The immediate past President of the Graduate Students Association of Ghana (GRASAG), UCC Chapter, Mr. Seth Odame-Mensah, has called on the new executives of the association to be united and focused in their quest to serve their members.
Mr. Odame-Mensah said this when he handed over the leadership mantle of GRASAG to Mr. Benjamin Sundeme, at a ceremony held at the Main Auditorium. The newly-elected executives of GRASAG were sworn into office at the ceremony
The former GRASAG President said despite all the challenges his team faced, they were always united to work together to deliver their campaign promises. “Your human relation skills must be on top as a team even in the toughest of times. What kept my team going was the ability to manage in unity, we had our trials, scandals and challenges but because we were united you never heard about much quarrels,” he charged the new president and his executives.
Past president (in black suit ) handing over to new president
“Whiles we were grappling to deal with challenges from the system to achieve our goals, much distractions were also being orchestrated by some of our colleagues who, instead of coming on board to help find solutions to the problems, were rather trying to gain prominence by disseminating false ideas and deliberately appealing to the deepest hate responses within the human minds,” he noted. Mr. Odame-Mensah therefore, appealed to members of the association to stop such attitude which according to him was causing unnecessary tension in students’ politics.
According to Mr. Odame-Mensah his team made great strides during their term in office. Among the achievements he catalogued organising research training; introducing Graduate Empowerment Summit, maiden disbursement of research funds to members and International Women’s’ day celebration seminar. Others included part payment of school fees policy; Graduate Assistantship programme; refund of medical bills to students; Representation on the Graduate Hostel Management Board and Lobbying of SRC to support GRASAG Research Fund.
The former GRASAG President praised the former Organizer, Ebenezer Kwesi Armah-Ansah, who was the head of the Sports and Entertainment Committee and Rahmat Aboagye a 2nd year MPhil student for organizing females who won gold medals in the inter-hall games (netball, tennis and shot put).
On behalf of the former executives, he congratulated Mr. Sundeme and the other executives on their successful election and pledged to support the new president and his team whenever the need arose.
Speaking at the ceremony, the new President, Mr. Sundeme expressed gratitude to members for the show of confidence and exceptional mandate conferred on him and the other executives. He also thanked his predecessor, the past Senate Chair and Senators, Chief Justice and members of the Judicial Council of GRASAG.
The President of GRASAG assured members of the association that his team would do its best to restore confidence and trust in members have lost in the association. He implored the new leadership of Senate and Senators, Chief Justice and prospective members of various committees of the association to stand out in the discharge of their duties. He also extended a hand of invitation to all those who contested in various positions but could not make it to come on board to work towards the forward match of GRASAG.
Mr. Sundeme noted that under his term of office, he would build stronger ties between GRASAG and the School of Graduate Studies to find solution to challenges postgraduate students face in UCC. “I always say that student leaders can never fight management in finding solution to the challenges of their followers but rather, we must cajole them by putting up good cases and fostering warm relations,” he added.
The Vice-Dean of Students, Dr. Eugene Darteh, who was the guest of honour at the function commended GRASAG for conducting a peaceful election. He praised Mr. Seth-Odame and his team for their dedicated service to the association and the cordial relationship they established with management whilst in office. He urged the past executives to ensure that they complete their thesis and for that matter their programme of studies on schedule noting that “you must distinguish yourself not only in student leadership but also in academics because that is the only evidence that you’ve successfully completed your postgraduate studies”.
Dr. Darteh advised the current executives to learn how to relate well with the School of Graduate Studies in particular and the University management in general so that they would achieve their objectives for the association and also have their grievances addressed. He noted that the University would always apply the rules and regulations in the students’ handbook whenever appropriate however, “nobody in management is happy to apply a rule that will negatively affect students.”
The function was chaired by the Vice-Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, Prof. Kankam Boadu. Present were President of the Students Representative Council (SRC), Mr. Tony Arthur and other executives of the SRC and National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) UCC chapter.