Mind blowing interview with OAU Students Union Vice President

Great Ife Students Union OAU chapter is back after up to 4years of suspension by the school management. Few months back, the union was reinstated and an electoral committee was formed to organize elections for new representatives at the union. Surely, the Electoral commission didn’t disappoint as they organized a free and fair election for the Great Ife populace.
Just incase you don’t know much about the incoming vice president, we hope this interview supplies you with the necessary information.

Full Name
Salvation Grace.

How did it happen, for you to go unopposed for such a prestigious post?
Smiles. I really do not know how it happened, personally, i got to know I was running unopposed on the debate day.

What activities do you engage in apart from academics?
I’m a social Entrepreneur.
I work with NGO’s, and i’m into community engagement and community services.

The first 100 days being the most important of all administration. What would you say you would set to achieve and put in place in your first 100 days?
The first project on my mind in which my team members and I are working on is the Freshers Orientation program. We want the upcoming freshers orientation week to be impactful and by this I mean the freshers will be taught the ideology, the tradition and culture of the University. Most importantly, we are going to engage in community services, we are going to ensure that our female students and all OAU students at large are being sensitized on how to curb sexual harassment. These are the projects we are working on.

What and or/who inspired you to go for the post of Vice President?
Nobody, just will power and self motivation.

What are some contemporary issues within the student body that you feel need to be addressed immediately?
When we are talking about OAU community at large, you’ll agree with me that some of the cogent issues students are facing includes Accommodation, transportation issues and in a way academic issues.
– The accommodation issue: There aren’t enough hostels on campus to accommodate the generality of Great Ife Students and also accommodation off-campus is very expensive. This is a federal university and its expected to see people from poor backgrounds, people that cannot meet up with the high standard of off-campus accommodation. So, accommodation issue is one of the challenges Great Ife Students are facing.
Moreso, the Hostels are not being maintained properly, some students can’t stay there because of their health issues, most especially, female students.
– The transportation issue: Most times students spend a lot of money on transport because they have to take bike instead of buses and bike rates are usually higher. One of the reasons why students opt to take bikes despite the high rates is because there aren’t enough buses to transport students in and out of campus.
– The academic issue: It has already become a yearly trend for atleast a student to commit suicide due to the poor state of academics. You’ll also agree with me that alot of departments, faculties hand over massive failure to students and this is a challenge.

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How these issues can be resolved.

  • On the accommodation issue, we can’t make promises that are unrealistic. What we can do is to mount pressure on the school management and even the Federal government to build more hostels on campus and also to maintain the hostels we already have. We can also write to organizations, Alumni body and influential people in the society to help in this regard.
  • Transportation challenge, we can liaise with social entrepreneurs, cos what they do is to solve problems and in a way make profit for themselves. So, once a social entrepreneur understands that the OAU community has student transportation issues, they’ll help in finding a solution to it and in doing so they also stand to benefit. If we can present these challenges to influential people in the society, I believe they would come to our aid.
  • The academic issue, what we can do is to organize tutorials before and during exams to aid students and also liaise with the right quarters to ensure that the issue of mass failure is curbed. I don’t see any reason why lecturers would derive joy in the failure of students. So, I feel we just need to mount pressure on the school management.

Aside protests and rallies that are used as tools and instruments of agitations against the university management, what other modes would you say can be used for agitations?
There’s no big deal in calling the school management to meetings and letting them know the challenges students are facing and how they can be resolved. We can also write to the Federal government and of course, we can publish articles. Its not all the time we need to come out in our numbers, although, it is also needed but at the same time there is a place for diplomacy.

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As sensitive as it is, the issue of sexual harassment can’t be overlooked, even with the existence of NGO’s this issue still exists as a big problem in our society. How do you think issues on rape, sexual harassment, sex for grades can be tackled?
Cases of sexual harassment are everywhere, in the Church, Mosque, Schools and in every society.
How do we curb it then?
People need to be adequately informed about sexual harassment: Some people don’t know that what they do is sexual harassment and the funniest thing is that it starts from little gestures, oh, she has a big this, she has a big that and so on. Not only lecturers harass students on campus, even male and female students apart engage in sexual harassment. So we need to educate people on what sexual harassment is.
How do we help victims of rape, sex for grades and sexual harassment?
1. The first thing to do is to check on their mental health, we need to be sure if they’re fine mentally.
2. Then we go further to asking if they are interested in the case, if they want to get justice. But some victims do not want to talk about it because they feel the society will stigmatize them or people will talk ill about them.
What we do is educate them on the need to take action, we make them know that this thing is actually very wrong and we need to really fight it. Moreso, if we keep quiet about it another student can become a victim. So we make students understand why they need to act and not just keep quiet. We’ll also do all we can so far as we have evidence.
3. Cases of Sexual harassment requires evidence, not just one evidence but a lot of evidences. If you don’t have evidence what we do is to just sit you down and counsel you to see that you’re fine and also give you tips to go about it in case of another time.
4. What we can also do is to report, but there won’t be much action on it because of lack of evidence. The school management just created a new policy on sexual harassment, so we’ll work hand in hand with the school management to ensure the effectiveness of this policy. Although, it may not be forthcoming cos a student may not want to confide in the school management with his/her story, So what we’ll do is to liaise with lawyers, NGO’s in cases of sex for grades, rape and sexual harassment.

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OAU is very big infact the second largest university in Nigeria, housing alot of amazing spots within its environs. Tell us your favourite spot on campus.
I’ll go for motion ground, motion ground is a beautiful environment where you can take amazing pictures. Overall its a cool place to chill out.

Tell us 5 amazing things we probably don’t know about you.
1. I’m a Child rights advocate and a Child safety advocate.
2. I don’t like movies and music, I’m sorry.
3. I love volunteering, I don’t mind if its even clashing with my academics.
4. I’m a Christian, I love God, but I’m not religious.
5. I’m a feminist, a proud one.

Lastly, what message do you wish to pass to the OAU community that will be listening or reading this interview?
Good day community, I want you to know that you can get whatever life has for you on OAU campus, so while you’re here on campus, be intentional about what you want in life because we can actually get what we want on this campus and you can start aiming for what you want now.

Check out list of winners in the OAU SUG  CEC elections

Big thanks to the Vice President, we all at Inside OAU Innovations are very grateful you answered our call and we’ll love to have many more great moments with you. Thank you for reading through this interview, we hope all she has said inspires you in a positive way.

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