Dear T Ross, I thought to write to you and share my experience on your survivor series. The recent sex for marks, a case of Dons and Students that has been trending is what spurred me to do this writing. I must say quite frankly that this has been the order of the day in our higher education system. It has been and still is, also, anyone could fall victim to these heartless Dons/lecturers whether intelligent or not.
I’m writing to put it out there that it isn’t only the students who don’t do well in academics that are preyed on by this lecturers but also the serious and up doing students are victims alike. Although some students do have a hand in becoming victims too, as we sometimes hear of students begging lecturers to upgrade their marks and allow them to pay in kind or cash or in some cases, both.
The painful part is when promising students (mostly female) who has not failed in their academic pursuits are asked to pay with their bodies. Oh, I was in this category of victims, just because a lecturer back in Uni had the hots for me and I wouldn’t requite his sexual advances. It was only by a thin strand of hair I escaped from the grasp of this one and now I can share my ordeal.
It all began when I was still a freshman in Uni, we had this middle-aged lecturer in my department who in all fairness could have passed for a good lecturer due to his promptness to class for his lectures, his teaching skills, his oratory prowess and ability to engage students during lectures. One aspect of him wasn’t pleasing though and that was his flair for having affairs with students and student extortion.
Boy, this man could chase anything in a skirt, freshman and stalites, married and single and next to this record is his thirst for money. Imposing unnecessary payments and purchases on students which in turn leads to victimization for those who can’t pay or wouldn’t give in to his advances. All these, I learnt about him within a short while of attending his lectures and testimonies from students. He was one of the most talked about lecturers on campus, every student had a story to carry about him and it was always for the wrong reasons.
Anytime I listened to people’s encounter with him, I’d silently pray I never become a victim or have a personal encounter with him. On my part, I ensured I never missed his classes, I’d do his assignments on time, never missed his impromptu tests, endeavoured to get his handouts however expensive and unnecessary they may be.
It looked like I was on track until the day I finally had a direct contact with him in his office. Let’s call this Lecturer Mr Hunter for the purpose of this story, Okay. So, Mr Hunter had asked us to get a particular handout which he said was crucial to passing his exam and as a way of monitoring those who would purchase this handout, he asked that we come get it directly from his office, after which we were to write our names on a special list. Even though I was low on funds at the time, I managed to get the money within a week of his announcement and proceeded to his office to buy the book and write my name. And that was how it all began.
“Young lady, what is your name?” he asked when I told him I had come to purchase his material
“I am Helen” I answered,
“Have you been attending my classes?”
“Yes, I have” I answered again. “Oh really?
how come I don’t know you then?” he queried, I decided to go mute this time
“Which state are u from?” he questioned again
“Delta state” I answered now anxious to write my name and leave.
“Oh, I see, no wonder you are this fair and attractive” Usually, I would have blushed at the statement but given the person I was dealing with, I had no expression on my face, just was wondering where the conversation was leading to.
“Ok, let me not take your time, write your name on this list”, he said passing me an open notebook with names on it.
I wrote my name and gave him the money, he, in turn, brought out the handout from a stack and handed it to me. I collected the book and made to leave
“Listen, do you have any lecture to attend at the moment? His question made me turn around to face him “Yes sir, in about 15 minutes” I said with a quizzical look on my face.
“Ok, too bad, I would love you to accompany me to the staff court. It’s lunch hour for me and I thought I could do with your company. It won’t be bad if get to know my student over lunch would it”.
The red alerts began to signal in my head at that moment but I answered smoothly with a smile “Oh that sounds nice sir, but I have to pass on your offer so in don’t miss my next class” and without waiting for a response, I bolted for his office door and scuttled out of there, wondering if my response had offended him.
Later in the evening, I shared my encounter with two of my roommates and their response scared me.
“Ha! Trouble. Girl, you’ve entered one chance o” Winifred a 200L student exclaimed.
”How?” I asked fearing her answer”
“That man clearly wants something from you nah, isn’t it obvious? Abi, who asks his student for a lunch date for no reason? “See, just try to stay clear off him for your own good” Irabor, my other roommate chipped in. “Unless you are ready to give in to his advances…..”
“God forbid!” I replied. My roommates exchanged looks at my outburst and began laughing at me
“See this one, Irabor said still laughing, Is it not Your mates that are going out with him, better be careful though and play safe, I pray you escape this man”.
“I will”. I replied putting an end to the discussion.
Days later, I was contemplating going to the market close to my campus amidst threats of rain when an unknown no called my phone, as I received the call, I was shocked to hear the voice of my lecturer on the other end.
“Hello. Is that Helen?” he asked
“Yes please, good evening Sir” I replied”
“Oh you know even who is talking he said with amusement in his voice, I am sure you are wondering how I got your number” That was indeed my thought, quick guess made me conclude that he must have gotten it from my details on his students’ list or attendance form which had student details.
“Never mind dear” he continued “How are you this evening? He asked,
“I’m fine, thank you” I replied trying to sound pleasant.
“Helen, can I see u today, say in the evening…… I want us to hang out, my offer of yesterday still stands”
“Oh, no sir. I’m on my way to the market now and don’t know when I’ll be back” I quickly responded, praying he bought my excuse. “Oh ok, what about tomorrow?” he asked. I hesitated and he continued, “Ok then, let’s see tomorrow in my office at 12noon prompt,” he said giving me no room to object. “Make sure you come ok?’ He emphasized.
‘See u tomorrow’ he added and hung up.
Still holding on to my phone, I laid back on my bed after the call wondering what sort of mess I was about entering into.
to be continued tomorrow