MARKO SVICEVIC UP’s Department of Facilities Management, in collaboration with UP’s Department of Residence Affairs and Accommoda...Read more
The last two weeks have been frustrating ones for many students, and for a number of reasons. Some are frustrated by lingering systematic oppression. Some are frustrated over missed classes. Some are frustrated by the unpredictable nature of each day. At Perdeby, it’s been frustrating trying to compile content for readers without access to an office and equipment. This sense of frustration has permeated social media. But in among this justified frustration, gremlins have reared their ugly heads in the form of ignorance, racism and hate speech flooding Facebook and Twitter feeds. We’re not alone in this experience. Just over a week ago, well-respected British actor and personality Stephen Fry closed his Twitter account. The metaphor he used to explain his reason was blunt, but honest: “Too many people have peed in the pool.”
True to the beginning of any academic year, campus is filled with over-enthusiastic first-years and seniors motivated by last year’s poor marks. This makes for heavy volumes of pedestrians. While I’m glad everyone is far more eager than me, walking and driving on campus has become an issue due to the amount of foot traffic. Out of kindness, I have compiled a guide for first-years (and seniors whose memories have been dulled by two months of holiday) on how to walk effectively on campus and help make me a little less grumpy.
Tip one: don’t act surprised when you see a car on the ring road. This is a road for cars after all and you, a pedestrian, are the foreign object in an otherwise smooth flow of motor vehicles. There are paths for a reason. Make use of them instead or watch GTA become a reality.
After the blur that was Rag week and nearly two months of holiday, it’s a bit of a struggle to turn back to the usual grind of academics and responsibilities. That being said, building a Rag float seems to have ensured that the res kids got back to work at least two weeks before the rest of us.
The floats at this year’s procession really were impressive. I loved the creativity and ingenuity used to create larger than life structures or animals out of a variety of materials. Each float had its own atmosphere and even when disaster struck and there was no float (as with Mopanie and Jasmyn), the rag committees still had the courage to walk the route and participate. What was disheartening about the day for me though was how few people actually came to see the procession.
Understand that Rag is no longer the same now that it’s no longer in the streets. I, too, am nostalgic for blikskud and kilometres upon kilometres of hot tar and people. I feel fortunate that I even have those memories unlike so many students. But the fact that the procession is no longer supported the way it was makes me wonder about the real reason that people used to support it. The current procession isn’t terribly out of the way. Chances are, if you could stand along the streets of Hatfield, you can stand along the streets of LC de Villiers. The floats are still beautifully done, too. Residences now work harder than ever to ensure that their floats are charitable, perhaps even cancelling out the need for blikskud. Is it really going to boil down to the fact that students don’t attend because students can’t drink at the procession? Surely we’re better than that?
When you’re as old as I am, the first year of your undergrad degree may seem a bit blurry. In some way though, 2016 is a kind of first year for me too. First year is a mixture of excitement and absolute fear. Like I hope you are, I am excited to start a new degree and learn about my passions. At the same time, I’m uncertain about what the year holds academically. Like many, I am excited to live in my own space and support myself more than before, but I am also concerned about how to deal with a whole lot of new responsibilities. Seriously, prepaid electricity is quite daunting.
Despite all the mixed feelings, there is one thing I am absolutely certain of – university is what you make of it. The reason my actual first year isn’t very significant to me is because I didn’t take all the opportunities offered to me. I chose not to get involved in my residence, department, faculty or a society, sport or student structure. I chose not to try and chose not to embrace completely new things. With that, numerous experiences and potential friends passed me by. Fortunately, in my second year I realised that it was not my situation but my attitude that was limiting me.
Going into my fifth year at university, I’ve been involved in things I never even imagined I’d do and I’ve met the most incredible people. When I was a first-year, I never expected to ever be offered a position at Perdeby. It took a lot of courage (and two attempts) to actually apply to work here as an entertainment journalist. Now I feel silly for missing out on a whole year of awesome encounters. Like anything, especially like difficult work and living alone, that which seems scary now can turn out well if you approach them with a “will try my best” attitude.
Welcome first-year to arguably the most important chapter of your life. You are entering higher education at a very turmultuous time.
Hopefully you are aware of what has been happening since the end of last year and you might have your own opinions on the situation. As university student, you now form part of the movement regardless of your views on it. I would encourage you to not be overwhelmed by what is taking place and to not blindly follow the popular (or not so popular) view. Aim to develop your own informed opinion and contribute to a solution instead of joining the noise. Students are setting the ground for the future of universities and you will form part of the legacy that the FeesMustFall movement leaves in its wake.
Student media and student publications in particular form the life blood of journalism in South Africa. Most of the student newspapers around the country have been around since before democracy existed in the country and even before South Africa became a republic.
This specific newspaper has been around for 78 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.
It does however remain our responsibility to bring you the truth, an unbiased and balanced account of what is happening on your campus. But we need your help. You are our eyes and ears on campus, so send in your news tips, letters or comments and if you would like to be part of this vibrant team, keep an eye out for the application form at the end of February.