The University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) with a population of about 30,000 students is reputed to be one of the most sought after by those seeking higher education in Nigeria mainly because of its fast academic calendar devoid of interruptions. Little wonder the school is popularly referred to as the “better by far” university.
However, to preserve its integrity and reputation, the school authorities do not believe in sparing the rod. Discipline is of utmost importance to the school, and oftentimes students hear lecturers say: “our goal is to mould you into individuals who will be found worthy in learning and character (probitas doctrina).”
Therefore, strict adherence to rules and regulations is expected of all students, as failure to do this will land one before the dreaded Students’ Disciplinary Committee (SDC), as certain disciplinary measures have been out in place to correct errants.
Some of the rules guiding student activities as contained in the students’ handbook are as follows :
- Every student (male or female) must dress decently, every student must avoid any dress that may expose sensitive and vital areas of the body; conduct himself/herself in such a way that his/her priority is to live a wholesome life devoid of anti-social activities especially cultism; not engage in any dishonest, false or other misleading representation or activity which affects academic assessments or examination and to obey all examination regulations, among others.
- A student shall not engage in any form of activity, alone or with any other person or group, which interferes with, restricts, hinders or adversely affects the objectives of the university; not engage in any form of activity whether alone or with any other person or group which interferes with, restricts, hinders or adversely affects the rights of any person duly authorized and lawfully present on university premises to express any view of any subject peacefully or which prevents any person duly authorized from entering, passing through, or leaving the university premises for such purposes and not engage in any form of activity which interferes with, restricts, hinders, disrupts, or adversely affects teaching, research, study of any kind etc.
Despite one’s level or scholarship, if found wanting in learning and character, the authorities will not hesitate in asking that such student (s) leave the school. This process/act is peculiarly termed “face Tanke” (ask any UNILORIN student). Some other things that can warrant a student facing the SDC include:
1. Indecent dressing: UNILORIN has a dress code for both male and female students. Hence, members of the Dress Code Committee (DCC) are always on the lookout for offenders right from the school park! Short sleeves, see-through clothing, shorts for guys, skimpy skirts, exposure of cleavage, clothes with vulgar or inappropriate inscriptions, etc are prohibited. Except, of course one doesn’t get caught. But every day for the thief, one day for the…?
2. Examination malpractice: now, this is a very grave offence in the University of Ilorin. Once a student is caught, he/she will dance to the music.
3. Engaging in fights be it on campus or off (integrity people, integrity!).
4. Theft/displacement of funds kept in your custody: in this case, such student will have to be properly arraigned before the Students Disciplinary Committee and given a fair hearing. If convicted, they can also appeal to the University Council, within 48 days of the committee’s sitting, if they feel unsatisfied with the SDC’s decision.
5. Rudeness to lecturers or constituted authority (character, character, character!).
6. Belonging to an unregistered society in school.
7.Unkept hair and hairstyles/colours deemed unfit as stated in the dress code expectations on the university site.
8. Belonging to a cult group/engaging in cultist activities.
If these rules are violated, a sanction which will follow include:
Looking at the issue of discipline in UNILORIN being beneficial or extreme from a student’s angle, I would say it is tottering on the fence – beneficial, but not void of extremities. This is because many students are plagued day and night with the thought of “facing Tanke” due to things they do not even consider “offensive.” Imagine a case whereby a final year student gets expelled because he was found guilty of stealing a phone charger. Theft is theft, regardless of what is being stolen and nothing should go unpunished. Still, I dare say it’s quite extreme. All the years of stress, studying and learning, coupled with overwhelming challenges faced by such students psychologically, socially, etc reduced to and rewarded with a letter of expulsion?!
Looking at it as a beneficiary, the strict discipline in Unilorin enforced by the great institution, no doubt grooms one for the real world out there, after all, discipline and good character can take one places that brain alone may not. Also, it is interesting to note that I’m the University of Ilorin, cultist activities are seldom heard of, and students can go about their business in peace unlike some other institutions plagued by notorious cult groups, of which curbing or eradicating seems impossible.
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