Major Highlights From AFAS FLC First Sitting in the Second Semester


Jolaade Ifeoluwayimika

The Association of Faculty of Arts’ Faculty Legislative Council (AFAS FLC) sitting on Friday, 9th of February, 2024, is one of its own kind. The plenary which was the first, held in the second semester of this ongoing session, witnessed the absence of the Speaker, who had sent his letter of absence to the House. In his stead, the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Janet Meziem, from the English Constituency, presided over the plenary. In this review, below are some of the events that went down.

Forfeiture of Seats

What has been the practice of some honourables of the House is to pay disrepute as a currency to the class or constituency they represent. They do this by absenting themselves, hardly with or without prior communication. This, by implication, denies the constituency the opportunity to be duly represented. But this common flop, not exclusive to AFAS FLC, seems to have become a recurrence. The root fault which is likely traceable to the undemocratic system— the selection of representatives by the department presidents or class representatives to represent their constituencies rather than conducting elections— that produced these honourables; and the same that has left these individuals unchecked.

The plenary kicked off with the automatic forfeiture of the seats of honourable members of the House who had missed more than three consecutive meetings as stipulated by the AFAS Constitution, and another honourable member who was said to have tainted the reputation of the House on her WhatsApp status. In the course of this, a 400-level student representative from History constituency; a 400-level student representative from Philosophy constituency, and  a representative from Anthropology constituency, have all become relieved of the position.

On Complaints by AFASites about ID card

Honourable Daniel from the Religious Studies Constituency presented a petition from his constituency. The petition was written against AFAS’ Executive Council, Team Illumination, for failing in the production of the ID cards. His petition called for a stop of the ongoing ID card details collation. The petition demanded that AFASites who have paid be refunded before the 9th week of the semester or the processing and production of the AFAS ID card be transferred or moved to the next session.

In response to this, the speaker inquired about the relevance of the ID card to the members of the Association and in respect to the question raised by the Speaker, Honourable Marcus of Theatre Art constituency stated that the ID card gives a sense of belonging to an AFASITE and that the production be not cancelled. A debate ensued amongst the honourables and they were left with two motions. On one hand, a motion to refund the ID card fee or the production should proceed but will bear the inscription of the next session.  Eventually, the majority of the honourables supported the second motion.

On Gender Discrimination in Sports

Another petition was presented by an honourable from European Studies constituency which in its detail discussed the non-recognition of the female winners of the DEAN’s cup, from the department of European Studies. It was stated in the letter that cash prices and cups weren’t given to the ladies who played exceptionally in the Dean’s Cup match.

In response to this, an honourable from the Classics constituency said, “The fault should not be anymore on the ladies whenever they do not go out for sporting activities, because definitely if this continues, no one will go out”. She then appealed to the council to do anything within their power to give the gifts and recognition due to these winners. Honourable Daniel, a member of the Investigative Committee in his speech noted that “it was an unforeseen circumstance”, which he blamed on the situation of the society.

The Deputy Speaker who noted that the case was gender discriminatory, said that the occurrence must be curbed, suggesting that laws be put in place to protect the rights of the female footballers by presenting what is due to them. The question on the provision of medals was directed to the President of the association and she replied that there is not enough funds for that at the moment.

Delay of the Payment of Basic Dues by AFASites

An issue regarding how to generate funds arose due to discussion on insufficient funds for the provision of medals and this points out the delay of the payment of basic dues as at when due. The President of the association mentioned that only 511 members have paid AFAS dues, whereas there are over 2,000 students in the association.

Honourable Divine blamed the faculty for giving the students the leverage to postpone their payment. She said, “students should not be forced to do things that are obligatory”. A debate arose about having a meeting with the Sub Dean. This was countered by Honourable Marcus, Honourable Susan and Honorable Yeboa Daniel, who did not support the motion. With Honorable Divine, Honourable Busayo and six other honourables supporting the motion, the vote of the eight honourables quashed that of the three dissenting honourables.

On the Conduct of Honorable Olalusi Susan

Following the stance the house took on the previous discussion, Honourable Olalusi Susan of the History constituency was said to have walked out of the sitting, and made a series of posts on her WhatsApp status expressing her displeasure towards the conclusion of the House on the debated matter, and was said to have directed such comment against the “FLC sitting”. She was found guilty by the house of the offenses contained in Article 47, section A and B of the new constitution, and upon consensus, she was indefinitely suspended from the house.

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