Every year, students of English language from different institutions come together in a designated location for the International Conference of Students’ of English Language Studies (ICOSELS) to have fun and to make new connections. This year, the conference was held at the University of Ilorin at the University Auditorium and the camp was held at Eyen Korin, Off Airport Road, Ilorin, Kwara State.
The conference was a week-long series of events. For the students of English Language department in the university of Ilorin, the conference was made compulsory; this was in addition to the conference attensanat fee of 3,000 Naira.
At first, the students were not interested in the program but on seeing the line-up of the series of events to be held, they became enthusiastic. Many became eager to meet great men of literature like Wole Soyinka, Femi Osofisan and other scholars of English language.
The first event was the Suya and Bonfire Night; and the delegates from the University of Ilorin complained bitterly on the fact that they had to buy suya at the Bonfire — a snack that should have been made readily available. The National President of the National Association of Students of English Language Studies (NASELS), Mr. Obioma, apologized for that insufficiency however explained that this was to prevent students from hoarding the Suya and those that buy got more than their money worth.
The most interesting part of the Conference’s events was the trip to Owu fall, at Owu in Kwara State. We woke up very happy and eager, the students of Unilorin entered the bus but were asked to alight by the officials, but the students were not ready to listen to anybody as they were tired of submitting to the wishes of the other institutions. After the exchange blows and the insults, we left for Owu. Owu was fun and stressful but it was the highlight of the conference.
Most students were disappointed because the literary geniuses that were scheduled to grace the conference didn’t attend. The students of Unilorin just wanted their own space as they are tired of the snide and crude remarks from the other schools.
I did ask my co-delegates if they would be willing to attend the next ICOSELS Conference and a resounding “NO” was heard. This attests to the series of disappointments faced by the delegates and poor performance exhibited by the organizers towards organizing the event. This opinion piece seeks to highlight these faults stated above, which are but a few, to ensure that the organizers take due note of them. It would be desired if these areas are properly looked into before the next conference, to ensure that the next conference is organized efficiently to serve the interests of the delegates, who have reposed high confidence in the success of the events.