Class reps should be compensated…

Students

A class rep role is so stretched out like a too small scoop of peanut butter on a too large slice of bread. The role is also so thankless.

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A class rep limps, sometimes crawls, so that the classmates can walk. The role deems them omniscient gods and us the awestruck followers.

They have a cornucopia of chores. Gracing a lecturer’s wallpaper might be one of the innumerable tasks as Kenyans on Twitter came to realise. This is after a picture made rounds on social media alleys of a lecturer sharing his laptop screen during a PowerPoint presentation. Emblazoned on his wallpaper was a pretty girl purported to be a class rep. As most of tweets would conclude, that was probably her sure ticket to a first class or the prosaic partnership between the lecturer and class rep had changed course.

Away from the happenstance, what really does it take to be a class rep? Should they be remunerated for the responsibility? Our class rep Mike downed his tools earlier last week. Though not on a six figure salary, he tendered his resignation like a civil servant would. In a country where the poor either fall behind or get pregnant and the celebrities earn a lofty title by chasing clout or becoming politicians, Mike had decided to take the big step and vie for Member of County Assembly for the Kanyamkado Ward where he hails from. He deferred this semester and off he sauntered, armed with an arsenal of promises and youthful vigour. We as a class bade him Ciao and good luck in his political ambitions.

Totally oblivious were we of his irreplaceability. We were not half witted kids that needed checking on, but he had been our domestic manager. Days later, it started with slight tremors in form of a missed class. Then it blossomed to no classes, no assignments submissions and the ever lively class WhatsApp group became a mourning vigil. By midweek, it was a full earthquake. Chances were even a Richter scale wouldn’t be able to measure our angst. The class was literally pitched in Kondele, an S.1 unit of chaos. We couldn’t access handouts as everyone had an ego as fragile as a summer bunny’s accent to reach out to the lecturer. Getting a whiff of the class venue required connections like eating a meal at a big man’s funeral.

A meeting was convened with the same urgency of a preambles text, days after a throes of passion Valentine’s hang out. The classmates decided to select a defacto representative whilst we awaited the return of Mike. My name, Tyson, inevitably came up in the succession. I turned down the plan with the agility of Mike Tyson but the “people” had already decided.

I take to the responsibility with the determination of a green card hopeful and the patience of a Simpson. I liaise with the respective lecturers in ensuring their lectures are attended. I call and send messages to them like a concerned parent for the coordination to work. I dab on a cologne of team spirit though my relationship with classmates at many times is on the rocks. It is more of a conductor and municipal Kanjos kind of relationship. I had expected a token of appreciation only to be paid in an airtime cushion that appeared occasionally. The responsibility began taking a toll on me. With a class rep tenure’s duration tantamount to a Mike Tyson’s boxing match, I quit. A class rep role is so stretched out like a too small scoop of peanut butter on a too large slice of bread. The role is also so thankless. Class reps should be compensated.