By Evelyne Syombua
Thumbnail Photo Courtesy of Instagram (dusacouncil_official).
The Daystar University Student Association Council members marked their 100 days in office on July 29. They have had their own share of challenges as they take up their mantle and honor their oath of office to serve the students.
Being the first government after four years, students say the council members have a lot to do to fill the gap left by their predecessors and restore the faith students had in DUSA. There have been mixed reactions from students regarding DUSA’s term in office -so far.
Former Daystar University Actuarial Science Association (DUASA) Secretary-General Martin Mutugi has questioned some of the offices while mentioning that only a few are actively functioning. He said:
“It is nice that we have a DUSA government, therefore students can be represented. However not all DUSA offices are being felt. ‘’
The financial year ended on July 31, which was the same day the 2021-2022 budget was to be released. According to the finance secretary Wambui Njoroge, a draft of the budget has been submitted to the finance manager’s office for approval.
“The budget is set to be read after the orientation period in August. The congress will receive official communication once the budget is approved but will not get to amend it,’’ said Wambui Njoroge. However, the DUSA constitution clearly stipulates that the budget is to be submitted to Congress for final approval.
The student government is however yet to be fully productive with students complaining of loopholes including those in the DUSA constitution.
The Athi river campus governor Walter Nalwa stated that the journey has not been easy as they are trying not to succumb to the pressure that comes with serving both students who are online and those who are having physical classes.
He went on to add that they are working to ensure that students’ matters are addressed accordingly.
“We not only want to serve the able students alone but also the needy students. DUSA is not a resistant movement […] but it is a champion for students’ interests in a diplomatic manner,” said Walter.
Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, the university is yet to have all students back in school physically, posing a challenge to the council members as they strive to ensure all students are heard and their matters looked into.
His colleague the Nairobi campus governor Brian Achoka popularly known as Zaza insisted that the two are working hand in hand to revive clubs and associations which fall under their docket.
“My colleague and I have managed to revive some clubs which include the Debate Club, Daystar University Peace and International Studies Student Association (DUPPISA), Daystar Model United Nations club (DMUN), and we are on the way to revive all of the clubs both in Nairobi and Athi River campus,’’ said Zaza.
The Council members work with a number of standing committees to serve the students and ensure all their grievances are met. Each committee has at least one council official in it, and serve the purpose of achieving the aims and objectives of the association. However, a source privy to the Involvement Newspaper reveals that a communication committee, which is tasked with running opinion polls on issues of interest to the Association is yet to be formed.
Students’ cries to have events restored have in a way been heard, having had the Daystar Talanta Event, which witnessed a mass turn up from the students, in the Athi River and Nairobi campuses on July 22 and 29 respectively.
“We are looking forward to having more events, more turn-ups and also support from the university administration as we engage in these activities and serve the students,” the Secretary-General Caleb Paul alias Msando said.
The ex-officio members of the student government; Daystar Christian Fellowship (DCF) chair Moses Wisdom and the Daystar Compassion and Care Centre (DCCC) president, Derrick Kamura commended the DUSA council members for what they have done so far. However, the two state that there is more that the council is yet to do.
The university’s attempt to incorporate the problem based learning has not been a ride in the park as Deputy President Monica Gitau says. She added that it has been a challenge for both students and lecturers.
“I raised the issue and wrote a letter to the DVC-Academics. The Problem Based Learning intentions is to make students know how to do researches and not being spoon-fed and not overburdening the students with assignments. We look forward to better problem-Based Learning where both students and especially the lecturers understand this concept,” [sic] said Monica Gitau.
The Involvement Newspaper has reached out to the DUSA President Marco Laboso who is yet to comment on the progress made by DUSA so far.