From the Editor: Res. But what about those left behind?

For the last week I have been going through the struggles of walking at a snail’s pace behind scared flocks of freshers, watched the doomed high school couples try find places on campus to try mash faces, and been asked hundreds of times where the Aula, Oom Gerts, or even the Thuto building is (as we stood on the path between the Perdeby office and Roosmaryn). Then I got to go watch the 1nSync performance on Saturday night to see what the newest crop of res kids have to offer. It got me thinking back to my own days in Olienhout and how far I have come since then. 
I did not have any expectations when I arrived in Pretoria in 2013. I simply didn’t think about it and I accepted and embraced everything put before me, taking it one day at a time. I have cherished memories from res and I wouldn’t be the same person I am today if it wasn’t for my time in res. Res is an amazing place where you can make the most solid friendships you will probably ever make, you can get support from everyone around you, and ease the sadness of knowing you are missing mom’s roast dinner on Wednesday night. I took part in Serrie, went to the socials, the whole shebang, and I really had the time of my life.
But, on Thursday night last week we were working late in the office and I saw one of my old friends from Mamelodi campus frantically trying to find some help. She had found a second-year student who had been sitting on campus with all their belongings in a bag with nowhere to sleep. This person had arrived, excited to have the chance to study, but sadly even though they had this life changing opportunity they were still held back by not having a place to sleep. UP has announced that they have leased an extra 1700 beds in Hatfield, this will ease some of the housing problems, but this may not be enough.
We had a discussion about it in the office and one of the editorial members who is in res told us about another lady in her res whose parents live on Roper street. I remember in my first year, one of the guys who started with us moved from a home within walking distance of the res. They had come to have the res culture experience.
Many of the editorial are in res and have enjoyed their time there. However, there seems to be an unnecessary protection of res culture that at the end of the day is exclusionary, often unfair, and a waste of university resources. I have close friends that would disagree with me strongly over this issue, and we have been debating it for years, but I’ve noticed that as you get people to start speaking, you might find that those protecting this res culture are often in the minority.
I don’t want to start a discussion about res culture itself, that is a whole different can of worms. 1nSync this year was an amazing experience and the amount of spirit, time and energy put into the performances was outstanding. It showed that res culture is still alive, well, and needed for the first years that will be living together in close proximity for the next few years. Stuku really stepped up their game this year too, showing what lengths some people will go to make sure that we have these events year to year.
What I want to ask is what are we sacrificing for the sake of res culture? How can we, with clean consciences, stand to deny someone a roof over their heads for the sake of having a good time?
I could fill this entire page with my fond memories of res, but I would need equal space to discuss my issues with it too. If you know anyone that is going through a similar experience to this second year, or you would just like to share your experience of res, write a letter to the editor at
Go wild
Shaun Sproule

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