He was the longest-serving President of the Student Government Association, but Law graduate Taslim Oladoja prefers to quote Edmund Burke: "Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who does nothing because he could do only a little.” Taslim's tenure was indeed a challenging period for everyone, not just the students alone. The world grappled with a devastating pandemic that forced an unanticipated paradigm shift in human communication and community life. Classrooms were shut, but thanks to AUN's towering technological endowment, the switch to online learning was seamless, and there were no issues ensuing uninterrupted education in Africa's first Development University.
Taslim's cool-headedness and leadership played a significant role in galvanizing students to work around the new reality and even make the best of the situation, especially in sustaining the social connections upon which campus life rests.
Dean Bullock Byron would remember Taslim's Presidency as "an excellent tenure where the students' interest was most important."
Mr. Oladoja himself would describe his tenure as "challenging yet rewarding". But, he recalls, the SGA's finances were poor when he assumed office in 2019, and he and his team had to "rely on other ways to do the little they could.” "We had to improvise and do stuff that requires little to no money at all.”
“I am happy that during my tenure, students had reason to believe in the SGA. My team and I made sure we were proactive on issues surrounding student life. In order to be listened to, we lobbied, and we were very diplomatic to the authorities until our voices were heard. We successfully exposed students with talents such as fashion, music, and dance to others through an Art Festival hosted in 2019, while a startup session was held for entrepreneurial-minded students.
"We were able to connect AUN students to the American University of Paris, through which they made friends, created networks and shared ideas on global issues.”
His successor, Daniel Omuabor, commended the work Taslim has done. "Taslim inspired me to run for office. He is the quiet but influential type. He fought hard for students' welfare. Getting people to work together as a team is his greatest asset as a leader. VP Byron agreed: "Taslim is a tremendous leader and serious personality. He was able to balance academic work and leadership with an admirable pose."
Taslim has some advice for the incoming administration: They should continue from where his team left. "They should know when to raise the heat in other to get things done and never give up."
Reported by Bitwul Dashe