Students at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST) in Siaya Town Campus voiced their concerns over campus security in a protest held on Friday morning. The students, predominantly from the faculty of Agriculture, blocked the Siaya-Nyadorera road, demanding answers to what they described as a deteriorating security situation.
The trigger for the protest was an incident that occurred on Thursday night. According to the students, an intruder gained access to a hostel in the middle of the night and inappropriately touched a female student. Faizah Juma, one of the affected students, shared her experience during a press interview. She explained that the intruder entered her room around midnight and touched her, which startled her awake. She promptly raised the alarm.
“I was asleep in the campus hostel and was woken up by a man touching my hands and legs,” she recounted. “I screamed, and he ran into hiding. The intruder came back a few minutes later claiming that he was a security guard, and I phoned a male student for help.”
A male student, Otieno Orero, responded to the distress call and arrived with other male students. They managed to apprehend the intruder and handed him over to the security guards. However, their shock deepened when they discovered that the suspect had been released, raising suspicions about possible collusion between the intruder and the security personnel.
Emmanuel Ochieng, a student leader, expressed his concerns about the overall security situation on campus. He noted that members of the faculty have recently been losing electronic devices due to insufficient security measures. Ochieng pointed out that the campus lacked a proper fence, and students had experienced losses of laptops, phones, and church instruments. The recent incident of an intrusion and assault on a student raised concerns about the safety of female students. Ochieng warned that if their grievances were not addressed promptly, they might demand a transfer back to the main campus in Bondo, where security is believed to be more assured.
Another protester, Tony Onyango, highlighted the issue of security lighting on campus. According to him, the security lights around the institution frequently went off at 8:00 pm, leaving the campus in darkness. This lack of illumination exposed students to theft and further compromised their safety, especially regarding electronic devices.
As of the time of reporting, the JOOUST communications officer, Keziah Ogada, was not available for comment on the matter. The students’ protest shines a spotlight on the critical issue of campus security and the need for immediate action to address their concerns.