Ideal Police” – Friend and Keeper, not AntiStudent or AntiStudentWelfare, as various students often say. Different strokes for different folks, different reactions for different issues and different solutions for different problems. All cases shouldn’t be treated expressly and all decisions shouldn’t be made narrowly or on a one-way rollercoaster. Say what you mean, mean what you say, don’t make empty promises to us and be compassionate, please.

Our beloved DSA, we love you because you are our school “Mother and Father” and as we love our biological Mother and Father, we do you. So please, love us the same and place us in place of your Daughters and sons, which we – In the real sense – are. Let the love be mutual, as “our existence” in this university community is. We look forward to a positive change, as we are in the era of change and in the spirit of the yuletide season.

Welcome back to SCHOOL all and Happy New Year, as we all hope for the best this session and beyond.

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