Abdul-Karim for choicism: For all we know, today is the lunch of UCC, ladies week celebration and we all know the tradition and the kind of rivalry between Casford and ATL but here you are, adorned in the same outfit, what is the rationale behind this?
Casford Prez: I think we all know the kind of rivalry between these great halls, over the past time it’s been riot here and there, vandalism, mayhem, throwing of stones etc. We think we have come to a level where we need to serve as agents of change, we sit in the same lecture rooms, we live in the same hostels. We took this decision to avert this so called rivalry, the rivalry can be there but it should be healthy to promote our academic work, sports and love among ourselves.
ATL Prez: First of all, I want us to answer this question, why must renowned world leaders such as Barrack Obama, George Bush, Clinton etc visit no country but a small country as ours? Even if a nation like USA has realized that there is the need to champion peace, how much more people of the same country. We have come to realize that the primitive form of rivalry between Casford and ATL is not the best and is about time we created a positive rivalry that would promote learning and development between these halls. In a nutshell, we want to move away from the direction of bitterness and throwing stone to a more poised positive struggle for progress.
Abdul-Karim for choicism: How are you going to cause the change by letting it reflect in the actions and inactions of members of your respective halls.
ATL Prez: We strongly believe Rome was not built in a day and we anticipated that definitely we will face challenges, we have so many plans, but at the initial stage the two JCRC’s want to come together, aside that the councils of the two halls are collaborating to map out a peace plan for the whole university to see. We have a whole lot of Ideas but for now I will live it to my brother to say something.
Casford Prez: Alright, as leaders we don’t have to sit down for unforeseen circumstances to occur before we act, as a matter of urgency the two JCRC have gone to see administration, we have spoken to our hall masters and other persons in key leadership positions and they have all given us their consent and backing to champion this cause as early as possible. As part of this, we are using the ATL fm to reach out to all our people on campus. We are not relaxing on our oars, day-in day-out, we keep moving ahead to get people on board and we hope that with this unity the SRC will give a strong backing to us the halls to achieve this dream of causing change. We believe that this effort will be a plus in uniting Casford and ATL.
Abdul-Karim for choicism: I was hoping this initiative would see all the six traditional halls having their Presidents involved, with the two of you together is it not sending a signal that probably Casford and ATL are joining forces against the other halls?
Casford Prez: We won’t say that, because if you take a critical look this year’s batch of hall Presidents, we move together and decisions are made in the collective. We are not teaming against the other hall, behind the scenes they are solidly behind this initiative and if you call any of the hall presidents, they will tell you how we are collectively spewing this agenda.
ATL Prez: To add to what he said, you know in championing a cause there must be key people to lead the crusade with the others behind the scenes doing the work. The six halls are planning to organize some indoor games as part of plans to bring these halls together.
Richard for choicism: Are you doing this just because there is a ban on the celebration of your hall weeks or there is another reason?
ATL Prez: ATL for instance, whether there is a ban or not we don’t mind. Last year for instance, we did it, we celebrated it inside our quadrangle. Our ban has been lifted this year and I don’t think the ban is the reason for us spearheading this agenda, but we have realized that whenever we create these violent acts in the university it affect the whole university community, our academics etc and most often most of the student suffer, recently five students have been sacked by the university following their involvement in such acts, so why should we sit down unconcerned while there is something that can be done. This conflict has existed for twenty five years but if you ask for the winner, Casford will say , it is Casford and when you ask ATL, they will also say it is ATL. We have come to realize that there is no sensible purpose for our rivalry.
Richard for choicism: Our country today has been admonished to build stronger institution rather done stronger individuals to prevent system failures etc, what strategies and structures are you as leaders putting in place to ensure that whoever takes over from you does not discontinue this all important agenda of peace and progress.
ATL Prez: As I said , we cannot get up and say we are doing this, if you look at the university set-up, we have only eight months and this is too short a time to do something substantial and there’s supposed to be a policy so that there will be continuity when there is a change of leadership. For now, we might not be able to achieve the peace policy, but we have laid down road maps our successors will have to continue. We are rolling out all these policies in conjunction with the hall administrators, hall masters etc so that anyone who comes after us can push forward the agenda for peace.
Casford Prez: Yea, to come in on the question on the fact that we are doing this for the bans on our halls to be lifted, the answer is a big no! For the past three years I have been in this university, we have not celebrated any hall week and I don’t see any effect on myself or academics. All we need is a healthy environment that we will b able to learn, enhance our academic score of which reason we were bought here. The next point about our plans, there are so many plans, we are putting measures so that the new crop of leaders who will come after us will carry on the peace agenda. We hope that this initiative will serve as a monumental achievement in our bid to serve.
Abdul-Karim for choicism: Thank you for making time off your busy schedules to grant us this interview.
ATL Prez: Our doors are open 24/7 for anything you guys might need.
Abdul-Karim Mohammed and Richard Agyemang