A GUIDE TO MONITORING STUDENTS FOR HOME OWNERS
Every Boarding house owner has the social responsibility and moral obligation to monitor, guide and direct the behaviour of all the students under their jurisdiction. As in loco parentis, home owners have the obligation to nurture the students as their own children. Bindura University of Science Education engages home owners in the sincere belief that you are our valued partners. Together we can make a difference.
DATABASE FOR STUDENTS
On arrival each semester, the Boarding house owner should convene an induction meeting with the student tenants. The house owner should acquire and record as much detail about the students as possible. A standard form designed by the University is provided for purposes of uniformity. Our major goal in monitoring the students is harnessing their behaviour and regulating their moral conduct. We should therefore solicit the details of and also get in touch with key reference persons to the student. These include among others, the student’s guardian, and spouse’s contact details of former pastor, former Headmaster’s details and key University personnel. Churches and Pastors can play an important role in regulating the behaviour of our students in society. It is therefore imperative for Boarding house owners to link the students with their local congregations and Pastors. It is not uncommon for University students to abscond church once they are away from home. Getting as much detail from the student will also assist in times of emergency since the University would have a pool of people to get assistance from in times of need.
The induction meeting should also culminate in the Boarding house owner discussing with the students, the regulations that should govern their stay. Boarding house owners are encouraged to be as flexible as possible on certain issues becoming very rigid on others. What is important in the end is to have ownership and student buy-in of the regulations. The agreed framework of regulations should be put in writing and all concerned should sign. The home owner should retain a copy, while the other copy should be forwarded to the Coordinator off Campus Life who should also sign as the witness. Once signed and filed by the University, the regulations thus become binding. The regulations may centre around, but not limited to;
Both parties should agree on how visitors should be treated. This might involve imposing limits on the times students should have visitors for example the period between 2200hrs and 0800hrs; depending on the circumstances of the various students and their Boarding houses. Whether visitors will be allowed into the rooms particularly where the students share a room. How to deal with visitors of the opposite sex, official spouses who visit their student partners, parents who visit and imposing limits on the number of visitors. The ideal situation would be to bar visitors from entering study bedrooms since these rooms are shared
Boarding house owners and other students often complain about noisy neighbours, particularly fellow students. Research has often proven that most students who make noise will be under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Boarding house owners should report to the University those students who disrupt other students’ peace and studies. The regulations should explicitly state that noise will not be tolerated at any time and moment near the boarding house. Cognisant of the fact that all BUSE students carry the image of the University wherever they go, it is also prudent that they are made aware of the fact that any disruptive behaviour in the community will attract disciplinary measures being taken against them. Regulations on noise minimization should also state the need to play music softly in the event that a student owns a radio set. Visitors can also become a good source of noise if left uncontrolled. To minimize noise from visitors there is need for control with regards to visiting times and number of visitors per student at a time and/or per day. A reporting system should also be in place in order to make the Boarding house owner aware of the name of visitor and his mission. A logging system for visitors can be introduced in order to have a written record in the event of any theft being noticed after a visitor has left.
While every individual has the constitutional right to dress the way they like, it is our wish that all BUSE students dress in an acceptable manner. Acceptable implies that they have to gauge the level of societal tolerance to their dressing, through verbal and non-verbal signals and adjust accordingly. The University reserves the right to regulate the dressing of all its students if it becomes a source of public outcry, just as the government has control over its citizens. However, the University believes that education and provision of information are powerful tools that can be used to change beliefs, attitudes and subsequently the behaviour of individuals. A number of programmes are in place that will be used as vehicles for behaviour change. These include: Student Centeredness Training, Clubs, Leadership Training, Community Outreach, seminars and presentations, growth counselling and many other programmes. Further, it has been noted that most boarding houses are run and manned by women who are motherly to these students. It is our appeal to all women and men as well to talk to your daughters on the issue of dress. We may not be able to achieve our goal in one day, but let’s at least do something.
Religious groups, churches and Pastors can play an important role in regulating the behaviour of our students in society. It is therefore imperative for Boarding house owners to link up with churches and religious groups for the spiritual and moral growth of the students. A census of religious groups or denominational representation should be made at each Boarding house. Boarding house owners should utilise these and other religious leaders in enhancing the spiritual and moral growth of students. However, these devotional sessions should take very little of the students’ time. A recommended interval would be between 30 to 45 minutes. A meeting shall be convened with local church leaders and Pastors to induct them on how to conduct these meetings. The purpose of these sermons is not to convert students into their religious denominations. These are solely meant to enhance their spiritual and moral growth, taking into cognisance the fact that they belong to one grouping or the other. It is not uncommon for University students to abscond church once they are away from home. Boarding house owners are encouraged to enforce this process by linking students with their pastors locally and encouraging them to pay visits to these students. Churches on the other have been instrumental in assisting disadvantaged students in the payment of fees, food and accommodation fees as well as providing vacation employment to those students who belong to their congregation. Students should therefore be made aware that being an active member of a church may enable them to get assistance in time of need.
REGULAR ROOM INSPECTIONS
Boarding house owners are encouraged to inspect the student’s rooms regularly. Due to the nature and pressure of studying, students who cook in their study bedrooms often forget to switch off their stoves after cooking in the morning. To ensure safety, boarding house owners should physically check the rooms of the students soon after leaving for college. Boarding house owners should also be on the lookout for common indicators of the student’ style of life without necessarily prying on the student’s privacy. Such indicators may include, drug samples strewn all over the room, used condoms, dangerous objects and equipment such as guns, murder weapons etc. Once the Boarding house owner has identified such and other things in students’ rooms, it is imperative that they contact the University who will further investigate the students conduct and seek to understand the student’s social background. Room inspections will also enable the house owner to detect any illegal tempering with electrical, water and other connections in the house which may compromise the safety of the inhabitants. Also check for any damages to the property and take remedial action before things go out of hand. Please refer all difficult cases to the University since they have the expertise.
Education will be provided to the students in order for them to be able to appreciate the important role a logging system can play in ensuring their safety. Logging will be required to be done by the students whenever they leave the Boarding house especially during odd hours and when going out of Bindura or when they anticipate that they will come home late. On numerous occasions students have been found raped and murdered without trace of any evidence. Logging systems assist by providing information that may lead to the discovery of certain trends or patterns in a student’s life after a sad event such as suicide, murder, an accident, disappearance, rape or arrest. Logging in/out details can assist in police investigations. Students who go on a date will be encouraged to particularly inform someone they trust, of where they will be going and with whom they will be going, even if it is of a confidential nature.
Whenever there is need to communicate with the University, you can contact the Dean of students directly on 0777 722 593/ 0712607338, Mr Mutambisi 0773 858 788 or Mrs Murasi 0712723206