MARKO SVICEVIC UP’s Department of Facilities Management, in collaboration with UP’s Department of Residence Affairs and Accommoda...Read more
Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) was observed from 6 to 12 March in 250 cities, communities, and campuses around the world. Various organisations at UP hosted events throughout the week to create awareness around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has lasted several decades. The initiative has been running consecutively for 13 years and has grown a lot according to Yusuf Hassim, chairperson of the UP Muslim Students Association (MSA). Hassim said that the aim of the MSA with regard to IAW “is to create a unified and massified[sic] support for Palestine and to create awareness of the atrocities they are facing on a daily basis”. “This is no[t] [an] Arab issue, Muslim issue or Jewish issue, the issue at hand is simply a humanitarian issue,” he said. The South African Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS) Tuks Branch hosted events in conjunction with Stand with Us International. SAUJS released a statement in which they set out their goals: “to tell the full story of the conflict and counter the half-truths peddled by the opposing side in order to give students and lecturers alike a different perspective on how lasting peace can be achieved between Palestinians and Israelis”.
Events surrounding IAW were held at several campuses last week, including the University of the Free State, the University of the Witwatersrand, University of Johannesburg, and Stellenbosch University.
Photo: Kaylyn O’Brien.
On 25 March, Tuks Rag will host the RAG of Hope Day Benefit Concert on the Rag Farm “in order to raise funds to assist students through initiatives such as food hampers and fees”.
According to Rag chairperson, Roahan Gouws, some of the proceeds from the concert will go to students that need assistance the most. “This will be done by opening a communication channel for students to come to us with this particular need and we will then allocate food hampers accordingly. We also plan to use some of the money to allocate to students to help them with books and funding,” he said. Gouws hopes that the concert will have a large turnout to fulfil the Rag 2017 vision of Ubuntu, “where students are assisting other students.”
According to a security alert e-mail circulated to staff members of the University of Pretoria, two male scam artists have been identified on campus.
The Department of Security Services said the men approached UP personnel members and pretended to be workers from Hewlett Packard. The alleged scam artists provided a fake but convincing Hewlett Packard document. They informed a personnel member that they needed to replace an outdated ink cartridge in their office, and thereafter removed the ink cartridges without returning with a replacement cartridge. Security Services Investigations Manager, Rowan Watson, could not comment on the situation as the incident has already been reported to the SAPS and was said to be “sub judice” (under judicial consideration, thus banned from public discussion). University of Pretoria Spokesperson, Candice Jooste, has however confirmed that “the safety of all students and employees is important to [the University] and [they have] put measures in place to ensure this”.
On 9 March, the TSC held a fundraising event by having a “blikskud” (begging) event on Lynnwood Road outside UP’s main entrance “as a means of approaching the public in order to raise funds towards students in need, and even more so [to] raise awareness on the lack of funding for needy students”.
In what served as the launch of the TSC’s fundraising campaign, TSC members held tin cans and asked motorists for money in peak hour traffic, starting from 07:00.
According to a media statement, this was part of a two-fold fundraising approach done “to raise public awareness on the lack of funds to support needy students, especially after many qualifying students’ applications were rejected by NSFAS and the burden now falls on the university and the TSC to help these students. To blatantly turn these students away, was not an option and the TSC decided to take an alternative and positive approach to raising funds”.
According to TSC chairperson, Henrico Barnard, the event raised R2 000 in 2 hours.
The money that was collected during the event will go into the SRC Study Aid Fund to assist students who have or are going to approach the TSC for financial aid.
Photo: Kaylyn O’Brien
POOJA PUNDIT AND BRADLEY TJONGARERO
Since 8 March, a petition to the University of Pretoria has been circulating on Twitter based on the issue of the lack of accessible Halaal food on Hatfield campus.
Hatfield campus contains the majority of UP’s Muslim student population as well as the Muslim Students Association (MSA).
According to the petition, a student who would like to remain anonymous wishes for the University to relocate the Halaal food outlet, “The Jaffel Lady,” on South campus to Hatfield campus. This outlet caters for Muslim students on South and Hatfield Campuses.