University of Calabar (UNICAL) Orientation for freshers was held on Wednesday 25th January, 2017 at UNICAL International Conference Centre.
Speaking at the event with the topic “the benefit of students involvement in Unionism”, Dr Betta Edu said Students’ Union Government is an umbrella union which comprises all groups of student who should have similar goals and objectives, speaking with one voice. She noted that if student unionism is used rightly then the can influence the university management to make informed decisions in favour of students.
“Unionism doesn’t mean violent protest, destruction of properties and disruption of academic sessions. It means diplomatically putting together your concerns and challenges through the union leaders to the school management. It also means having one front to address student welfarism”.
She tasked the fresher’s to be committed to their studies and God. As you all know, you sincerely need God and a high CGPA to run for any office in the Students Union Government. So tackle your academics first to enable u arrive at good point to contest for SUG or other association at faculty and departmental levels.
She said they was nothing wrong in being a student Union activist advocating for the right of your colleagues. Dr Edu recounted her time as the Vice President of SUG UNICAL which to her was so tasking and demanding especially as a medical student. God was my secret as he was taking the lead in all my activities. His mercies and grace gave me wisdom to discharged my mandate and kept me focus in my academics.
“I assure you that student activism will build a lot of prospect in you while preparing you for a bigger responsibility in your society. Its open doors for successes and recommendations, improves your network and build leadership/ team work spirit in you but you must strike a good balance.
You must avoid anti social vices, nobody should cajole you to join any secret society, avoid violence and aimless demonstration.
Finally, she called on the students to support His Excellency, Senator. Prof Ben Ayade has he strive hard in repositioning the state for the betterment of the people. While urging the students to also support the Vice Chancellor, Prof Zana Akpagu who she term “Student friendly VC” Supporting him means you must also keep to the rules and regulations that govern the institution. She reminded them that they are now students of one of the best Universities in Nigeria so they must represent and protect the image of the Institution with so much pride.
As Dr. Betta introduced herself and her accomplishments recorded in very few years post-University, the hall went agog with freshmen clapping, cheering and giving a standing ovation in honour of one considered a great example for young ones to emulate in University of Calabar. She was however quick to attribute her success to God, Sen Ben Ayade & wife, diligence and hard work.
The SUG president Miss Aniefiok, said for UNICAL, Dr Betta will always remain our heroine and role model. She performed extremely well as a student union Vice President and she is performing way above board in the Cross River state appointment. We always invite her to come speak to students because we konw her capacity to turn clay into Gold!
The Orientation Exercise featured Members of the school senate, VC Prof Zana Akpagu, Deputy Vice Chancellors, Registrar and other principal officers with members of the SUG EXCOs, SUG Parliament and other invited Speakers.