By Bekai Njie
The University of the Gambia (UTG) yesterday elected first female student president. Fatou Jeng, a third year journalism student is the 17th student president in the university’s 17-year history, signalling an end to schoolism that gripped the university for many years now.
Electing a student president from School of Journalism and Digital Media, the university’s newest school will help fight a system of monopoly in which big schools make decisions about who become president of the students’ union. Ms. Jeng, like her predecessors faces monumental challenges in the university, including the new digital form of registration that students are currently in trouble with.
Her formidable challenger Sheikh Hydara conceded defeat today and congratulated her, saying; “I have accepted the will of God, and above all, students’ choice. My services shall be readily available if you need it. May Allah guide, protect and give you the strength and support to lead the SU to the desired destination.”
“Fellow students of the University of the Gambia, I wish to unreservedly thank you all for exercising a great sense of maturity and concern to see a better UTGSU during the election process. This shows that there is hope for the future and that UTG is bigger than any of us coupled with our differences.”
He equally thanked the UTG Electoral Commission for staging what he called yet a very free, fair and transparent elections. “Your impartiality throughout the process was fundamental in ensuring that the unequivocal voice of the students are heard through their votes.”
Ms. Jeng also hailed her challengers, pointing out that the victory isn’t hers but the students.
“My great partners in the race – from both Team for Progress and Alliance, you’ve proven a point. You’ve shown great ambition and maturity. I invite you all to pursue your great agenda for the students with us! The victory is a university victory that belongs to all students,” she said.
“When I was declared winner of the presidential post, I didn’t celebrate. I couldn’t. Instead, my mind began to swirl around the mountainous challenges we face as a university. But I was also consoled by the monumental opportunities at our disposal.”