Many would probably have reservation over this article and my seeming response to the SRC. However, I feel it is timely especially because of the many misconstructions and perceptions that have unrepentantly been spread by the SRC in their quest to lead a pious-sanctimonious front or offer explanations.
It may probably be the students’ own interpretation to what they heard from the SRC but be it as it may something was communicated and something was heard.
LEADERSHIP AND POPULISM
I have no time to teach any theory of leadership in this write-up. But obviously, every leadership should satisfy the twin requirement – Reactivity and Creativity
If there are no assignments to perform or no problem to solve, then there is certainly no need for leadership (Marc Maurer 1993, Dalla Texa)
Continuity philosophy of leadership suggests that if the followership’ does not fluctuate over time then obligation fairly remain same over time regardless of who leads (Caryle, 1860)
As the followership remain stable over time the twin requirements afford whoever the leader may be at a time to be receptive and creative to still fulfill that obligation that is also stable.
Anything outside this can be described as populism
One thing that fuels populism is the somewhat wild expectations of the followers *(MenelikII*, *1988)*.
Undoubtedly our leadership left much to be desired and expected from every SRC that came after us. And hence I agree completely with Menelik II
The constant creation of the impression that the inability of the new administration to do certain things because as a result of the mess created by past administration is untenable and vexatious. It is an African political concept that makes current political leaders shy away from responsibilities. The objective of this is to make the followers believe that current leadership is making a headway or doing better amidst the mess they came to meet (Nkansah LA)
Leadership objective is to promote the common good of the people.
We contributed to the common good when we were given the opportunity. We left but WE DIDN’T TAKE THE FOLLOWERS AWAY – the level 200s are still followers of the SRC leadership to whom the SRC owes an obligation to.
If there is any common good the SRC is promoting, it includes the fulfilment of that obligation they hold legitimate expectation for.
One major political hypocrisy is pursuit of agenda in the face of injustice (Nkansah. L A 2015).
The council (SRC)owes obligation to the students and whoever leads the council does not change that obligation.
If the council has social contract with the students to provide them anything, the council owes that obligation regardless of who the executives are.
MISCONSTRUCTION AGAINST REALITY
Many are the responses, messages, explanations, which if examined carefully, there is only one implication (and of course the only language students know) – that there has been what we informally call in politics, ‘CHOP CHOP’. It connotes only one thing the past SRC has spent students (SRC) money which further suggests that there has been misappropriation of students’ money for person gain.
In our African setting, it is not uncommon to see that before can show his white he has to paint his brother’ black because he believes that that is the only way his white can be recognized. I don’t want to believe that has entered our students’ governance.
We came to implement some decisions or actions that were taken way before us which was even never contemplated by our budget not for personal reasons but in the interest of the students, some of which included taking delivery of the two buses by paying the needed amount to the microfinance – this was when a decision by the University council chaired by Mrs OC Thompson. As much as we didn’t have control over the decision, we felt that the buses, when taken, would serve students and would be economically beneficial than to allow to rot. Other things like street lights project, T shirt, car tyres that the past administration could not pay were all paid by us.
The most controversial one more capital intensive – the metro mass shuttle
We are even happy that we are vindicated because some people within this administration thought that we had some benefit or personal interest in the project.
We realized that the project, per its implementation plan, would benefit the students – it came from transport committee meeting of which I was a member.
However, the mode of financing as suggested by the VC was problematic and discomforting – that GHC 40 be charged on all students by blocking their portals. After an executive committee meeting, we concluded that was unpopular and would have negative effects on our administration and the students.
Upon the advice of the Director of finance that 2year canteen levies collected were there, we took a decision to use some to pay for that project (after all students’ money for students interest) to try the success or otherwise of the project – and we did not regret that we took that decision, at least.
After the first semester and the early part of the 2nd semester we realized two things;
1. That the information given by director of finance was inaccurate (because the two previous administrations used their monies for different projects)
2. That management was not doing anything to implement fully the shuttle project plan…probably because we were paying
So it meant that all payments that we made to metro mass were from the main dues. At the end the shuttle, the 2 buses, tyres etc had taken more than GHC900,000 from our budget.
Obviously, how much is SRC money that if one spends GHC 900,000 out of it that there wouldn’t be financial crisis.
It was that time we decided to stop paying for those 2 reasons. And that brought the rift between us and the dean to the extent that if affected the rest of our programs that were left to be organized (SRC week, Dinner and Awards, Committee certificates and citations, SRC Lacoste).
Though we had money, the Dean insisted that we paid the MMT first from that time to the end of the semester work before he would not sign any money for any of the things left to be done.
This explains my outburst on the dean at our last students-management consultative. The VCs response to the outburst was that SRC money was school money and that he was the only final spending officer of the university. This also explains why we organized SRC week on loan
The strict stance of the Dean coupled with VCs response we allowed things to go by paying.
When we were financially incapacitated, management agreed to grant us special advance (loan ahead of dues) of GHC 300,000 to finance SRC Week, committee allowance and certificate and T shirt). [Dean minuted that letter and its available for everyone who wants to verify].
We used part of that money to organize the dinner and awards nights but there again we were asked to change signatory after that program – the beginning of the power play
From the foregoing, any objective person would have answers to the many of the answered questions.
Contracts are awarded by the VC, through the procurement process. SRC doesn’t have control over the award of Tshirt contract – it is through the university procurement center.
As usual, we started the process in the 2nd semester. It went through the process and contract was awarded but was left with the supplier to sign
Those contracts are only paid for when the goods are delivered. Even during this time we had handed over.
The new administration which knew the details of this opined that we had not left anything but debt so they wanted to use the left =over of the special advance in the account to cater for some of the things they would do as new executives. It made a lot of sense because they needed to move on as new executives (you can imagine the things as new executives needed to do that involved money).
The next thing we heard was that the SRC had gone to cancel the contract because there would be no money to pay for them when delivered. This also meant that things like committee allowance, citation etc were not going to be paid? (as I write I don’t have a cert or citation to show that I was once an SRC president)
I have personally been to campus more than enough to settle this matter at least the Lacoste and the committee allowances because the beneficiaries wouldn’t understand.
The last information we were given by the SRC was that production would be done in addition to theirs to save cost. So, it doesn’t make sense to hear the SRC create the impression that we had made SRC governance hell for them?
If not populist way of leadership then I dare the SRC to be honorably pay the T-shirts and the committee allowance (which we even prepared the documents down before we left office). Leadership manages crisis to fulfil its legal obligation to its people. It is the SRC, not Tony, that owes obligation to the level 200s and whoever is the president doesn’t change that obligation.
The essence of leadership is not to be recognized or the please people but to be creative and reactive to situations for the benefit of the followers.
“We can’t get level 200s shirts, but we can get 100s shirt because the previous administration not us” – this sounds so amateurish and falls short of leadership.
If this is so then give us all the things, we also acquired including the 2 buses that have become private jet for the SRC
Obviously no SRC after making such unbudgeted payments (shuttle, 2buses, tyres, taxes, light projects and other debts) which we did with all intent and purposes for the benefit of the students] will be financially sound.
Wherefore, I dare the SRC to list all capital-intensive projects they have taken besides doing what we did.
Authored by: Tony Henry Arthur
Law School, KNUST