Undergraduates seek stiffer sanctions for cruel lecturers
Unfortunately, the societal backlash towards victims of rape and sexual harassment has silenced many students who will receive condemnation upon speaking out rather than justice.
However, some undergraduates who are saddened by the situation have suggested that stiffer sanction from government to the culprit is one sure way of curtailing the act.
They said if government at different levels have used one lecturer as a scapegoat, others would have learnt their lessons, and begin to see their students as their younger sisters or even their daughters.
A mass communication student at Ebonyi State University (EBSU), who pleaded anonymity, affirmed that lecturers still harass students directly and indirectly in their campus.
According to her, “Some are so stupid about it, while some are smart. The stupid ones will make you understand how you won’t fail their courses and how important it is graduating with good grades. They will lure and pressurise you to the point of willingly giving in to their demands and having your peace, which is very sad. And then, they move on to another student, depending on their interest.
“While the smart ones, will, first of all, psych you to know whether you are interested or principled. Whatever the outcome of their analysis is, if they truly want you, they will surely get you. The fear of carryover has made a lot of students to succumb to lecturers. This is outside those that are actually interested in such lecturers. But we have discovered that most times, the lecturers prefer the reserved students.”
For Ummu Lawal, “I try as much as possible to keep a low-profile in school because once a lecturer or a student that is close to a lecturer notices you, it may spell trouble for you. I have friends that lecturers threaten to fail because they like them and they want to have sex with them. Even with the management’s threat that whoever that is caught exploiting students will be severely punished, lecturers still harass students sexually.
“Our appeal is that government should do more, maybe they should pronounce stiffer measures and implement it on those caught and proven guilty, probably it may end it,” Lawal said.
Oyebola Opeyemi from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), said lecturers regularly threaten most students especially the females if they refuse to yield to their advances. “I have seen cases where lecturers threaten female students that if they tell anyone, they would have to spend an extra year.”
Victory Johnson said, one of the reasons lecturers do that without a second thought is “because they know that should the student report to the school authority, nothing will happen. The school authority will definitely take sides with the lecturer and turn the table against the students.”
A student who wished to remain anonymous, said, “my lecturer went as far as failing me in my examination so that I can be visiting his office regularly, so he will have his way.”
She recalled that it came to a point that the lecturer began to comment about her curves even when she wore loose clothes. “A certain day, he drew her bra strap, even when my blouse left no trace of it, it was that bad.”
Suggesting measure to abate the act, Daniel Marakwe, a student of UNILAG, stressed the need for students to have mentors or counselors that they can freely go and talk to at any time”.
Akande Timothy, also a UNILAG suggested that awareness and sensitisation programmes would give victims the opportunity to speak up and get help.”