By: Gideon Oyeyinka
As a fresher, hearing a knock on your door by 12 am, while settling down for TDB may seem rather strange, but on answering, you find out that a set of people — whom you’d eventually know to be ‘Marshals’ — are on patrol, ensuring the safety of the hall inhabitants and maybe most importantly, your gadgets, because what’s a UI student without an electronic gadget or the other.
First, we all need to understand that Police is our friend, sorry, Marshals are our friends and they patrol during the silent hours of the night, all for the safety of every Katangite.
Remember, I said these Marshals are ensuring first, our safety. Well, why do they get to a room and find its door unlocked and its inhabitants fast asleep and the first things they look out for and eventually take, are the gadgets that needs ‘protection’, while they get to another room, its door similarly unlocked, but with one person awake and they proclaim “come and lock your door”? What happened to the miracle of sleeping and waking up in the other room?
I still prefer to call them ‘our friends’, but with my room door in a bad condition, which is almost the plight of an average C-blockite, who is to blame for the poor state of the facility?
A Marshal should get to my room and I should be able to tell at first glance that these are my friends on patrol, by a means of identification, but when I have more slides to La cram, La pour, you don’t expect me to create space to cram all their names and even match it with their faces, knowing full well that any of these patrollers can show up at any time.
If their excuse is that their budget hasn’t been approved, what about adopting makeshift methods, like cutting a piece of cardboard into an ID card shape and writing the necessary Marshal details (prolly with a passport attached to it) with the signature of the Defence Commissioner himself appended to it, for authenticity, so they have fewer explanations to make at people’s rooms.
Nature can decide to pull its trigger on me, making me sleep off during my TDB session and much to my negligence, I didn’t lock my door, because I didn’t sleep at all since evening and since I would be awake all night, locking the door didn’t even cross my mind. I wake up to discover my gadget has gone missing, I search the last seen place, ask around, till I eventually declare it stolen and then, compose a memo on the Hall’s WhatsApp group for it to be returned if found.
In response, someone enters my DM and directs me to the Defence Commissioner, to go and check in with him, just in case it was ‘protected’ during their patrols the previous night and there I found my gadget sitting pretty in a pool of other protected gadgets.
Why does it have to happen this way? What happened to accountability and ‘declaration of retrieved gadgets during patrol’ by the next morning or during the next day, or should we all just keep them as the first point of contact when our gadgets go missing overnight and be rest assured that it’s in their possession? Should there even be anything like this? What if a random fresher doesn’t even know these Marshals exist as he’s not a TDB person?
What about those gadgets that don’t eventually get re-claimed by their rightful owners, what do these Marshals do with them? These are important questions for them to answer as they supposedly strive to remain our friends.