AFAS Personality Lecture: the Patterns, the Innovations, the Flaws

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Opemipo Olukoga

As part of the series of events aimed at welcoming new students to the campus, the Association of Faculty of Arts scheduled a Personality Lecture Week for Thursday, September 28, 2023. Surprisingly, there was a much lower turnout than expected, despite the preceding gyration. Regarding this, there are a number of assumptions of if lectures hindered the fresh students from participating in this programme that was organised for them amongst others. Besides these, there were a number of occurrences that called for the assessment of how much of a success the event was.

It has become a recurring pattern for the Faculty of Arts to consistently delay the start of their programs, often not commencing at the scheduled time. This seemed to have stemmed from ‘African time’ culture and the lack of adequate preparation by the executives and the social committee. Again, it was witnessed at the lecture as it began by 11 am although it was scheduled to start at 10 am. This issue also extended to the Variety Night that followed the personality lecture, which was also delayed significantly before it eventually kicked off.

As is customary, a personality lecture typically features two or, at most, three speakers due to the extended length of each speaker’s presentation. However, the freshers personality lecture saw the inclusion of multiple speakers that surpassed the expected maximum of three.

Yusuff Eniola, a fresher in the Department of Classics, who had attended the lecture, said the personality lecture had turned out great but the inclusion of 6 speakers made it time consuming.

“It was genuinely valuable. I gained insights into aspects of the faculty that I never thought I’d learn about setting meaningful goals. The financial aspect was also quite informative. However, the presence of the 6 to 7 speakers made it somewhat tedious. This was one of the reasons I found it challenging to stay engaged. As the lectures were ongoing with more speakers waiting to speak, it became time-consuming”.

Also, it was anticipated that the Freshers Week would include lecture-free days, especially to accommodate the personality lecture. Regarding this, some freshmen expressed dissatisfaction, citing class schedules that disrupted their availability for the personality lecture. This also explains the low turnout at the event.

Adelanke Joy, a 100-level student of Linguistics, explained that they had classes scheduled on the same day as the personality lecture, and that prevented her from attending it.

Addressing this, the president of the association, Olaniyi Esther, revealed that the decision to not declare the week lecture-free stemmed from the short duration of the academic session.

“The week couldn’t be lecture-free because the Dean stated that we only have 11 weeks of lectures, and making the freshman week lecture-free would further hinder academic progress. However, we were informed that we could communicate with the lecturers who were using the venue we needed”, she said.

This situation is surprising and unexpected, as the freshman week, which is meant to be an enlightening experience for newcomers, saw them remaining in class when it was anticipated to be lecture-free. Nevertheless, even if the entire week wasn’t designated as lecture-free, making the day of the personality lecture lecture-free would have been a better approach due to its importance.

Furthermore, the inclusion of 5 or 6 topics to be addressed in the personality lectures, seemed excessive. However, some of the speakers delivered excellent speeches, particularly the representative from Access Bank, UI Branch, Abereola Anuoluwa, who provided valuable insights on the “Roadmap to financial management and success as a student”. Additionally, powerful lectures were also given by Tawakalitu Olaoluwa, the Asido Campus Network (UI) president, and Dr. Samuel Oluwatosin Okanlawon, a senior lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies, whose topic was titled “The Ten Commandments for Navigating Your Academic Journey”.

Besides the inclusion of many speakers, the issue of the lecture lacking liveliness was also mentioned by other AFAS freshmen besides Eniola, who were present at the Personality lecture.

Kehinde Mercy Mausi from the Department of History said, “It was truly inspiring. I don’t find any faults with the inclusion of too many speakers since each of them spoke on different subtopics. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would appreciate more personality talks in the future. I just hope that the next personality talk will be even more lively with all the speakers”.

In conclusion, while the personality lecture cannot be labeled a flop, the challenges related to the speakers and the lecture’s organization hindered it from being an all-round success. Despite being a faculty known for its vibrant events and social activities, this should not excuse the lack of structure in arranging well-organized lectures. A premier faculty should be recognized not just for hosting social gatherings but also for delivering enriching and well-organized lectures that adhere to the appropriate format, are time-efficient, and engaging.

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