Student leaders should prioritize dialogue when faced with challenges and shun engaging in destructive behaviour such as stone throwing and property destruction, thus reflecting negatively on their status as scholars in institutions of higher learning.
Addressing students leaders drawn from the nine campuses of the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology who were recently elected to head their centres during the 2019 Students Leadership Training at a Mombasa hotel, the Dean of Students, Rev. Dr. James Wakaba said, the days for stone-throwing are long gone and the only sure way of solving grievances was through the use of “weapons of mass dialogue.”
“You must always use weapons of mass dialogue; the days of stone throwing are behind us. When faced with challenges, engage your Campus administrations / Management for amicable solutions. Do not play roles that are conflicting with roles you are expected to play,” Rev. Wakaba advised the attentive leaders drawn from Mombasa, Nakuru and Nairobi CBDs. Others were drawn from Kitale, Eldoret, Kisii, Karen, Kakamega and Keiyian, respectively.
He urged the students to take advantage of such rare training opportunities that prepared them for their tasks ahead. Said, Rev Dr. Wakaba, “Not many universities avail such opportunities to their student leadership. We train you to be your own leaders so that you are not swayed by euphoria, give you the confidence and sharpen your leadership skills as you prepare for future prospects.”
The Dean further reminded the students to stick to their objectives of joining the University – study and get the desired qualifications as that was what their sponsors expected.
The training was also addressed by the Registrar Academic Affairs, Dr. Esther Muoria who urged the student leaders to remain focused and vigilant.
During his presentation on Decision Making, the University Chaplain Rev. Dr. John Karihe advised the students to always make responsible decisions bearing in mind that any decision made, had its own consequences. He implored on the leaders to aim at leaving lasting legacies.
The Chief Corporate Communications Officer, Dr. Hindzano Ngonyo, who shared the platform with the Deputy Dean of Students, Mr. William Nyariki, advised student leaders to ensure they, and their followers were guided by the University’s Communication Policy and Corporate branding if they were to engage the media and other stakeholders during their tenure to avoid any conflicts.
He advised them to acquaint themselves with other university policies and other useful documents like the Brand Book that are available on the University’s website. “Should you have any doubts on any corporate issues, feel free to consult our department, we will offer the relevant assistance.
Mr. Samuel Kamande, the University’s Chief Security Officer urged the student leadership to follow the laid down security regulations to enable them complete their studies without any hitch. “Trust yourselves, avoid carrying expensive variables that could attract muggers, scan your environments and more than all these, be your own, and your brothers’ keepers,” Mr. Kamande told the leaders. He assured the students that the University had mobilized foot and vehicle security within and outside in conjunction with the local security details to ensure that security was restored.
Others who addressed the students included Dr. Kabare Karanja who took the students through Transformational Leadership, Dr. Rose Mugo the University’s Chief Medical Officer who advised on Healthy Living, and Sister Christine Kagunye who lauded the Deans office for the choice of practical and relevant in-house facilitators and advised the student leadership to be committed, selfless and confident while discharging their responsibilities.
Others who facilitated included Ms. Margaret Wainaina from the Counseling department who advised the student leaders on the Management of Conflict Resolution, Ms. Jane Kitur who spoke on peaceful co-existence, Mr. David Kimani from the Students Welfare who advised the leaders on Financial Management and Judy Kaimenyi from the Dean of Students Office who enlightened the students on Procurement Processes; among others.
Commenting after the three-day training, the Jomo Kenyatta University Students Association’s (JKUSA) Finance Secretary Mr. Adan Ismail thanked the University for the training which he said was insightful, encouraged bonding with leaders from all campuses, and made their leadership comprehensive.
Meanwhile, Southern Palms Beach Resort’s Head of Service, Mr. Elias Mghendi, and the Executive Chef Food Production Mr. Moses Anaswa have hailed JKUAT students’ leadership who were training at the facility for exhibiting high level of discipline. They said, unlike the experiences they have had with other students in the past, the JKUAT students were exceptionally disciplined and respectful not only to the staff, but also took good care of the hotel facilities.