It happened again. As usual, nobody cares about time in this school so the handing over of the Students Representative Council (SRC), Graduate Students Association of Ghana (GRASAG), National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), and International Students Association (ISA) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) on 12th May 2017 scheduled to commence at 7:00pm started around 8:50pm.
One newly elected executive was delivering his inaugural speech when some “Conti” guys, drenched in sweat and with rage, approached the high table on the Great Hall platform where the Dean of Students, his vice, Pro-VC, officials from the graduate school and other dignitaries were seated. The Vice Dean went out with them and some of us followed. I went outside and saw a guy with one Puma sandal missing, I asked, “Wine bro, what dey go on?” “Some guys from Katanga have ambushed us oo,” he said. He continued in pain saying “we were going on a peaceful procession when we were suddenly attacked. We got to the space between Royal Parade Ground and Queens Hall when some guys started throwing stones, pavement blocks and sticks at us. Some were in the bush, at Royal Parade Ground, at the library and some came from Queens Hall so we were caught in the middle. My sandal is missing because my ankle was hit. I can’t even feel my leg”. I went further and saw some guys showing their bruises, cuts and blood to the Vice Dean of Students.
On the eve of this year’s SRC election, some boys from the same “strong” halls met in front of Africa Hall and the rest was a shattering collision. Students, who have come to school to transform themselves to transform society, were throwing stones and concrete blocks at each other. In the first semester of the 2015/2016 academic year, the same thing happened at the Paa Joe Stadium. The list is endless. Some students have been stabbed, butchered and beaten. This is incongruent with reality and flatly nonsense. Shameful stupidity. What is the sense in throwing stones at each other? Are you killing a wild bird, a dangerous anaconda snake, a poisonous scorpion, an assassin or what? Are we mercenaries, gypsies, vigilantes, marauders, a banana mob or savages from antiquity? Did we come to study or we came to make enemies and consequently kill them? Did we come to build ourselves or we came to destroy others? Would someone have to die before we stop this childish and ridiculous “supremacy fight”? Are student leaders aware of this or the unrecognized traditional councils are too strong? Someone can die.
The solution to this problem isn’t turning the male halls into mixed halls or increasing security. Atlantic Hall (ATL) in University of Cape Coast (UCC) is a mixed hall but they are not any different. And even when we were in high school, there was no armed security man around and we were cool. Do we need security people now that we are grown with beard and muscles? Can we not act as responsible students who care about the growth of civilization and the progress of humanity? Or there is a positive correlation between muscles and stupidity such that as you become more muscular, your stupidity increases? The funny thing is that a few students who energize themselves not with Rush or 5-Star Energy drink but bitters and marijuana lead the vulnerable others. Should we hail “Katangees” and can we call “Continentals” academicians?
Persuasion has failed. Force has failed. We should apply calculated coercive force in order to deal with this illogical folly. It is proposed that;
1. Fresh “Conti” and “Katanga” students should sign an undertaking that would be attached to the acceptance form. This should contain a vow not to go on any procession whatsoever. And that even if there would be “morale”, it should be within the jurisdiction of the hall. If it even gets to the extreme of banning “morale”, we are good. If the thing that is supposed to bring us together is dividing us, an end to it is practically expedient.
2. The sale of alcohol and its consumption should be banned. Also, measures should be taken to crack the whip on “drug lords” on this campus. I think I saw somewhere in the students’ guide that alcohol and other drugs are banned on campus. So why do we allow people to sell those things in the halls? During hall weeks… no further comment else I will mention the cock in front of the green hall’s name.
3. Effectively ban, ban and re-ban the traditional council till it is completely banned. If you are traditionalists, register your traditional religion and lobby for a location of traditional worship. Then we would know that you are proper traditionalists. Come on, you cannot go to church on Sunday and pour libation on Thursday. One religion cannot determine the destiny of all citizens in a liberal democratic polity. What is in statues and mute clay anyways?
4. Implement the suspension and dismissal clause effectively. If you were not made for a university and cannot stay, why waste your time here. How can a few hooligans who call themselves students disturb our peace and shame this university like that? If we want our university to be the best, all these things count.
If we really mean it when we sing “We are the hall of UST”, then we should be matured ourselves and show others the way. More so, the spirit of “Continentalism” demands that we bring all and sundry together through unity and love. And if “Unity is the hall of academicians”, we can do better than oozing blood and broken sticks. Academicians hold pens and brushes not stones and concrete blocks. Seriously in a long time, I have not seen a mad man throw a stone at someone. I guess they are becoming good citizens. Then university students walk around with knives, stones, pavement blocks and sticks. For crying out loud, we are students not savages. Someone can die. It’s been long but some students have died before and someone can die. Are we the future?
“Good is not a little bad. It is what it is.”