MARKO SVICEVIC UP’s Department of Facilities Management, in collaboration with UP’s Department of Residence Affairs and Accommoda...Read more
As the Features section editor for Perdeby I have developed many skills that I can continue to use as I pursue my career in journalism. I believe that Perdeby will always be the foundation and building blocks of my career. Perdeby has given me the opportunity to grow as a writer and has allowed me to get a feel of how the industry works. Although Perdeby is a much smaller version of the real industry, Perdeby has helped me grow as a person, develop lifelong skills and has deepened my passion and love for the media industry.
The #FeesMustFall movement has certainly managed to unite groups of students on campus and across South Africa. It also pointed a finger at the ANC government and universities, highlighting their shortcomings and raising student issues.
Although students achieved the 0% increase in fees along with other demands at Tuks, it seems like this is only the start of a much larger issue nationally, one that has perhaps not been fully thought through. The struggle toward free higher education is a noble one. The idea of obtaining a tertiary education without the constraints of one’s economic disadvantage is truly inspirational. As principled as this idea might seem, it isn’t as simple as it sounds. From my experience over the last week I have learned that the movements advocating for fees to fall and free higher education aren’t open for discussion on the matter. I have, however, only heard demands coming from these leaders with very little to no solutions to the problems we face.
Even if tertiary education was free, someone would still have to foot the bill. When the president announced on Friday that there would be no increases for 2016, no one knew where the money would come from to fill the almost R4 billion shortfall universities now face. Students aren’t blind either, and it is clear that the elimination of wasteful expenditure, corruption and mismanagement would very easily contribute to bringing the ideal of free higher education one step closer. The likelihood of a responsible and transparent government is, however, debatable.
This past week has been one of the toughest and most rewarding for Perdeby. Scores of Perdeby journalists and photographers worked almost around the clock documenting, editing, compiling and posting content about the UPrising protests on campus as well as the national student march to the Union Buildings. I’m incredibly proud of what we achieved and I believe that we represented the protests objectively and calmly.
I’ve been horribly upset by mainstream media this week. I got to meet several of these journalists and I have also kept up to date with what the national media platforms have been publishing about the protest UP students were involved in. The things that I have read have upset me because they are disproportionate to what has actually happened, sensational and, at times, just outright lies.
Many people commented on Twitter about the inaccuracy of a post by a prominent media platform that published a photo of security guards “run[ning] for cover as Tuks students protest”. These security guards certainly weren’t fleeing, as there was nothing to flee from. Flee from peaceful students? Surely campus security has more guts than that. All of our team that were on the ground agree that they never saw security running from protesting UP students.
Another newspaper chose to tell readers about how UP students “went on a rampage” to the men’s residences and TuksMonate. This isn’t true either. Students were hungry.
I can’t believe we were on holiday just over a week ago. The pressure of the fourth quarter is so intense, even trying to remember what a holiday is seems like a hard push. For many of us, our last assignments are due and if you took a bit too much time off in the break, you’re probably feeling even worse.
That’s how I’ve felt the whole week. On top of all my academic requirements, there’s been work that I haven’t expected. Sometimes this week has felt like it’s been a bit too much to bear.
Luckily, there have been really wonderful moments of relief, too. My whole class got an extension on our assignment and the project that I thought was due for last Thursday is only due this week. The venue I was organising an event at was super organised and helpful, and I’ll be home again in just over a month. Everything actually worked out in the end.
My struggles aren’t very challenging ones in comparison to the stories the month of October focuses on. World Mental Health Awareness Day was on 10 October. A large part of the campaign is aimed at removing the stigma from mental illnesses. Anxiety and depression are all mental issues that affect people around us. If you think you don’t know someone who is affected by it, think again. About one in every four people suffer from depression, and anxiety is the most common mental illness worldwide. These conditions are not make-believe, and they’re certainly not anyone’s fault. These conditions need medical treatment and the people suffering need support from friends and family rather than sneering, diminishing comments. That being said, if you are currently feeling like you may be suffering from depression or anxiety or are just feeling overwhelmed in general, please ask for help. There are professionals on campus who will be able to assist you with the correct counselling and medical advice.
When broaching the topic of gaming, you will most likely be met with one of three reactions: fence-sitting apathy, serious enthusiasm, or a series of annoyed eye-rolls. The general opinion surrounding gaming is that it’s not for everyone. However, I would like to oppose this.
As someone who played nothing more than The Sims for most of my gaming life, my idea of what it means to be a gamer was fairly limited until quite recently. As someone who is, in a word, useless at first-person shooters and could never grasp the concept of the WASD control scheme, my initiation into gaming was a slow and casual one.