WHAT’S IN A HALL WEEK CELEBRATION?

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They are always elaborately planned, well-hyped, well-patronised. And they cost ‘well’ too.

Hall week celebrations are important annual events of halls of residence on university campuses.

As a student of the University of Ghana for nearly three years, I have witnessed several of these impressive, grand and fun-filled occasions.

But I have never really joined in these ‘festivals’ wholeheartedly; my doubting side, the questioning part, keeps nudging me to look beyond the glamour and pageantry, to subject the whole exercise to some scrutiny.

Faint illumination from taillights of vehicles plying the road

Faint illumination from taillights of vehicles plying the road that leads to the TF hostel

Some students see hall week celebrations as an outright waste of time and resources. They feel that dedicating a whole week and colossal amounts of already overburdened students’ money( not all students are burdened though) to such yearly events is pointless. Such people nevertheless pay for the celebrations through their hall dues!

Several halls have already held their celebrations this semester, notably the Legon Hall and the James Topp Nelson Yankah ( TF ) Hostel.

Activities for these celebrations usually range from clean up exercises, seminars, gospel shows through fun games and cooking competitions to artistes’ night.

Predictably, the hall leadership often struggles to get patrons for the non-entertaining activities like seminars and lectures ( and what is it with lectures? Don’t we attend a lot already?)

In my view the entertaining events are usually over-patronised. And when a star like Sarkodie storms campus, one has to pray binding the demons of stampedes. Come and see crowd!

Clearly, there are benefits to the hall, and I suspect much more to the JCR leadership. While I am not against such observations, I find the magnitude depressing.

Let’s face it. If you spend money bringing artistes to perform live on a well-decorated rented stage and after the merriment,the entertained students go back to rooms with faulty locks, wouldn’t you have better served them if you had repaired the locks first?

Now if students found it difficult to sleep at night because their fans were faulty, wouldn’t you sort that challenge first before inviting them to a ‘jamboree’?

Or if students had clogged sinks and ‘inconvenient’ places of convenience, would you solve that problem by inviting them to a cooking competition?

And if students were persistently attacked because the road to their residence had malfunctioning streetlights, would you start resolving that problem by spending their dues on a hall week ‘bazaar’?

Whatever the case may be, hall week celebrations have their pride of place. And like in every endeavour, there are winners and losers. The choice is always the student’s.

Emmanuel Asakinaba

Posted by Emmanuel Asakinaba

Student, UG. Poet. Activist. Writer.

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