Day 138 (Alma Mater?)

Mood: Preachy

Mode: On y va


I had initially planned on using this opportunity to discuss just how Kenya sorely needs leadership and how low we’ve stooped as a country when you can no longer distinguish your political ‘leaders’ from your religious ‘leaders’ and your student ‘leaders’. Putting ‘leader’ in quotation marks is far from harsh or judgmental if the on-going debate surrounding the proposed Constitution coupled with the recent Main Campus ‘post-election violence’ is anything to go by. Anyways, I’ll get around to doing that “leadership” post later but right now let me just say this about ‘alma maters’.
We all went to different universities and studied different things but the one thing that is the same for all of us is the formative role our campus experience played in our lives both socio-culturally and academically. That’s why I love the aptness of the term “alma mater” in describing the institutions of learning we’ve attended. It’s original Roman translation: “bountiful mother” goes a long way in describing the way in which university/college life shapes us in one way or another into the adult men and women we later become: like it or not!

Therefore I believe it is our duty, as alumni of the various institutions we attended, to continue to keep close ties with our alma-maters and atleast try to play a positive role in ensuring that the standards dont go down and that its good name is not tarnished. It doesnt have to be much, for example taking the initiative to set up an alumni association among your ex-classmates could be a great way of helping out. If there’s an alumni association already in place, get involved in the affairs being discussed and help out with the issues highlighted as well as potential problems your ex-school/uni/college could be facing. People need to understand that if the ranking or the standards or the good name of your alma-mater is diminished, it indirectly affects you because your C.V will always bear that institution’s name! It’s simple really, if there’s nothing else you can offer the alma-mater that ‘birthed’ and ‘raised’ you, atleast take an interest in what’s going on there via the web, blogs, daily news, alumni networks etc. Do not under-estimate your collective power as alumni! Ensuring your alma-mater’s reputation and social standing remains as good as it once was if not better is a responsibility we all should take head on!

Take our dear University of Nairobi which has ‘given birth to’ and ‘raised’ some of the brightest minds and most well known public figures in the country, why cant all these influential alumni finally take a REAL interest in their alma-mater and put pressure on both the administration and the students’ association to root out mis-management, tribalism and corruption? Just wondering.

In the mean-time, I strolled past my favourite campus today only to find scenes like these….

Now playing: Asher Roth – ‘I Love College’

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