One Student's Joy Is Another Student's Pain – EFFAH ELVIS

by Israel Boafo Bansah

I write this article with heavy heart and in reaction to a stony event that took place at old site on the campus of UCC. This time around, it was not the usual manifestation of the historical rivalry between Casely Hayford hall and Atlantic hall. This disheartening event saw the lives of CONTI and VANDALS joining forces to combat Oguaa Hall, the only premier hall in UCC. . I will not take delight in stirring the waters of controversy but in the opinion of some analysts, this new act of rivalry between ATL and Oguaa has come to stay.
Writing this piece was a challenge to me since my last letter to the supremo and the superissimmo received much insults from some supposedly die-hard affiliates of the super powers of UCC: I mean, Casford and ATL. I do not expect you to gullibly consume this either. But you know what? We must always call a spade a spade and not a hoe.
Every student on campus is carried on the wings of ecstasy on seeing the two halls in UCC displaying their prowess and adroitness in what we normally call “procession” or “mega charging”. It is very fascinating and we all watch them with beatific smiles sometimes. It becomes an issue of concern when we lose our cap of intellectualism and turn joy and mere rivalry into a gory and bloody event. It really deserves a second thought.
The last time I checked in the chronicles of our dear country, I realized that most tribes were engaged in a battle over a resource or in a dire need to enlarge their coasts. Yaa Asantewaa is noted in history as a woman who fought fearlessly in many wars just to defend the Ashanti Empire. Tweneboah Koduah gave himself to be beheaded so that the Ashantis could win a war over the people of Denkyira. The whites also came to colonize Africa because they needed our God-given resources in all its lustre.
If we are fighting on our campuses; for what are we fighting for?  Is it for power and supremacy? If so, to rule over who? Your colleagues?
Come to think of it, many guys who are involved in these buffoonery acts all in the name of defending their halls never chose the halls they are affiliated to. So why die over something which is temporal of which you never chose? Your affiliation to a particular hall on campus was totally based on the grounds of probability. This goes a long way to attest to the indisputable fact that you could have appeared in a different hall. Would one still have the effrontery and audacity to be involved in such acts of deviance if you were affiliated to a different hall?
The perpetrators of this heinous act of massive destruction at Oguaa Hall should bow their heads in shame wherever they are. No amount of words could convince a visitor to the Hall that Oguaa is not a war-torn area. Sometimes I’m left to wonder like Alice in the Wonderland whether some students were brought here by their parents to obtain a degree in “vandalism”
With the speed of a cheetah and the destructive instincts of an elephant, some students who are fully fortified with some sort of  ammunition pounce on their colleagues of another hall all in the name of keeping a long-held-tradition forgetting that they are intellectuals and humans.
It is very easy to hide behind the iron-curtain of numbers and misbehave because in the midst of the multitudes, individualism is never an issue of concern. But it’s always pathetic when one is being caught as an individual.
This prevailing issue of vandalism and notoriety on most Ghanaian campuses is no longer funny. The old lady is always not at ease when dry bones are been mentioned in a conversation. Likewise it’s quite apparent that one will totally bow his head in shame as a tertiary student when the most sarcastic but very critical question is being asked, “is this the handiwork of intellectuals?” This proves that though the university is a universal community, it is not meant for everyone. I can’t fathom why someone’s negligence and stubbornness could lead to the total crippling of his colleague. Not to even think of the fact that his colleague’s chances of walking again may be fifty-fifty. A student’s joy and stubbornness has now become the pain and the cross of his other colleague to be carried for the rest of his days on earth.
I see nothing wrong with drumming, singing and dancing but I think throwing of stones to destroy properties does not make any sense. It is barbaric and uncouth. When all is said and done and there is a heap of destroyed properties in our various campuses, most students forget that it is the hard-earned cedis of our parents that will be used to rehabilitate these halls. This will always be to the detriment of the innocent and ordinary student on our campuses.
The tertiary student in the eye of society is seen as a refined and well-behaved being who has solutions to the insatiable needs of humanity. Our attitude should there reflect what society thinks of us. Yes! As youth, we sometimes feel the unflinching urge to display our youthful exuberance. It is normal; it is an indication that we are vibrant and energetic but pulling down of trousers and the stoning of each other in my opinion is a misappropriation of our precious energies. There are more pressing needs we can think of as youths of our communities
If CONTI and VANDALS could travel all the way from Kumasi and Accra respectively to join forces with ATL just to cause unnecessary pandemonium and destroy properties, then I think no task is too big for them. On a lighter note, you can join forces and go on a passive demonstration to the flagstaff house that teacher trainees and national service personnel need their salaries and allowances. You could join forces and go on a passive demonstration to create the awareness that Atlantic hall needs to be painted for that matter a total facelift in the hall. Lest I forget, more hands are even needed to direct traffic in most cities of the country.
One day, posterity will scroll through the pages of our moments on campus and you may not be happy of what they will find about you.  You only live once so live it well.

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