Top Psychologist Dr. Frank Njenga is a mind I always love to pick when it comes to understanding human behaviour. He took me through what he feels needs to be done, to reduce the cases of date rape at University campuses.
Dr. Njenga, who has not been to a freshman party for over 50 years weighed in on the situation saying these parties in their current wild form; are a relatively new phenomenon in the society.
“What I would really question in my own mind is the initial intentions by the organizers of these freshman parties. What used to happen in the old days – I know this of Nairobi and Makerere Universities – were what were very formal freshens balls,” he expresses his deep concern.
He says that the ball was a formal dance organized by a particular university.
Mpasho Investigates Parties Of Misery Part 1: How Students Get Raped At Freshers’ Parties And Nobody Seems To Care
This made it possible for younger students to interact with older students and sometimes find a partner, but on a very mature level. However since universities are bigger in the modern Kenya, more thought needs to go into the planning of these events.
“What I would really question in my own mind is the initial intentions by the organizers of these freshman parties.”
He suggests that the parties be hosted in accordance with halls of residence. However he acknowledges that this could be difficult as many varsity students live off campus.
He blames the problems that come about with these parties on the fact that they are experimental and imperfect.
One of the causes of date rape in campus is the naivety of students from ‘mashamba.’ These are newbies from upcountry who find themselves in the city for the very first time.
“Their mere presence mesmerizes the youngsters into a state of excitement. Because many of them have not tasted for example alcohol, cigarettes, cannabis or anything else, a mixture of youth, ignorance, inexperience and a little bit of alcohol is at best catastrophic,” Njenga says.
“It is actually a prescription for disaster,” he adds. Dr Njenga sees the need for freshers to be introduced into the culture of the university before being tossed into the party mode. There should be more formal ways of familiarizing a newbie with campus life, than a wild party.
This can be effected by a synergistic collaboration between the office of the Dean of students together with the students’ representative council or union. They need to understand what goes on and what goes wrong in the sessions, not with a view to ban them but to make sure that these parties bring no harm to any student.
Njenga says that universities have the fundamental obligation to see that student safety is paramount. Parents send their sons and daughters to university not only to get a degree but to come out of it in one piece, a better person.
They need to understand what goes on and what goes wrong in the parties, not with a view to ban them but to make sure that these parties bring no harm to any student.
To sum it all, new students need to be aware that these things happen and avoid messing up once they land in campus. The campus should input the corrective measures to see that these cases are reduced.
Listen to the rest of the conversation I had with Frank in the audio below;