AFAS: Elections CGPA Requirement As Both Sides of a Coin.


Olamilekan Mashika

In the past week, students of the Faculty of Arts were treated to two major decisions that would affect the coming election to executive positions, and these have got them talking for weeks. This decision would also define the future of elections next year. This was a massive shift from the regular ‘strong’ second class lower to the almighty 2:1 upper class grade in the almighty University of Ibadan (achieving that is definitely not beans). Different issues surfaced as a result of this new development which to some people looks harsh; to some, justifiable; to some, welcomed; to some, too sudden; and to some, outrightly unacceptable. At first many students thought the electoral committee had masterminded the change or had just decided, after having a good night sleep, to simply raise the bar a little and to filter people who aspire to submit their candidacy for the upcoming elections.

However, it has been confirmed that it was not the electoral committee who made the decision.. The regulation had been in place, from the Students Affairs albeit not followed by faculties. Apparently, this does not sit well with many students.

The arguments against 3.0

In the words of John Fletcher, (well, he wrote it in his poem) “… the soul that can be honest is the only perfect man”. Without a doubt, in any leadership position, integrity and honesty are most valued. A person might be book smart but kleptomaniac in these values; while a person might not have the book smartness but is honest, and thus perfect. But how do we sort this out? Definitely not from his CGPA. Leadership skills are wide apart from book smartness. Yes, we could always argue that it takes more to be smart, but hey some things can’t be bought from the market, the currency to purchase them exists not. To people, you can even get to this almighty 2:1 class and not even be that intelligent, all you have to do is cram (although this writer dares not undermine the tedious efforts of craming). Whatever the case is, the university class distinction methodology is not sufficient in telling if truly a person is worthy of being a leader. Leaders are visionaries, they are those who want the good for those whom they are to serve. They understand what and the virtues needed for being in whatever leadership position they have found themselves, all of these are not taught in, say ENG101, but rather a careful improvement of an individual’s person and even his persona. This all drives one thing, CGPA does not tell us any story about who a leader is, or does it?

Then there is the argument as to why the authorities have interfered in the matters that concern the unionism of students. To some people, if the students decide they want a 1.0 student to lead them, then they should be allowed? As long as they have found that person worthy.

Then there is the argument that courses should not be judged the same way. In the faculty, some courses are more practical than some and thus particularly difficult to ace than the others. You might be in a music group and the lecturer decides that you are worthy of a C because some 2 guys sang absolutely rubbish. Not really one’s faculty, is it? In theatre arts, in a class production, all your work could amount to a D simply because of 3 persons, who thitherto would remain in your black book, fully decide to sabotage you with ridiculous acting. To your utmost indignation, they were all from another department. It would seem that because of these factors, the scale isn’t exactly fair to someone, say in Philosophy, who simply has to read and pass individually severally.

The argument for 3.0

Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream, but believe this writer, he was no 2:2 student. Obama could lead a country because he excelled in school. Whatever way we decide to see it, we are in school first before any other thing. We are admitted into this university for our course first before we decide to do whatever we fancy, and SL it is pertinent that we do what we are meant to do in the best way possible. We could be here and argue till thy kingdom come, about how some people, who are in, say pass, could be miles better than those in first class when it comes to intelligence. But that is as insignificant as the letter p in psychology, because really, how do you show it? The whole point of the grade point system is for one to be able to show how capable one is in what one does, and if, you are admitted for the sole purpose of your study and you can’t even seem to show that you really are worthy, then why should we even engage you in the first place and while away our time in the monotonous task of you trying to convince us?

From the faculties, it was said that the rule of the CGPA requirement was there so the best of the best candidate could lead. Or what do we say if the president of the faculty can’t go to a radio station and represent the faculty well or if the Vice President refuses to let his/her brain fail to capture the right pronunciation of the word “pseudonym”? Or perhaps the General Secretary cannot even successfully write a formal letter? (this writer would definitely love to use an emoji here). There are no buts and ifs, the CGPA requirement is just meant to filter the candidates and ensure that only the most capable, having both leadership qualities and academic proficiency are put forward in contesting for elections in the faculty. Or is there any law that states that one cannot be interested in leadership position, posses the highest qualities of a leader and still be at least, a 2:1 student?

Dearest Afasites, this writer has simply written this so you might see, read carefully and then be the judge, jury and executioner. The decision of 3.0 as the CGPA requirement was reverted at the stakeholder’s meeting which held on Thursday, 27th September, 2021, with the clause that the law be effective during the next session. Whatever it is you say, have it in your minds, that these decisions were made all for the love of AFAS.

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