Because of the many hassles applicants face before they are granted admission, namely the set cut-off scores by individual tertiary institutions among others, applicants have had to put up with whatever institution they were given admission and in most cases, move away from home, if they failed to meet the standards of the institution of their choice.
Also, with the large and growing number of applicants churned out by the secondary schools, accomodation for these students has remained a problem.
Although the government and private sectors have proffered various solutions, among which were the privatisation of hostel accomodation for undergraduates, enabling business minded individuals to build private hostels, the increasing number of applicants every year has made it insufficient.
This, has made some home owners a.k.a landlords, to cash in on the unfortunate situation where it existed. Apart from the exorbitant rent, the non-availability of residential houses has also become a serious issue. While the stakeholders have been searching for an end to the menace, some undergraduate who spoke to the Nigerian Tribune hinted that they had devised various means of solving the problem, not minding the morality of their solutions.
One of it is called the ‘couples life’ which is unauthorised co-habitation of both male and female students in the same apartment. To students it is called ‘campus couples’.
In some campuses, the partner may not be a student of the host institution. Nigerian Tribune learnt that there are two types of campus couples: the permanent couples and temporary couples.
Permanent couples live together in the same apartment while temporary couples often spend time with each other during the day, not living together in the same apartment.
While many have criticised the action, others argue that with most students having no place to stay and with the exorbitant rents on the available private accomodations, undergraduates may not have a choice but to suscribe to ‘couples life’.
Adeyinka Sanyaolu, a 300Level Mass Communication Student, Lead City University said, “living together as lovers and having intimacy with your partner can lead to unwanted pregnancy which may lead to HIV/AIDs infection during abortion or affect them academically and this is not good”.
Nnamdi Okafor, a 400Level Computer Information Student, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, also described campus couple as, “two people having fun together in order not to be bored. Being companions while planning for their future, he argued that they could end up as married couples or friends in the future. However, he said that if they indulged in sexual intercourse, it could bring them down both physically and academically”.
Jare Adeleke, a contractor, remarked that, “staying together in the same apartment is not a good idea, since they have not been joined together as husband and wife. Most ladies find it difficult to be independent and it can lead to unwanted pregnancy and then they will fail to get married in the future”.
In her view, Onyeka Ekeh, a 300 Level Mass Communication Student, Lead City University believes that “normally boyfriend and girlfriend do things together, so that, they can spend money for each other. Most ladies often engage in the trend to raise funds to cater for their educational expenses. The process of aborting an unwanted pregnancy, a fallout of such relationship, can lead to womb damage”, she said.
Corroborating Ekeh’s view, Tope Aje, a 200Level Mass Communciation Student of the same University, said, “poverty is the main factor that gives rise to cases of campus couples.” She stated that a personal relationship is a different thing entirely because it is emotionally driven adding that poor financial situation could make some of them to live together, leading to unseriousness. “Some believe that it will help them out financially and it can lead to pregnancy”, she said.
Bukola Adewumi, a 400 Level Microbiology Student of the University of Ibadan, Ibadan said, “it is very romantic to live together as husband and wife, doing things in common and taking a collective decision as a family”.
In his own opinion, Damilare Afolabi, a 200 Level Computer Science Student, Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, said, “having something in common between two people, by giving helping hands, leads to sex and pregnancy. An attempt to abort such pregnancy can even result in death. It is a condemnable act”.
However, parents’ opinion about campus couples differ. In her own opinion, Mrs.Owabire Oluremi, a trader, described a campus couple as “two people living together as husband and wife without being legally married or engaged. Said she, “Although, they are doing so to satisfy their lustful desires, it is ungodly and bad”. She also urged parents to teach their children the way of God and advised students to change their attitude for better and have the fear of God in their lives.
A retiree, Mr. Akinwale A.A., decried campus couple life. “It is not a normal life because they sent them to school to learn and not to live together as husband and wife. Students should listen to their lecturers so that, they will achieve their aims and objectives in the campus”, he said.
In a chat with the Nigerian Tribune, Mr. A. Moses, a staff of a publishing outfit in Ibadan said, “campus couple is a very dangerous life and it is not encouraging. Some people are doing it for money making purposes. The result of such attitude is unwanted pregnancy. Students should desist from it and they should be content with what their parents are giving to them”.
Mrs. Olawoyin Bolatito, a trader said, “living together as campus couples is not a good attitude, saying, however, that there are circumstances that led some practitioners of the act into doing so, most of them do not know that the reasons they gave for indulging in the act are not tenable at the end of the day. She, therefore, urged parents to be very vigilant on the type of lifestyles their wards live”.
In a nutshell, whatever justification is given for the immoral act, most people believe it should not be encouraged, not minding the debate on whether the action is good or bad.