The Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, has inaugurated a new student union executive for the institution, with the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Adebisi Balogun, admonishing the new leaders to shun confrontation with management.

This was contained in a release signed by the Deputy Registrar, Information, Protocol and Passages, Mr. Omololu Adegbenro, after a leadership retreat organised for the student leaders at the National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration in Ondo.

According to the state-ment, Balogun also commended the immediate past executive of the student union for the 2008/2009 academic session for the good behaviour and moral uprightness they displayed throughout their tenure.

He admonished the new union executive to devote their time to discharging their duties to the best of their abilities, as they are elected to represent not only themselves, but their parents, the community and the university in general.

Balogun therefore advised them not to indulge in any form of anti-social activities that could jeopardise the peace of the community.

The VC also urged the executive members to work harmoniously with the institution's management to fight corruption and achieve the best during their tenure.

Also, the Special Adviser to the Governor of Ondo State on Youth and Student Matters, Mr. Olamide George, who is also an alumnus of FUTA, appealed to the student leaders to be focused and make integrity their watchword.

Balogun had earlier acknow- ledged the efforts of the Dean, Student Affairs, Prof. Dayo Fasakin, towards the successful conduct of a transparent, credible and fair election process which brought the incumbent union executive into office.

The statement added that a certificate of honesty and integrity, alongside a cash award of N50,000 was presented to a student, Mr. Babatunde Olufisayo Cornelius, with matriculation number MNE/07/0673 for displaying high level of integrity.

At the retreat organised to groom the student leaders for the task ahead, Balogun noted the need for attitudinal change in the students, which, he said, had brought about increased level of understanding and cooperation with the school's management. This, he said, was part of the reasons for the progress made by the institution in recent years.

The vice-chancellor explained that the institution's mana-gement organised the retreat with a view to enhancing their capacity building for a dynamic student unionism in the 21st Century; inculcating in the union leaders the role of image makers of the university in their student-society relationship; imparting probity in finance as a means of inculcating a sense of accountability in the mana-gement of funds and intimating them with the ideals of student unionism.

Emphasising the responsi-bilities of leadership, he reminded them of the idiom 'to whom much is given, much is expected' requesting them to maintain a high level of dedication, commitment and loyalty in the discharge of their official duties.

He also urged them to contribute to the maintenance of peace, well-being and a remarkable level of discipline for which the university is known.

Balogun implored them to join management in the war against anti-social tendencies and behaviour on the campus and imbibe the good virtues of accountability, probity and excellence.

He advised them to realise that the mandate given to them in trust and their future careers could either be made or marred by the way and manner in which they handle their exalted offices.

He challenged them to face their studies and move up on the intellectual ladder by organising seminars, inter-university debates and symposia that would kick-start the much sought socio-economic renaissance in the nation.

Other speakers dwelt on issues that included student- management relationship, roles of student unionism in the achievement of the vision and mission of FUTA, student union politics, crisis and conflicts.

Others were manage-ment strategies, maintenance of culture of accountability in student unionism, develop- ment of leadership potential, impact of ICT in student union management and academic excellence, contributions and roles of students in the advancement and smooth academic programmes of the university, as well as examining cultism as a serious cancer in Nigerian universities.

Fasakin, who also presented a paper, urged them to perceive student union leadership as a clarion call to efficient and responsible services.

He added that the students should develop positive and productive mindset towards the development of the university, the nation and the world at large.

He reminded them that as leaders, they must display exemplary virtues of humility, productivity, wisdom, respect for elders, due regard for constituted authorities, honesty, accountability, empathy and sympathy to the plight and problems of colleagues.

He also urged them to be supportive of management strategies at assisting students, understanding and maintaining respect for other people's opinions, be excellent in service delivery and respect the rule of law.

The immediate past Dean, Student Affairs of the institution, Prof. Oyedapo Fagbenro, who presented the lead paper at the opening ceremony on 'The role of student unionism in the achieve-ment of the vision and mission of FUTA towards technological advance-ment', told the students that they should maintain a peaceful environment that would enhance learning and progress.

Other paper presenta-tions were made by the Registrar, Dr. Funke Oyebade and Dr. Bayo Aborisade of the General Studies Department of the university.

The institution's Bursar, Mr. R. A. Aladetimi; Dean of the School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology, Prof. J. A. Alokan; Dean of School of Earth and Mineral Sciences, Prof. J. A. Adekoya; Dean of School of Engineering and Engineering Technology, Prof. J. O. Afolayan, also took time to admonish the new leaders to be of good conduct in order to succeed.