"Building a progressive and inclusive academic environment that thrives on INNOVATIONS, EMPATHY, and COLLABORATION," Sen. Pizzle in Conversation with Campus Mirror. - OOU Campus Mirror

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Sunday 24 September 2023

"Building a progressive and inclusive academic environment that thrives on INNOVATIONS, EMPATHY, and COLLABORATION," Sen. Pizzle in Conversation with Campus Mirror.

By Olamide Lasisi. 

CM: It's a pleasure to have you here. You can also introduce yourself. 

Sen. Pizzle: My name is OGUNSANYA BAMIDELE PETER p.k.a Sen Pizzle. I am a 400l student of Biology Education and also an aspirant for the post of the 36th Union President OLABISI ONABANJO UNIVERSITY

CM: According to our research, I found out you have achieved tremendously on this Campus ( OOU). What drives your political ambition? 

Sen Pizzle: Let me put it this way. I believe in change, I always want to make a positive impact anywhere I go or find myself. I always want to make the world as a whole a better place with the little I have.  All these have been motivating me to always do more and believe in myself cause I believe I am an agent of CHANGE. And also beyond qualifications, I'm genuinely passionate about our campuses and the students.  I'm not just seeking the title of SUG President; I'm driven by a true desire to make our university experience better for all. To create a progressive environment where every student feels heard and valued.

CM: That's awesome! What motivated you to run for the position of president in the Student Union?

Sen. Pizzle: In addition to what I said earlier, leadership they say isn't about STATUS or OFFICE but about service. Sen Pizzle is someone who loves to give back to society.  I was motivated to run for the post of the Union President not as an individual seeking power but as someone who's dedicated to building a progressive and inclusive academic environment that thrives on INNOVATIONS, EMPATHY, and COLLABORATION. This has been an ambition I have been nursing since his 100-level days. 

CM: Good, I love the energy. What specific goals or initiatives do you plan to prioritize if elected as President?

Sen. Pizzle: Should I have the honor of being elected as the 36th SUG PRESIDENT of OOU, my primary focus will revolve around the following initiatives: 

1. Enhanced Academic Support

2. Students' welfare and safety

3. Skills Development and Empowerment Programs 

4. I'll implore the Bottom-Up decision-making approach where every student feels valued, their voices heard and also they feel respected for their decisions and suggestions. It won't be an autocratic type of government where the leader makes decisions and the followers are left with no other choice than to follow..one of the characteristics of a good leader is the listening skills. 

5. Visitation and Revalidation of the LMS Policy made during Sen. Pablo's administration. 

6. Easing the issues of transportation. 

7. Bringing back the OOU trade fair that always unites the four campuses aside from the sports activities. 

8. Security issues (on and off campus)

CM: What strategies do you have in mind to enhance the Campus environment, including facilities and infrastructure?

Sen Pizzle: During the course of my campaign I looked vividly and also met some students to know what they're lacking in terms of infrastructure in the 13 faculties in OOU. If elected as the president, Sen Pizzle will go on a tour to all campuses (the 13 faculties and 52 departments) and meet with the Faculty Presidents. I believe in a collaborative and inclusive system of government and according to SECTION 21 of the OOU SUG Constitution, a good president is expected to have a meeting with the faculty presidents at least once a month by so doing we'll get to relate about matters arising in each of these faculties and also dialoguing on way forward to solving these problems. However, it's good to note that some projects on campus are beyond the Students Union Government but that doesn't mean nothing can be done from the side of the Students Union Government, we can influence having a more suitable academic environment by meeting the management, speaking with stakeholders and also seeking donors and sponsors outside the school settings who can help equip our libraries, laboratories and also a better internet facility to aid teaching and learning on campus.

CM: This is interesting to note. 

Sen. Pizzle: In addition one of my topmost and priority initiatives is to have a relaxation centre in every faculty in OOU. Ever since my 100level,  I have noticed most faculties lack a good spot where students can relax and cool their brains either before class after class, or during lecture breaks. So the relaxation centre is another project I'd love to look into across our faculties

CM: Following your manifesto, I realized you're more concerned about security, so how will you go about improving campus safety and security?

Sen. Pizzle: Security issues on and off our campuses are paramount to me and as the students union government I have outlined how we are going to tackle this. We have seen cases of student harassment on and off the campuses. The union is going to set up a committee spread across the faculties headed by the legal director and students will be able to reach them immediately when cases of harassment or any issues come in.

CM: That's a nice move.

Sen Pizzle: Furthermore I'll make strong partnerships and relationships with the NPF, NSCDC, and the local securities of the four campuses, and host communities to give adequate security support system to our students and their properties most especially during the long breaks or when sessions are not active. Every OOUITE security is my utmost priority.

CM: Alright. So real quick my Senator, How will you foster inclusivity and diversity on campus, ensuring that all students feel heard and represented?

Sen. Pizzle:According to SECTION3 of the Olabisi Onabanjo University Students' Union Government (OOUSUG) Constitution, the composition of the union shall 

consist of; 

1. Legislative Council 

2. Central Executive  Council 

3. Judicial Council 

4. Congress 

As I have earlier stated my administration will have meetings with the faculty and departmental excos from time to time and with the provision of the constitution hold congress where students can actively be involved in the decision-making of the union, as we are only elected to represent their interest.  Furthermore, It's my mission to celebrate the rich diversity of our student body (campus) and create an inclusive environment where every student feels respected and represented. When stating my Initiatives I made mention of the OOU SUG TRADE FAIR which was practiced in the past and this saw all campuses coming together as one, also sports has been a factor for unity it has always helped bring us together and I promise to improve this if elected as the next SUG PRESIDENT. Embracing diversity enriches our campus experience, I will actively promote an inclusive environment that respects and celebrates our campuses.

Permit me to further discuss the congress. The OOU SUG constitution SECTION 49 also states that the meeting of the congress shall be held at least once every semester...by so doing we can foster an academic environment where every student and campus is included in the activities of the union

I strongly believe if the union leader can do this to engage OOUITES, students' agitations and needs will not only be passed across to the union but to appropriate quarters be it the school management, host communities, state government, and so on.

CM:If you have challenges or obstacles while in office because this is politics we are talking about, anything is possible, so how will you navigate them and ensure accountability to your constituents?

Sen. Pizzle: Permit me to quote from my manifesto. I stated under the welfare of students that we'll have what we call TRANSPARENT AND ACCOUNTABLE GOVERNANCE. 

Transparency and accountability are non-negotiable in leadership. I pledge to keep you informed about all SUG activities, finances, and decision-making processes. Progress reports will be shared to ensure you can assess the impact of our policies and hold us accountable for the promises made.

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