Is there a new trend emerging in campus relationships

Public Display of Affection (PDA) has been a matter of great discussion and controversy in Kenyan universities. For instance in Strathmore university, incidents of hand holding/ hugging caught on camera can earn you a direct two weeks suspension for “unsuitable interaction.” Also, hugs between same sexes are allowed but for a maximum of only four seconds with no bottom touching or else you became a culpable culprit to the university’s laws.

Also, section 2.3 of African Nazarene University student’s handbook categorically states that: The public display of affection is not permitted at Africa Nazarene University. Students are expected to behave with appearance of decorum and good taste that becomes the life style normal to a Christian intellectual community. Violation of this principle will make the student liable to disciplinary action.

However, the situation is slightly different if not ironical in the public universities. Incidents of hugging, hand holding and kissing between couples in public are almost the order of the day and any student from a public university may not find anything wrong with that.  PDA seems to be mutating into another debacle; the lecture halls have turned into romantic hubs and hideouts for couples and as our investigation reveals, lovers in Moi University have found new ways of dealing with boring and extra-long classes.

I caught up with Jane, a second year in the school of education who had an experience to share, “We had an evening class one day and while the class was going on, there was this boy seated in front of us with most probably his girlfriend and while the class was going on, they started touching each other while talking in low tones and at some point, they almost kissed one another….”

Jane’s experience was quickly backed up by Brian, a second year student from the school of arts who says that he is used to seeing such acts especially in over populated classes with barely audible lecturers. “I was attending an afternoon class in one of the lecture halls and I was seated behind a certain couple, actually the two never paid attention to the lecture as they were engaged in a romantic session all through the lecture.”

Have comrades finally found a better way to create fun time in class instead of dozing off or playing games

Ann* (not her real name) a second year in the school of Human Resource finds no problem with students romancing in class. She argues that we are in a democratic world and so we are free to express our emotions, ideas and desires and that we should not be limited. “If it’s in a class people should not fear engaging in such because it’s normal as everybody including small children know about romance, it’s healthy and in fact those who do it should not be penalized but instead romance classes should be started since most people don’t know how to romance.

Florian, a student from the school of Biological and physical sciences does not find this new habit unique as she believes that everyone in the university is mature enough to know what they are doing and why they are doing it.

However, not all comrades seem to buy this new idea of romance in class, it should not even be condoned in an academic set up.

Gideon from the school of information sciences has a different perspective on this. He believes that any sane person who is mature enough should know how to handle themselves respectfully when in public domain. He associates this behavior with drug abuse and an inner desire to show off, something he terms as stupid and having loose morals. “Those caught should be punished, penalized or suspended since they are disturbing the peace of fellow comrades.” He says.

Campus life can offer so many avenues of freedom and deliver a serene world without consequences but in whatever you do, always know that there is someone else affected and how we wish that the effect should always be positive. In any case, the right to swing your arm ends where your neighbor’s nose begins and thus we should be cautious enough to know when, where and how to express our affections in different set ups. By


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