The ‘Team Evolution’ Notebook: What is and What Should Be

By: Dion

A hallmark of tenure conclusion for most halls of residence, departments, and faculties in the University of Ibadan is the distribution of packages to the members of said bodies; specifically, those who had paid their membership dues for the session. For halls, in particular, these packages usually consist of a notebook and one more item eg. a hoodie, drawstring bag, etc for those who pay an additional fee. 

A few weeks ago, the Indy Hall Executives announced that distribution had commenced for the notebooks, and seeing as I had only just started to use the one given in the previous session, I decided to put off collection until next – now this – week. All the same, I was interested in seeing what it looked like this year, having had a reservation concerning the previous notebook. So, I checked them out, and as it turns out, this reservation still stands. 

My skepticism had to do with the choice of content within the notebooks. Consider this: On the inner portion of the front cover, there’s a farewell speech from the current and soon-to-be outgoing Administrator General, that occupies the entire page. The last leaflet has a pageful of advertisements on one page, and on about two-thirds of the other, pictures and names of the 2021/2022 Legislative Council; with the remnant including the Hall Anthem, a list of Hall Supervisors, a group picture of the previously highlighted legislators, and just barely, pictures of the Hall Master and Hall Warden.

On the inner portion of the back cover, two different sets of pictures of the current Hall Executives with a minute segment at the bottom for pictures and names of the current Mr. Indy, Chairman of the Hall Week Committee, Hall Week Committee Vice-Chairman, President of the Indy Hall Alumni Committee, and the Captain of the Hall football team, the Katanga Elites. Finally, on the cover page itself, pictures and names of the Hall Executives for the 2021/2022 session. 

An inclusion of the Hall’s Literary and Debating Society? Absent! Anything to remotely hint at the existence of Indy Press? Not in the slightest. There wasn’t even a befitting highlight of the Katanga Elites; a team that has arguably done more for the unity of Katanga than the so-called ‘Team Evolution’. Instead, like the administration before them, the Executives decided to plaster their faces on multiple pages in what I assume to be an attempt at creating a legacy.

Little wonder why year-in, year-out, an immense amount of publicity has to be conducted for recruitment into the hall’s LnD. Also, why during competitions like Jaw War, the turnout of supporters for Indy Hall is always abysmal compared to other Halls having even lesser population. Lest anyone argue that this is mostly due to the performance of the LnD, our neighbours in the Baluba Republic and Queen Idia Hall haven’t done any better in recent years, yet they muster a sizeable deal of support at NFLT each time compared to us. Or has the Press not performed well too? An organisation that has for the last four years in a row, won the UCJ Award for the best Local Press Organisation; its members carting away other accolades within and outside the university. It’s laughable, to say the least. 

Furthermore, it speaks to a lack of ingenuity on the part of the current administration that the same pattern from the 2020/2021 notebook was repeated. Asides from the use of a different printing press, the only changes made were the inclusion of the Chairman of the Alumni Body and football team captain, whereas, there could have been a short section on facts and relevant history concerning Independence Hall eg. its date of creation, a list of notable alumni, wins at Inter-Hall competitions, the origin of the name ‘Katanga’ among others. For a hall as rich in history as this, the options are almost limitless. Also, there could have been a photo section for events held during the tenure like Hall Gyrations, the Freshers Welcome, etc. Ultimately, it’s just a reflection of the lack of innovation that seems to be a defining feature for several of the current executives. 

That said, the overall quality of the notebook is commendable. Even prior to my actual side-by-side comparison with the previous notebook , it was easy to see that these designs were of a better quality. Also, the binding for this appears better as both the back and front cover pages separates more easily from the rest of the note. The size of the notebook and layout of the leaflet weren’t changed; about 180 to 200 leaves and both pages of each leaflet were lined respectively. And these choices are quite optimal considering the uses for which they would most likely be employed by students. 

One could also appreciate the timeliness of the distribution of the notebooks at a time when we would actually need it rather than waiting till the end of the semester. We’re currently at the peak of academic activities for the session; where people typically have more to study for, as well as classes to attend, than in the first semester. So, it makes more sense that the collection should start now.  

Still, I wish more consideration could be put into those five pages that are designated for promotional and tenure-representing purposes. They could be used to highlight so much more than the executive council in three different sets of outfits! One of the best ways to keep the living aspects of this ‘living hall’ alive is to showcase them to the world and emphasize their importance in maintaining the ecosystem that is Katanga. Otherwise, you’ll be sending a message that the only way to serve the hall is via an elective position, and this is nothing short of problematic. It’s my sincere hope that there be a new dimension to these notebooks in the next administration, without foregoing the overall quality of production, of course. 

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