MARKO SVICEVIC UP’s Department of Facilities Management, in collaboration with UP’s Department of Residence Affairs and Accommoda...Read more
On 13 February, UP Fees Must Fall activists and Economic Freedom Fighters UP (EFFSCUP) members held a campus sleep-in against the lack of access to affordable accommodation and residence placement for students who come from “outside of Gauteng” and are mostly from “poor areas”. The event was held in the Student Centre on the Hatfield campus and “[called] on students of the University of Pretoria to stand in solidarity with our fellow students who are sleeping on the streets, in toilets, libraries and benches across campuses”. The movement held that “most students who have been placed in newly built private residences in Hatfield are facing a situation where their monthly rent far exceeds the NSFAS pay out and the University residences are no different as residences fees have gone up by over R10 000.00”.
The movement used the hashtag UPResCrisis and within hours it was a trending topic on Twitter. One Twitter user said, “…rich, white students [who] stay around the University go to res just for the "culture" are prioritized over the ones that really need [accommodation]”. According to former SRC president, Mosibudi “Rassie” Rasethaba, at about 9pm UP’s security guards begun removing students from campus. “Note that these students were refused places in University owned residences and can not afford private residence. Campus was their only safe space for tonight,” said Rasethaba in a Facebook post.
The Facebook event is set to end on 20 February at 8pm and advocates for “[holding] management accountable on the commitments to dealing with this crisis as it has been ongoing for several years” as “have been numerous engagements with the management of the University on this issue but to no avail”.
The Heartfelt Arena played host to the debut of recently renamed first year concert, Insync.
The overall winners, Mopanie, took home the award for best men’s theme as Mexican workers in a Trump hotel. Nerina won their first ever title of best overall female res performance with the theme “Shipwrecked”. Their set list included songs that perfectly supported their theme.
The Republic of Olienhout redeemed themselves after not placing in 2016 by coming second for the men’s residences. The Jarre stole the hearts of the female audience members with their Wedding Crashers theme and Bruno Mars serenade. Zinnia’s Kung Foo Panda theme won second place for the ladies’ residences, as well as the best ladies’ theme.
While most students who start their journey at UP do so after completing their matric year , and usually begin their studies at the age of 18 years or older, this year UP is welcoming a 14 year old to its campus.
Hjalmar Rall, from Riebeek Kasteel in the Western Cape, will be pursuing a degree in BSc Physics. In 2015, Rall wrote four Cambridge IGCSE exams at the age of 12, obtaining A’s in Chemistry, Maths, Physics and English. According to an article on the UP website titled “Fourteen year old joins UP,” Rall’s success lies in doing what he enjoys. “I want to ask even bigger questions and find out what else there is to do, particularly in theoretical physics and astrophysics,” says Rall.
MARKO SVICEVIC AND CELLIERS MARAIS
The 2017 TuksRAG initiative is set to be redefined this year with community outreach at its core. The annual RAG event, which in previous years involved a procession through the streets of Hatfield and was moved to LC de Villiers last year, is in the process of being remodelled to better its goal of community outreach.
The RAG event this year will take place on 25 March and will involve a market day and collecting charitable donations. The market day will include food stalls and music. The residences will also be displaying their charitable side by collecting and filling up donation chests.
CHAD JOHNSTON AND MOTLATSI KGAPHOLA
A Temporary Student Committee (TSC) has been appointedfor the term of 2017. The TSC was appointed after elections for a 2017 SRC were disrupted last year. According to the Constitution for Student Governance (CSG), “the Temporary Student Committee will administer any urgent affairs of the SRC until a new SRC is elected”.
The TSC is made up of 12 members, four of whom must previously have served on the SRC, while the remaining eight members may come from other structures of student governance.
The TSC will operate as an SRC until the next SRC elections. All members are available to assist students in the Roosmaryn building.