In line with the commitment of the University Management to promoting students’ welfare, off-campus students’ hostel registration has now fully started. This piece of information was given by the Dean, Student Affairs, Professor Adeniyi Olayanju, who paid a working visit to the Directorate of Public Relations of the University, on an off-campus hostel registration briefing. According to the Dean, off-campus hostels had been categorised into A, B and C. Category A, are the sets of hostels with the owners staying with them, Category B are hostels with less than 20 rooms while Category C are hostels with more than 20 rooms. Professor Olayanju noted that there were three set of forms for hostel owners to fill, to ascertain the amenities in each of the hostels while the fourth form would elicit information on the students, saying that, “We’ve been able to interact with the students. We’ve seen some landlords. We’ve seen some security men. Even in some places where there was no water and no security, we noted them”.

He stated further that “Even the places that are popular and we would have believed naturally will not have problem, they are even the ones now having problems, because on getting there, no potable water was found. When you look from afar, you’ll believe that the students are well taken care of and what the students are telling us is that the hostel, which has more than 100 rooms, has no water flowing. I don’t know how we can place that. Just today alone, we spent three hours. It would be too early for us to jump into conclusions”.

The Dean stated that the Student Affairs’ Division’s role was more of a monitoring team, adding that the Division had been cautious of its assignments. He noted that the Division might not be able to decide what happens to erring landlords, but it could have control over where the students would stay, because “If we find out that you are not doing well, you are not meeting our standard, as a University in our policy, it’s for us to advise our students not to patronise the hostel. It’s not registered with us”. Sounding a note of warning to some students, the Dean stated that “If you do, you are on your own. If there is security threat or an outbreak of one disease or the other that affects that hostel, we’ll not be there to answer to it”.

He further stated that “If there’s no light, we’re not going to provide light, we’re not going to poke our noses into getting water there, but we are saying are you able to give or provide water for these children?. If you have 100 rooms and students have no water and they are now going to someone that has 10 or 12 rooms to fetch water. If that one doesn’t have water, are you saying all these students are not going to bathe?. If you know you want to do business, provide the service. You are a service provider, so that is what we’re doing. The University, for any reason, is not going to spend a dime on any hostel. It’s more of a community thing. In our record, it will be so clear that the last time we were in this hostel, this and this are the challenges we faced. So, that when we put it online, students that are coming, next session, would be able to have foresight information about where they are going and by so doing, we may have checked inside the hostel. When you have a hostel like 50 rooms and nobody is taking them, you will know that you need to wake up. So that is what we’re doing”.

On the University’s expectations from the Community Development Areas, the Dean said that there were common facilities like grading of the roads, security of the entire street, such as erecting main gates of the street. On the minimum standard as expected from hostel owners, Professor Olayanju stated that the minimum was a function of the category. According to him, “What is expected from Category A is different from that of Category B. Whether the landlord is staying or not, the house that the students are staying in, should be fenced and be gated. That should be the minimum, because when you are talking about security, you should be able to control the inflow and the outflow of the way students go in and out.

The Dean, however, lauded the Directorate of Public Relations for what he described as “the wonderful job of publicising the activities of the Division”, adding that without publicity, it would seem as if nothing was being done. According to him, “Even if you are doing well and you are not getting across to the people, it will be as if you are doing nothing. But even if you do little and people can hear it and you have feedbacks, you can always improve on it”. The Head, Directorate of Public Relations, Mrs. Emi’ Alawode, while promising regular publicity of the activities of the Student Affairs’ Division and other offices in the University, appreciated the DSA and his team for the visit, saying that “You have been doing a very good job. The social media presence is really commendable, because the guys and gals of nowadays are passionate about these platforms”.