You don’t have to wait any longer to know if you will be facing the disciplinary committee over the unrest that took place last month. If you did not receive a call from the registrar’s office today asking you to go collect a letter from the secretary, then I think there are only two possible scenarios. Either you have changed your number since first year, hence you were unreachable, or you are free to study for your examinations without the heavy cloud of an impending disciplinary hearing hanging over your head. You should pray that it is the latter. Otherwise, you will have to study without the reassurance that you will be sitting for this semester’s examination. That has to be really demotivating. But if anything is demotivating around here, it has to be this very fear of being summoned to a disciplinary hearing. Is this not the very reason why some students refused to come forward to witness in Morris case? Probably because the power which the disciplinary committee wields over students is immense; and in such a situation the balance is tipped to the student’s disadvantage.
Anyways, not everyone whose name ended up on that damning list is guilty nor will all of them get the dreaded suspensions. But some might end up going home, and only time will tell who those will be. Hopefully, no one will miss out on their education just because they were at the wrong place at the wrong time, and have no alibis otherwise. In the same breath, those who received the letters advising them to attend a disciplinary hearing next week should not be too stressed. Having seen the letter, it serves more to shock and scare you than to state the reasons for your disciplinary hearing. It lists all the possible disciplinary offences a student can possibly commit in and/or around campus. Really? Come on DKUT! Who could have committed all of them in one day? This makes one wonder whether the university is witch-hunting. Are they just looking for someone to take the fall or do they actually have concrete evidence against the accused persons? And if they do, why did they not include that in the letter instead of duplicating a section of the rules and regulations?
The students might have been expecting this kind of psychological games, but their parents will be shocked out of their wits. A copy of the letter was sent to the parents and/or guardians of the students accused of taking part in the unrest. There’s nothing like telling a parent that their beloved child is accused of breaking every disciplinary rule of conduct. Some comrades will never be treated the same at home ever again or command the kind of respect some people do simply because they made it to campus. The purpose of sending the parents a copy beats logic unless they are to attend the hearing in their child’s defense. But if you did not already know, parents are not allowed to attend the disciplinary hearing. There are even stories of parents going to beg for a reversal of judgment only to be turned down. Nevertheless, we can understand the need to protect parents from exploitation by students who have been suspended or expelled yet continue to ask for financial support as if they are still in school. However, I feel that they should have been sent a different copy suited to their context, not the same terrifying copy that the students got.
My name might also be in that list, or a subsequent list, and I might end up spending some quality time with these honourable, learned gentlemen. May be then they might even condescend to making me understand how things are done in a university. I came to university to learn; and I have to say here that I do not want to learn just engineering and things thus related. True learning should be all encompassing, and the members of the disciplinary committee surely know that. That’s why there’s hope that the committee, being composed of some teaching staff of the university, will be diligent in its proceedings and in that way teach us something or two about administrative justice. After all, if we do not learn the principles of fairness and justice in university, where will we? Some of us might leave here thinking that such things as fairness and justice are above learned people. And that is the lesson some will take to the world.
The world is harsh and oftentimes people are forced to resort to crooked means to survive. That’s why being morally upright and full of integrity is sometimes viewed as an ideal achievement reserved for demigods. It shouldn’t be like that though, because a world without morality and integrity is not a world worth living in. When a society is founded on ascending strata of authority and power, integrity and morality become even more important. That’s because these are the things that can leash the absolutely strong persons from taking advantage of the weak ones. I am betting that the disciplinary hearing process will be characterized by integrity and transparency because a lot of students will be watching closely this time round. Further, the disciplinary committee probably realizes that the administrative unit will be judged by the smoothness and fairness with which they conduct this business of disciplining the ‘malcontents’. As Abraham Lincoln said, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” So let’s wait and see how the disciplinary committee uses its power.


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