The raw images of the December 6th 2014 strife that engulfed Egerton University are still fresh in the memories of many students if not all. Among the building brought down following the strike is the junior common room (JCR) that houses most academic papers and the pool tables where most students unwind after lectures. With the building down, most students have been forced to walk all the way to Njokerio to have their handouts photocopied. Perhaps the only surviving building around the junior common room is the Gym.
At the beginning of the semester, a damage fee of Ksh. 5,122 was thrusted upon the students. The university senate after holding several meetings concluded that if the entire students paid 5,122 shillings, that would be enough to build the junior common room within the shortest time possible. Tight rule would later be put on all who could not manage to raise the amount; failure to pay the damage fee would earn you an automatic deferment from the campus.
With the semester already on the road and rumors of CATs in the air, all those who didn’t manage the damage fee have deferred and all those within campus and in session at the moment have paid the damage fee, no forensic experts from China, Britain or India are needed to explain that.
The big question remains why no move has been made so far to construct the Junior common room. A normal student knows how the junior common room is crucial in the success of his/her studies. The place is still dusty, rusty and ugly as if the strike had happened yesterday. No move has been seen on the ground to revamp the status of the building, a building closer to the heart of many students at Egerton university. The students deserve an explanation from the university as to why the building has not been constructed yet they were put under pressure to pay the damage fees.
Perhaps the only visible change at the university are the changes made in naming of hostels and the increase in the hostel’s numbers, a move that only serve to benefit the University by adding more money to its account from the accommodation fees.
Walking past junior common room daily, a student can’t stop visualizing the events that unfolded on that fateful dark Saturday, memories that as at now could have been erased. I still believe that Egerton university is the only university for the advancement of humanity. Though it doesn’t look like an advanced place at the moment, it will always be transforming lives through quality education. The recent happenings ranging from Students union relation with the administration to the negligence seen from the University management should be addressed.
The most important thing right now is for the university to move with speed and build the fallen junior common room if it has the intention of maintaining the word ‘humanity’ anywhere in the minds of the people within its compounds.
Whether this will be done soon, only time can tell.