It is 8.30 am Friday Morning. Egerton University is swearing in new student leaders in a ceremony witnessed by University Management, led by Vice Chancellor Prof. Isaac Kibwage, at Kilimo hall, Njoro Main Campus.
The ceremony was attended by several dignitaries, including Deputy Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Prof. Benard Aduda and Registrar of Academic Affairs Mwanaisha, Dean of Students Japhet Muthamia, Dr Micah Chepchieng’, Director Undergraduate Studies (BUGs) among others.
The event marked a new chapter in the history of the university as the first female president of the students' association took the oath of office. The new leadership will be expected to work together to address the various challenges facing the university, including the need to graduate students in record time.
Vice Chancellor Prof. Isaac Ongubo Kibwage advised the new leaders to be pragmatic and reasonable in their work. He urged the new leaders to be pragmatic and reasonable in their work, advising them to learn to manage acts of omissions and commissions. The Vice-Chancellor provided his personal phone number for students who may need his assistance or advice, encouraging them to reach out to him. He urged the new leadership team to keep consulting and working towards making the University student fraternity an enjoyable experience for all.
"I am always available to offer assistance or advice to any student who needs it," said Prof. Kibwage. "Ask the outgoing Chairman Mr Odero how many times we met and consulted on numerous issues. I urge you to keep consulting and working towards making the University student fraternity an enjoyable experience for all."
"You will be tossed like a table tennis ball while offering leadership, but you need to remain stable. You get praised and you get demonized. Learn to manage acts of omissions and commissions," he advised.
He also highlighted the need to also consider the reduction of drug substance abuse, reminding the leaders to offer the first lines of counsellors. "As student leaders, you have a responsibility to ensure the welfare of your fellow students, and this includes promoting good hygiene and discouraging drug substance abuse," said Prof. Kibwage. "I urge you to offer the first line of counseling to your fellow students and prevent situations where theft or fighting occurs."
Graduate in Record time
Prof. Isaac Kibwage outlined the financial challenges the university has been undergoing and emphasized the need for the new leaders to prioritize their duties.
"You and the rest of the subsequent cohort must graduate in record time, we have been mopping cases of late graduation," he pointed out.
The issue of reduction of drug substance abuse also came up during the ceremony, with Vice Chancellor Prof. Isaac Kibwage reminding the leaders to offer the first lines of counsellors. "You didn't come to fight but to learn, so please learn. Being a student leader, I normally say it is a side hustle as you focus on your studies," he said.
The university has been grappling with the issue of drug abuse among students, which has resulted in several cases of student unrest and low academic performance. The new leaders will be expected to work closely with the university management to address this issue and promote a culture of academic excellence.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic Affairs Prof. Benard Aduda emphasized the need for proper budgeting of activities and getting approvals in good time. He also encouraged the new female president to work hard both in class and in her leadership, saying that leadership should be exercised by example.
"Remember that leadership is not just about titles and positions. It's about serving the people and leading by example. I encourage the new female president to work hard both in class and in her leadership," he said.
Office of Registrar Academics led by Prof. Mwanarusi Saidi asked the new leadership to stay connected with the students to guide and encourage them to focus on their studies. She advised them, "It is not our wish to see the cases of resits when the students are ongoing with other programs like attachments."
Outgoing EUSA Chairman Mr. Odero congratulated the new leadership while emphasizing the need for continuity.
"I urge the new leadership to continue with the good work that we have started and ensure that the students' welfare is a top priority. Remember to always involve the students in all decisions you make," he said.
The EUSA leadership team expressed their gratitude to the University Management for the opportunity to serve and promised to work hard to ensure a successful academic year.
"We are grateful to the University Management for entrusting us with the responsibility to serve as student leaders," said the new president.
She added: "We promise to work hard and represent the interests of all students, and ensure that we have a successful academic year."
Reverend Dr. Nduati offered prayers for the new leadership, invoking the grace of God to guide and protect them as they lead their fellow students. The Student Affairs Department under the Division of Academic Affairs comprises of the following sections headed by the Office of the Dean of Students: Dean of Students Office – Headed by the Dean of Students: Dr. Japhet Mburugu Muthamia, Counseling section –Headed by Coordinator: Mr. Keton Kipkorir.
Others are the Sports and Games section -Headed by Coordinator: Susan Jemutai, Chaplaincy section- Headed by the University Chaplain: Rev. Dr. Samuel Nduati, Student Leadership Development Program - Headed by Coordinator: Rose Chumba.
The Egerton University Students' Association (EUSA) is the official representative body of students at Egerton University, organized and recognized under the authority of the Egerton University Act 2012 and the current statutes. The association is open to any person who is registered into a program of study for an undergraduate degree, diploma, postgraduate degree, or any other program of study that is duly and expressly recognized by the Senate and Council and offered by Egerton University. EUSA is led by a team of elected student leaders, including the President, Vice President, Secretary General, Treasurer, and other officials. These leaders are responsible for representing the views and interests of students to the university administration, organizing student events and initiatives, and ensuring that the association runs effectively and efficiently.
Written by: Kurian Musa
Directorate of Marketing and Resource Mobilization