Cutting in line popularly known as “shunting” has become the default order of the day on the Unilorin campus. In resignation, most Unilorites have accepted shunting as a necessary evil that we all must live with. They believe little or nothing can be done about it.
This undesirable act has defied every move made by the school authority especially at designated points during the usual Computer Based Test (CBT) exercise, and the Students’ Union, during its regular coordinating activity at the school park mainly on week days. The negative effects of shunting on the student populace cannot be over-emphasised.
A study defines cutting in line (shunting) as the act of entering a queue or line at any position other than the end – an act that runs contrary to the standard policy of “first come, first served.”
Many a time, we have pondered on whether some Unilorites understand the ABCs of line etiquette. How can someone, who just arrived at a long queue, cuts in at the expense of others who must have been in waiting for over thirty minutes? This is absolutely preposterous and unacceptable.
A study conducted by Sharjah University revealed that most people who break in lines without genuine reasons and respect for law or other people, have psychotic disorders. Could this be the case with “professional shunters” on campus?
Furthermore, it is trite knowledge that shunting has some social and psychological implications – it breeds conflict which often leads to altercations and sometime, violent confrontation.
The above assertion resonates with a study which reveals the following:
“A person cutting in line has a 54% chance that others in the line will object. With two people cutting in line, there is a 91.3% chance that someone will object. The proportion of people objecting from anywhere behind the cutter is 73.3%, with the person immediately behind the point of intrusion objecting most frequently.”
What is even more surprising is the fact that most Unilorites see nothing wrong with shunting. “No big deal,” according to them. This is summarised in the popular cliche which holds that it is insane to be sane in an insane society. In other words, if you cannot beat them, join them. As such, a law-abiding student ends up bearing the brunt lawlessness.
There is a dire need for a paradigm change. In fact, honour, integrity and obeisance have a pride of place in society. Not just because the Federal Government has flagged off its “Change Begin With Me” campaign but the very fact that, it is the right thing to do.
It is more honourable to act within the ambit of the law, and also conform to laid down norms and values. In terms of morality, there is no justification for shunting save for strong exceptional cases. Shunting only worsens the already existing bad transport system on campus.
We would like to use this medium to implore the leadership of Unilorin Students’ Union to look into this matter with the utmost sense of urgency. This clarion call is timely especially now that Unilorin is getting ready to begin a new academic session.
We are abreast of the predisposing factors responsible for the long queues at the school park especially during peak periods. We know it is not an easy task to manage human and material resources.
But then, problems have solutions. The difference between the “ordinary” leader and the “extra-ordinary” leader is the prefix, “extra.” Thus, the former is clueless or upholds the status quo while the latter thinks out of the box in order to proffer lasting solutions to problems.
For instance, the existing number of campus shuttles are far less than the teeming population of Unilorin students; location of the school; Dearth of crowd management personnel (one of the factors responsible for their ineffectiveness); Constitutional clause on capital expenditure; and indecorum at the park by passengers – all of which add to the frustration and impatience by all and sundry and therefore, making shunting inevitable.
It is up to the S.U. leadership to determine its priority projects and execute them in that order. However, we believe the issue of long queues and its attendant problems are not mutually exclusive. Our intent is to remind the S.U. leadership of the need to give utmost attention to the lingering problem of long queues on campus.
It is hoped that the Determination of Unilorin Students’ Union will remain Unshakeable amidst the protracted menace of shunting on campus.
This write-up is a weekly editorial of the Union of Campus Journalists, University of Ilorin Chapter.
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