14 February 2012, Valentine’s Day: proceed with caution – From the editor

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, and my own new philosophy on love, I will say only this: let’s take it one edition at a time, shall we? Jumping in head first, your heart on your sleeve … well, that can end badly. That can turn messy and disappointing.

Read more: 14 February 2012, Valentine’s Day: proceed with caution – From the editor

Message from the Editor-in-Chief:

Student media, and student publications in particular, form the life blood of the South African journalism industry. Most of the student newspapers around the country have been around since before South Africa even became a republic.

This specific newspaper has been around for 74 years. This obviously means that Perdeby has seen a very wide spectrum of the development of this country and provided students with a platform to discuss an array of subjects, some more controversial than others. This has also led to Perdeby falling subject to censorship (the same as commercial broadsheet newspapers) in the 70s and 80s and even led to the closure of Perdeby a couple of times.

Over the past couple of years though, the newspaper has grown into a publication that is able to compete with all the mainstream newspapers out there and functions as an independent entity on campus. I promise you that nothing that appears in this publication has been proofed or edited by anyone associated with UP management or the SRC. Viva free media!

I can guarantee you as our readers that during 2012 you will read stories in this newspaper that will make you laugh, make you think, inform you and even make you uncomfortable. In the end, what we would like to achieve is to initiate discourse among the student community about things that matter and directly affect you.

Perdeby is a newspaper by students for students. With the explosion of social media you can also be our eyes and ears. Stay in touch by following the section editors on Twitter, reading Perdeby online at www.perdeby.co.za and sending your news tips to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . za.

During the next couple of years you will fall in love and get your heart broken, make mistakes and learn from them, operate on caffeine and plan your social calendar around semester tests and exams, and at the end of it all you will be ready to enter the real world, the one you were warned about by your parents, the world where you can only survive if you are educated. What they do not tell you is that real knowledge isn’t acquired only in the lecture halls of UP. It is in your everyday dealings with the people at UP. My advice is to get involved, be it Perdeby, TuksFM, RAG or Stuku, societies, student politics or day houses. If you aren’t involved you will never really experience student life.

What you need to remember though, is that according to the NGO Equal Education at least 923,463 learners began grade 1 in 2000 but only 496,090 wrote matric in 2011. Therefore nearly half dropped out of school along the way. Thus, the matric pass-rate of 70.2%, when measured against all those who began school in 2000 reveals a true pass-rate of approximately 38%.” Now out of this 38% you can only imagine how few got university exemption. I’d say we’re in trouble.

 This means you are a select minority of the country`s population who is afforded a tertiary education. Use this opportunity to become the leaders of tomorrow, the leaders that this country is so desperately in need of.

Carel Willemse Editor-in-Chief

Read this: it will make you awesome - From the Editor

As I type this I am sitting on the beach, on what should be the middle of my holiday. Unfortunately, it has been cut short by the machinations (I’ve always wanted to use that word, forgive me) of the idiot who decided to break into the Perdeby office in early January and steal our hard drives. He or she (accuse me of many things, but not sexism) stole three years’ worth of electronic editions of the paper, as well our entire article and visual archive.

Believe me when I say that the only thing keeping me from using every kind of expletive available to me when I speak about this thief (die skelm) is an appreciation for the sensitivities of my audience. But we have offsite backups of most of our editions, except for the very last edition we worked on, the one you are reading right now.

 The first years edition is a special bumper edition we create especially for you – the newcomers, the recovering highschoolers, the lost and the lonely – to help you navigate Tuks, this brave new world. But we do all the work you see before you at the end of the previous year, in November, to avoid asking our staff to start working in early January (not something anyone, least of all me, wants to do).

But then our hard drives got stolen. So now I am on my way back to Pretoria to recreate the first years edition (which we spent a month perfecting) in a mere five days, to have it back where we had it in November – ready for print. I am not happy. But I suppose I need to embrace the same advice I am about to give you (advice mined from many experiences, both dull and dirty, at this fine institution): to have fun with it. I have a philosophy: change is like tequila.

At first you’re sceptical. You don’t really want to do it. But you have a pushy friend who dragged you all the way to the bar and kind of shoved it at you. As it hurtles down your throat you can’t help but pull an oh-no-what-have-I-just-done face: instant regret has never tasted so bad. But soon enough you’re dancing on the tables with your shirt off telling everyone how awesome things are and can you have some more tequila please?

Well, your lives are about to change drastically. Things are about to get awesome. Really awesome. This is all I ask of you: that no matter what happens to you over the next few years – success, failure, heartbreak, fear, regret, happiness – you enjoy the hell out of it, and that you learn from it. An experience is what you make of it. It is up to you to grab the opportunity you’ve been given and exploit all the potential it has.

This place has great opportunities for people from all walks of life, academic, cultural and social, and if you waste them and leave university without having made the most of it, you’re even more of an idiot than the fool who broke into our offices. You will meet your best friends here. You will have great parties here. You will fall in love here. And if you don’t come out the other end a different, better person then you did it wrong.

You have to change, you have to grow. It’s a great gig, varsity. Never again will you find yourself in an environment where you get to be crazy, where you get to experiment, where you get to abuse this kind freedom. You don’t have to listen to me, but I reserve a special kind of pity for people who leave university the same person they were when they started here. Who were afraid to make mistakes.

Who don’t regret anything because they didn’t do anything to regret. Who use university as some kind of preface, some kind of sequestered preparation for “real life”. Shame on them. Now, go have a drink. You deserve one. But first, read the rest of this paper. We worked hard to put it together, and then we worked hard again, and it is filled with everything you need to know. Promise. And if there is something you don’t know, remember, you can send me a tweet (@PerdebyEditor) or send a tweet to @ Perdebynews, and we will tweet you the answer faster than you can say, “Can I have another drink please?”.

Peace, Beyers

The Israel-Palestine conflict

In the edition published on 15 February, Perdeby ran a story covering the recently held Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW). In response, we received various letters about the article and the event.

Read more: The Israel-Palestine conflict

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