From the Editor: Changes

As February draws to a close, everyone seems to be getting into their zone at UP. Things at the Perdeby office are no different. With a fresh editorial, and a bit of time and training, we’re getting ready to put together a publication on an almost weekly basis. It’s a good feeling, wrapping up on a Friday afternoon, and stepping back to admire the publication you’ve put together during the week.

I’ve been at Perdeby for two years now, and during this time I’ve realised how difficult it is to put together a publication that appeals to 50 000 students at this university from different backgrounds, who experience the world differently, who come from different contexts and have different interests. Obviously, no two students are the same, but it’s more than that. The news is the news, and we report on current affairs fairly, accurately, and objectively. When it comes to our Features and Entertainment sections, it becomes a little more difficult to cater for everyone.. Each student is a valued reader, and in a country as diverse as South Africa, it is a continuous process to make sure this publication has something for everyone.

There’s been some interesting news this week. The biggest news is that there will be no change in the language policy at UP, for the time being. It’s important to bear in mind, however, that UP intends to amend the language policy, but has decided to put its implementation on hold pending the finalisation of legal processes. With only 16% of students preferring Afrikaans as a medium of instruction, it seems counterproductive to oppose the language policy change, especially at a public university that should (as a public university) play a role in the transformation of society and in the process of redressing past injustices.

UP is not the only historically Afrikaans university that has changed some of its policies. The University of Stellenbosch (SU) has also changed its 2018 admission policy to benefit socioeconomically disadvantaged students. The new policy is not based on racial classification, but according to a statement released by SU, the policy is aimed at creating a society that no longer requires “race based redress”. It’s an interesting trend, and I’d like to see the types of changes the university experiences after changing its policies, and the way that these policy changes influence the lives and wellbeing of students.

If policy isn’t interesting to you, we’ve got some brilliant content, including a feature on Motor Neuron Disease, an article on Harry Potter 20 years on, and an interview with retiring TuksSport Director, Kobus van der Walt.

If you’re interested in volunteering at a vibrant, dynamic publication that is read by thousands of students weekly, you’ll find our application forms on page 10. Perdeby is also launching a writing lab, which is our way of giving back in a way that we are familiar with, but also a way for us to actively transform the publication. Michal, our former Editor, who came up with the idea of a writing workshop to create an equal opportunity environment for all, has generously given her time in presenting the workshop. I encourage all students who would like to participate in the workshop to fill in the form on page 11, and hand it in at the Perdeby offices before 12:00 on Thursday, 23 February. As this is the first workshop, space is limited. I encourage anyone who applies for the workshop to apply to volunteer at Perdeby as well.

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