By Daniels N. Tatya
Talking to Mark Serebe, the new Victoria University student leader or call him the Guild President you realize that he is not the man to demand for so much from the institution as other guild president crave.
His is a pure heart of transparency and passion for his colleagues at the University and his readiness to serve them with all his energies in his one-year tenure in office.
A student leader to the level of a guild president at an institution you may say there are such benefits/privileges like receiving daily, weekly or monthly stipend in terms of allowances and wages, cars to drive in and boss around, such a fancy office, talk airtime, trips abroad and bursaries.
Trust Serebe, those are but not things he focuses on. If he sees a fellow student enjoying studying and life at the University through very proper documented policies then his job is done well and he will be happy for that. The soft spoken leader completely turns you off the route of benefits/privileges and directs you straight to where the Jinja road based institution has a lot to do from the small resource now other than showering him with pleasantries of how he must have won it heading the top most student office and his role as a guild president.
“The University does not have very many resources so i therefore don’t want to talk so much on the benefits and privileges but how we can help increase the numbers of students for now.” He tells this website.
Serebe is thus not disappointed that he won’t enjoy benefits like other University guild presidents. “Unlike other Universities that have been around for ages, Victoria University barely years old so we may not want to press so hard on things that would look like being selfish on my part. I am happy to work in a situation where i won’t be pampered my dear,”
He proudly tells this website. “I want to be a student representative. A link between the students and the University governing body or council. I want to see that the students needs are catered for especially tuition and others and see that i strike a balance and lay a fair ground for everyone.” he adds.
Summing up his strict roles, Mark says there are challenges for him a head. Without fear or favour, he headlines poor or even lack of communication at the University. He says he wants to organise more and more meetings with the University Council so that information easily gets across the board for the students just like the council members.
We all need to know new polices, and other decisions as may be taken by the management. “Students will need to know what is happening and how should they handle life at the University.” He says. Formerly a reserved student concerning school politics back then in his ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels, Serebe took on the Guild-ship because he wanted to get exposure and experiences on many things. How to be a leader, handle accountability and responsibilities are some of the things he wants to get his life through as Guild President.
The 22 year old therefore is using his year tenure in office as a big learning experience in life as he will experience a lot that he has never been or gone through in his student life.
Serebe has been leading a normal life where he could only concentrate on his books and that was it for him. Being a Guild President will therefore help reshape him and help him to see things differently.
Talking about politics outside the school, Serebe does not see himself anywhere in politics in the outside World. Nonetheless, he says the more you grow the more you see things different so he does not guarantee anything after school.
“You never know but i don’t see myself there yet.” Barely a month in office, Serebe’s life has started changing positively and very interesting for him. “It’s interesting from a none responsible student to a very responsible Guild President. Its a beautiful thing knowing that people are counting on you and respecting your decisions and trusting what you say and respecting your opinions.”
He notes Many student leaders would want to leave with a legacy behind and so is Serebe. However for him, he wants to leave and be remembered as a leader who made life easy for students and the management at the Victoria University.
He wants to do this at the academic, management and social fronts. His trust is from the way students pick themselves up at Victoria University. “The University student population is very humble and i am enjoying working with them. Truth be told, the Students are not the type you would expect to strike given their backgrounds.
He notes. “If you look closely at all of them, they are not the type to strike because they come from very disciplined families, schools and themselves pick life so humble.” “Even then, ours here is more of negotiating than dictating terms so i don’t see any student miss behaving.” Serebe explains with examples through the 300 plus student staff.
Right Choice of University;
Speaking about the University, Serebe does not hide from one fact. That Victoria University is the right choice of University and that should be every student’s dream destination for academic excellence.
He says there is such students/lecturers close interactions in a one-on-one policy. He adds that he has never been to the other Universities across the local chart but he can not equate Victoria University to any other University around.
The institution offers a wide variety of courses and qualifications are designed to meet the needs of the market place. They have established links with a number of Professional and Corporate companies and constantly review the portfolio to ensure that it meets both students’ requirements and current sophisticated employer needs.
Upon finishing your years at school, a graduate is equipped with the knowledge and skills required for a successful career in the students’ chosen fields. Such input is provided from researchers, current market and industry practitioners,professional bodies to ensure that the curriculum and content are up-to-date and relevant. The University has a dedicated Career Service team which is always at hand to assist students on embarking on their chosen career after graduation.
Plus, the perfect setting for a student to achieve their full potential. The World class facilities, Ultra-modern Nursing and Health simulation skills lab, all lecture rooms are air conditioned; first class students lobby, top sports facilities, gyms and swimming pools.
Serebe is a ‘Man of passion’ for student/lecturer working good relationship. For his passion for his students, he could not conclude the interview with Xpress Times Uganda without a word to the University management. “Be more open to student ideas because really students have a lot to bring and share in the University.
It’s good to manage what you have but it should be open minded.” For starters, the guild president at Victoria University is entitled to a monthly salary of $420 (Shs 1.4m) while the rest of his four-member cabinet receives a salary of $320 (about Shs 1m). The guild president is also entitled to transport, lunch (outside campus) and airtime allowance worth $80 (Shs 270,000) monthly.
Serebe is the latest Guild President of the Victoria University, democratically voted and replacing Mariah Peggy Nabunya who was the first female guild president of the Jinja Road based University.
Serebe as a guild president will have Sarah Musubika, a Bsc Public Health student as the general secretary, Zimbabwe’s Patience Mandiringa, a BSc Human Nutrition and Dietetics student as senator faculty of health sciences, Nalugya Victoria as senator faculty of business management and Martha Kenkwanzi as senator faculty of humanities and social sciences.
Serebe is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource Management becomes the University’s fourth guild president. Fact File: Full Names-Mark Serebe Age:22 Course: BAHRM (Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource Management) Year: Second year Former schools: King’s College Budo Buddo S.S Job: Works at Real Forex Markets Parents; Born to Mr. Micheal Serebe and Aidah Kasirye of Lukulu in Makindye