SDO Preclinicals: A Year in Review

Mubarak Alimi was sworn in as the Special Duties Officer (Preclinicals) for the 2023/2024 tenure on the 20th of May, 2023. Being a first-time executive, his tenure, according to him “posed significant challenges”, but it has come to an end with its bumps and wins. Let’s have a recap and review his service to UIMSA. 

The duties of the SDO (Preclinicals) as stated in in Article IX, numbers 44-47 of the Revised Constitution of the University of Ibadan Medical Students’ Association are:

  • Shall be responsible for the planning and organisation of the Association’s Freshers’ welcome programme. 
  • Shall be the secretary of the Academic Committee. 
  • Shall be responsible for the planning and organisation of the Association’s orientation programme for new Preclinical students. 
  • Shall perform all such other duties as are hereinafter assigned to him/her under other articles of this Constitution and by the Executive Council.

He executed some of the plans stated in his manifesto, including; an MB talk for the 300-level Class tagged ‘Transitus’; the Preclinical Orientation and Mental Health Talk for the 200-level constituency; and the Freshers’ Orientation for the first-year students. He also supervised the co-option of the 100-level constituency into the Senate. Alongside all these, Mubarak served as the Secretary of the Academics Committee.

The co-option of the 100-level congressmen and congresswomen experienced a little difficulty due to a misinterpretation of the UIMSA constitution and ended with no new members being allowed to retain their seats. This raised a lot of complaints and the solution was begrudgingly accepted. However, faults were accepted and apologies were tendered. A first-year student comments, “He did quite well, things would have spiralled out of control but I don’t know how he held it together”.

The SDO didn’t neglect his non-constitutional duties, assisting preclinical students academically, socially, and health-wise. He conducted mock exams for the 100-level first semester exams and the 300-level class’ first Medical Board exams. There were also regular class check-ups, events like the LinkedIn and Social Media Optimization Programme, taking charge of the mentorship program, and introducing the UIMSA Academic Counseling.

The academic counselling project was a relative success, with many students giving positive feedback about their experience with academic mentors. They stated that having a senior to ask for help based on experience made things easier and reduced the need for trial and error. It also helped in networking and forming relationships. Finally, it was observed that a mentor-mentee relationship between males in the same residence halls had a significant impact.

However, not all plans could be executed, namely the Preclinical Hangout and implementation of the Ligature Project. A ‘packed calendar’ was his excuse for the former and ‘late timing’, the latter.  These were some of the question marks on his tenure. In light of his experience, Alimi decided to structure the challenges faced as recommendations for his successor. He advises beginning big projects early to avoid time constraints and to organize exam prep talks before the exam dates are known. To aid studies, he recommends the availability of books from the preclinical library.

The preclinical students highly commend him for a job well done. An anonymous source says:

“I appreciate that he reached out to ask about the welfare of our class (2k25) members and even checked up on some people he noticed weren’t doing so well. That showed that our well-being was his concern.”

Someone else adds:

“I think he did well with what he set out to do, organizing the MB talk for my class (2k24) and also the program where they had juniors encouraging us via text before our exams. And he had this exam series with poems and whatnot (if anyone was interested in that). He also had the orientation for the 100l class. Not sure I’ve followed all his programs but he wasn’t bad in his capacity as SDO. He did good work.”

From all these, we see that despite the challenges, Mubarak Alimi has positively impacted UIMSA. He’s ticked more things off the list than he didn’t, with accompanying cheers as he passes the torch to the next candidate. 

Rodiyah Khidir

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