The vice chancellor, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko (AAUA), Ondo State, Professor Igbekele Ajibefun, has advised students’ union leaders not to see unionism as a call to arms against university management, but as a call to serve and join hands with the authorities to promote the welfare of students as well as provide an atmosphere that is conducive for learning and research.
Professor Ajibefun gave the advice recently while speaking at a three-day Leadership Training Seminar organised for the leadership of the students’ union of the institution in Igbara-Oke, Ifedore Local Government Area of the state.
The event was put together by the Students Affairs Unit of the university and had as its theme: ‘Promoting a Peaceful University Environment’.
The vice chancellor lamented what he called the penchant of some students and union executives to equate effective unionism to being rigid, impossible, violent, quarrelsome and incorrigible.
He said: “It is a regrettable error that some unionists believe that the effectiveness of their stewardship would be measured by the number of battles and wars they fight with the leadership. They tend to believe that their members would hail them as ‘action men’ if they are constantly at war with the management or if they embark on ‘Aluta.’
“But I want to assure you that you stand to gain more and achieve your target of bettering the lots of your members through mutual cooperation and constant dialoguing with management on whatever demands you might want to make.
“Therefore you must be firm and resolute. You must also be transparent and carry your executive members along in all things. There have been peace and tranquility on our campus for some years now; it must not be said that it was during your tenure that we had crises and troubles.”
Ajibefun promised that the management would always listen to the students and strive to meet their needs despite the challenge of paucity of funds.
The leadership training featured seminars, lectures and interactive sessions and had the executive members of the students’ union, students’ legislative council, and students’ representative council in attendance.
Delivering the lead paper on the opening day, a former deputy vice chancellor (Administration) of AAUA, Professor Francis Oyebade, tutored the students’ executives on the topic ‘The Roles of Communication Ethics in Peaceful and Progressive Unionism’.
Other speakers included: the deputy vice chancellor, Professor Olugbenga Ige, who spoke on ‘Redefining the Roles of 21st Century Students’ Unionism: A Pragmatic Approach to Leadership,’ and the bursar, Mrs Olubunmi Ologun, who spoke on ‘Roles of Financial Record Keeping and Transparency in Student Union Leadership as Panacea for Peace in the University.’