Abubakar, Osikhena Dania
My Role as an Alumnus to my Alma Mater and Alumni Association
Written by: Abubakar Osikhena Dania (Yellow House, 2006 set)
When I left our dear college after spending six years within those hallowed walls as a student, I thought my responsibilities as a 'school father' had ended. No, no way. I didn't know I had only just transcended to a higher Level-Alumnus, I came to discover that the Alumni association was much more than a gathering to share old stories and fresh drinks every ten minutes, whenever we met. Boys had become men, girls had become women, very desirable women, I must add. Our minds had been expanded by time and experience, so had our stomachs. It was interesting to note that old courtesies endured between former seniors and juniors, even on the Internet. Apparently, all the mass thrashings had not gone to waste. There was hardly any breach of decorum to be noted.
Shortly after I became aware of the ideals of the Alumni association I understood my role. As a member of the Alumni, I had officially joined the league of 'Super-School fathers and Mothers'. I say it right now, for the record. Anyone who was in your graduating set at any time, or the graduating sets after you is your responsibility. Wherever, Whenever. Deal with it. It's highly gratifying. I assure you. Therefore, I know that it falls to me to offer guidance and aid, of any form that the prevailing situation might require, to my colleagues, or juniors. Even Seniors too, if and only if they permit me to do so.
I know, also, that I share a part of our collective responsibility to ensure that our college remains a robust center of learning. That implies that all the Science Laboratories must be fully stocked, always. New hostels must be built. The Computer Laboratory must be kept fully functional. We must set up a vibrant music department. The refectories must be renovated regularly. However, the food must be just enough to meet the requisite nutritional needs required for optimum academic performance, because if it becomes too rich or too much those children might become soft. We can't have them turning soft, we have a standard to maintain. We need our guidance and counseling unit to be fully functional and responsive to the needs of the students because they need to be told that the current educational system was primed to serve the industrial age and that age is ending fast. They need to know that they do not all have to be Doctors, Lawyers or Engineers. Myriads of interesting career paths exist that could give them all the comfort and fulfillment they desire. As an Alumnus, I know that profitable correspondence to that effect, if initiated and maintained would be very valuable to the students, especially if it comes from a predecessor. I, as an Alumnus, am bound by sheer decency, self-respect and also the scripted ideals of the Alumni association to ensure that all of these goals are achieved. Furthermore, my responsibility as an alumnus extends to my teachers as well, all those who raised us with chalk and cane. I know that a farewell package at least once a year would be in perfect order.
Finally, as a member of the Alumni and therefore a 'Super-School Father', I have been unofficially handed the privilege, just like all that have gone before me, of maintaining the proper conduct and improving the lives of all my wards for as long as I live. This means that I must share and create when I may, opportunities for advancement for them. Likewise, if I do happen to find them flouting any particular social, intellectual, financial or sartorial laws, I am highly obligated to set them back on the path of righteousness. They are entitled to as much time and means as I can dispense. So, if I ever find a 'junior' or 'mate' anywhere on earth on a job queue, and it is within my means to change that, you would be 'obtained' and taken to a better place. This applies to my seniors as well. Please forgive my disrespect. If I ever find you anywhere wearing green socks with pink shoes or dressed up in a similarly ridiculous manner and you're not about to star in any play or movie, you would be 'obtained', handed the necessary sartorial advice and outfitted appropriately. If you ever need help anywhere and I happen to be within the vicinity and can proffer the required help, you would be 'obtained' and sorted out. I also, am liable to be 'obtained' by any member of the Alumni should I be in similar straits. That is solidarity and unity in practice. That is the ideal. Pro-Unitate. It means 'Unity'. It is and ever shall be our motto.