Makerere university's Livingstone Hall launches code of conduct

Makerere university's Livingstone Hall launches code of conduct
Dr. Allan Birabi, Stephen Kateega and Solomon Musisi at the launch
Dr. Allan Birabi, Stephen Kateega and Solomon Musisi at the launch

Livingstone Hall has launched a code of conduct to guide student relations in the Halls of residence. This code, the first of its kind, is written in line with the Makerere University rules and regulations.

It among other things prohibits students from crossing the Hall quadrangles in towels on any occasion, playing loud music and using drugs.

At the launch, a reformed student (names withheld) shared his experience on the use of drugs, adding that he was drawn to the practice by peer pressure.  This student was lucky to have been rehabilitated and is now pursuing his studies aggressively to make up for lost time.

“Without rules and regulations on this, anyone can stray. It starts with a small puff, then another and another,” he shared in relation to smoking marijuana.

Students also shared experiences on being ‘exported’ when their roommates had female visitors, and were optimistic that the code of conduct will address this. Other halls of residence are welcome to adopt the code.

Dr. Allan Birabi-CEDAT, who represented the DVCFA Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe at the launch, encouraged students to stay focused amidst the many challenges.

“Your generation stands in a challenging time when values have evaporated. Do the right thing, at the right time, in the right place and the right way. Narcotics have no value addition but rather subtract from you,” he said.  “You are the future. You have the will power to make the right decisions and this is all up to you,” he added.

The Deputy Dean of students, Stephen Kateega called upon students to rise up to the challenge and abide by their own code of conduct. He was glad that the students have ably differentiated between their “rights and responsibilities by drafting the code of conduct.”

This code was initiated by one of the students, Solomon Kalema Musisi who requested that the code be published annually to all freshmen. The Hall Warden, Amos Tukamushaba, pledged that Livingstone Hall will indeed abide by this code.

 A visit to the Makerere University Counseling and Guidance Centre, located opposite Mary Stuart Hall, reveals that the number of students battling drug addiction is on the increase. According to the Centre’s Manager, Henry Nsubuga, the increase is partly as a result of increased awareness of this Centre’s presence.

“Many of the cases of drug abuse are students whose icons are celebrities. These students think that if the big Jamaican musicians are taking drugs, then it is the way to becoming a star. But this is not true, there are many big musicians who are not on drugs,” he says.

The Warden, Amos Tukamushaba, addressing students
The Warden, Amos Tukamushaba, addressing students

The students take a variety of drugs including kruber, marijuana, mirra, injectables like cocaine and smoke shisha. All these are obtained from suppliers in neighbouring slums and other areas.

“Many of these students have confessed that they started taking drugs while in secondary school and with the freedom at the university, they graduated in the practice. Some of them have as a result failed to finish their studies,” add Nsubuga.

The centre has now started a special drug-support group to help students who are trying to get off drugs. “Drug and alcohol addiction is a disease, so you have to be treated over a long period of time. This is what we hope to achieve in the support group which runs between 3:00pm and 4:00pm every Thursday,” explains Nsubuga.

Nsubuga says drug addiction is now a national problem and the authorities are not doing enough to curb it.

Monnie Lubega, a Senior Counselor at the Centre reveals that last semester, the centre handled about 10 cases of drug and alcohol abuse. She further reveals that students presenting with academic related concerns are equally many.

“Some of these students have diverted their tuition into business ventures and failed to reap back the money in time to clear their tuition. Last semester, three students were threatening to commit suicide over the same but we counseled them against it. Others have accumulated a lot of retakes and a selected few are battling with love relationship issues,” she adds.

Follow this link to read the code of conduct for Livingstone Hall

By Marion Alina, Public Relations Office, Makerere university

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