Students’ Union–Management relations and conflict resolution mechanisms in Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
Conflict is inevitable in any human relationship. The situation is the same in the university system where several groups with diverse interests exist.
While scholarly attention has focused on conf lict and conf lict resolution in the larger human society, less attention has been directed towards conf lict and its resolution between and among various groups within a university. This article empirically examines the relations between the Students’ Union (the body representing the students) and the management of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), and the conf lict resolution mechanisms
available to the groups. The article adopts secondary and primary data sourced from semi-structured interviews, and analyses the data using descriptive and content analysis methods. Findings show that the relations between the Students’ Union and the management of OAU are mixed, largely depending on the strategies adopted by the union leaders and the university administrators; that conf licts are mostly triggered by issues bordering on students’ welfare; and that mechanisms such as mediation, negotiation, and consultation are some of the conf lict resolution mechanisms between OAU students and management. The article concludes that the central issue between the Students’ Union and management of OAU is student welfare, and that to avert future conf licts, student welfare must be management’s priority at all times.
Keywords: Students’ Union, Management, conf lict, conf lict resolution, relations, Obafemi Awolowo University