Why JKUAT Needs To Get Rid Of Alumni Living Around The Varsity

Once you check into a higher-learning institution, it’s almost fulfilling the dream that your parents have always had for you or maybe one of yours. Graduation is very hyped and very desired by many… why? It is the way to success for many or at least that is seen as the societal rule.

It is all food, visitors, sponsors, promises and even employment on the horizon… but, some individuals are forgotten; those that *passed *failed or were nowhere in the list. You see, going through campus in today’s world doesn’t mean you made it, especially in Kenya, it is usually the beginning of another road if you lack proper connection networks either in the government or the private sector.

Kenyan universities are geographically located in different areas across towns and cities, and as it should be, residential areas develop rapidly around these learning institutions, growing a very diverse demographic. As students enroll in and out of the institutions, some former students and staff still reside in these areas and lack of population management within the school’s proximity has been seen to be hazardous and dangerous both to the institution and its members. A good example is JKUAT.

The last months of 2019 saw a series of demonstrations and protests by students owing to insecurity around the school with fingers pointing at Gachororo slum, one that holds hundreds of residents near the institution. Cases of rape, theft, assault and mob gangs both during the day and night are most reported in the area, not to forget the large drug network in the area neighbored by a police station. Investigating further on who these goons could be, students in the school tell me these said thieves, rapist and drug lords are former students of JKUAT who either dropped out, lacked resources to sustain them in school, joined gangs as well as those who found comfort in drugs and alcohol dens. Lack of employment is also why many have chosen to stay around the school for the cheap life and familiarity of the area. These compromise both female and male alumni of JKUAT.

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You see, in this same school, there are those living in mansions with adequate supply of cash and resources from their parents, whereas there are those living and anguishing in poverty, even sleeping in lecture rooms, library or if lucky enough, dangling on a friend’s bed just to make it to the next class. For some of them to eat, they have to plot how to run away from either a butchery or hotel before the bill is placed on the table or before the attendant demands in person or else the will sleep hungry. If you ask around the many butcheries and hotels strategically placed around the school, they will tell you how ridiculously they lose to such cases.

Drugs are a major player in university schools and if you have been to one, the ability to afford this puts you on a higher level than the ‘broke’ students. You are recognized by name and greeted along corridors and streets either by your nickname or surname to emphasize recognition. As long as you have the coins to either buy a few cups of Keg or mzingas, you are a kingpin. This, as a result, has put so much pressure on students who in return pressure their parents for entertainment allowances either in the name of money for printing and photocopy, or any other tricks that exist behind these gates. Some stick around for years exceeding the course duration just for the fan of it and they manage to stay balling because they can. If you have heard of them, these remain in the first year or second year of the course for even 5years, drinking and spoiling comrades.

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By not controlling the population around these institutions, students and staff members will always suffer such cases, and this will make our institutions more and more insecure for admission. They release career professionals and professional goons in equal measure. To continue ignoring the hazards brought about by maintaining such a population around the schools will mean restlessness and attacks that could be prevented.

Gathoni Kuria

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