As associations and student-led bodies enter into the final week of administration, a great deal of stock-taking will inevitably ensue. Accounts of stewardship will be delivered virtually or at an in-person meeting, and the bulk of what will be displayed are ‘successes’ and ‘challenges.

Microsoft’s co-founder Bill Gates famously teaches that “It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” This quote affirms failure as an ‘inevitable part of life and an opportunity to learn and improve.’

This draws into concern the standpoint student leaders take whenever the annual ritual of ‘account of stewardship’ occurs. It creates a faux idea that an administration that represented a thousand members for about a year finished off without any failures. Perhaps, it sits in tandem with the culture of not openly speaking about one’s failings.

Undoubtedly, albeit inconspicuously, Alexander Brown Hall has been plunged into some of its most stagnated moments in its immediate history- since most of us began to identify as ‘Brownites.’ The more significant worry does not lie in the fact that the hall now thrives in its current state but in the fact this is the picture being handed down to incoming Brownites to refer to as ‘good old days.

How has it come to this? How is it that a hall which was previously complimented for its bliss has contracted to a lacklustre shell?

A few believe that the warning signs were there and nobody heeded. The fashion in which the last manifesto night occurred- via Instagram Live with a modest number of participants not exceeding 50, including candidates, members of the electoral committee, and interested Brownites is one of the many red flags alongside the sub-standard quality of screening that candidates were subjected to.

The failings of the Revamped Agenda are substantial and must be remembered if the incoming ABH exco are to salvage something from the wreckage.

It reads as follows:

Failure to regulate Prestige cafeteria
The food quantity served at prestige has been on a steady decline, with the most immediate threat being the intent to sell plantain at 3pieces for 50 naira, which further led to a decrease in the size of plantain pieces traded.
The reluctance of the staff of prestige cafeteria to cook and sell food past 9 pm in recent weeks. The constant issue where cafeteria attendants sell food in take-away packs with the inappropriate excuse that there’s been no water to wash plates.

Failure to address the dubious 50naira transfer charged per transaction at FAAF stores and Spicy Bites.
Other concerns, such as the constant price hike at these two outlets, have been a constant source of worry. While it is understandable that stores in the hall operate in a free market system, the Revamped Agenda has failed to protect Brownites from the dishonest profiteering that is now commonplace.

The consequent paralysis of ABH ventures despite the spending of 40% of all collected hall dues in this tenure on it.

The apparent failure to conclude ABH football league or return the fee paid by team owners to join the now truncated league.

The death and burial of ABH fit, which once used to be the poster child of the sports ministry.

The failure to carry on the past female affairs administration activities.
This paved the way for a robust debate on the floor of the hall assembly to scrap the office of the female ministry and relevant committees.

The failure to replace burnt-out security lights on many floor corridors and in dark corners around ABH installed during the ‘Transcending Limits’ tenure.

Constant delays or omissions in communicating to Brownites via memos.
Notable cases include failure to publish a notice detailing why a dinner did not hold during the ABH week. More recently, a failure to communicate plans to address the sewage crisis engulfing the ABH pitch has now left E and F block occupants exposed to dried-up fecal content.

A seemingly weaker hall assembly.
The hall assembly is not just perceived as weak; it has grossly been taken for granted in this ‘Revamped Agenda’ administration. This was evidenced by the administration’s failure to inform the assembly before increasing the hall dues by 50%. The weakness of the hall assembly is not unrelated to the fact that a considerable fraction of representatives lost their seats on grounds of incompetence- further raising concerns that many run for the post of office just for the prize of bedspace

Failure to deliver on campaign promises.
A full-length article will be required to highlight the false assurances that many members of this current executive council rode on to be elected. Worthy of note are the promises to revamp the open dumpsite in the hall and provide a roof. ABH Press recalls that a particular executive promised to furnish G Block with wastebins, which have now become empty promises.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Maybe there are solutions to many of the failings highlighted above. The Revamped Agenda still has a few weeks to put the house in order before the key is handed over.

The Brownites intending to run for offices when the electoral ban is lifted must be thoroughly screened. Beyond spurting plans at an organised manifesto night, candidates should be mandated to describe how they intend to carry out their projects with well-monitored targets.

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