Tuks News Category

A space to collaborate, create, and innovate

JACO STROEBEL

The Merensky library on the UP’s Hatfield campus has a new secret. It is a curious and colourful room behind Xerox, poised to set new ideas and creative individuals free into the world. This is the makerspace.

In recent years craft culture has had a profound introduction to society, from growing your own bananas to making your own beer from the bananas that you have grown. This trend has not failed to catch on in the science and engineering sectors either, with small start-up companies making drones for doing anything from surveys to surveillance.

Anyone with an idea and some time seems to be employed in making something. This is how the makerspace was born. It is a space in which people with ideas can get together with people that have the technical ability to make these visions a reality. This means that any student, regardless of their technical background, can go there with an idea and attempt to realise it.

The “maker movement”, which USA Today refers to as the next industrial revolution, has been in full swing since 2005. It is the idea that if you are able to imagine it, you are able to make it. This is partly due to the fact that digital fabrication techniques that were previously only available to large institutions have now become accessible for individuals or small groups. Now it is not just the engineer working at some large corporation who is capable of making something, it is also the student sitting in a residence room plotting a schematic for the world’s furthest flying banana-rang.

Read more: A space to collaborate, create, and innovate

Tuks students involved in accident

MAKHOSAZANA NDLOVU

Four Tuks students have recently been involved in an accident on the corner of Murray and Hay street in Brooklyn. Residents of the surrounding area believe that the intersection is dangerous due to numerous accidents that have happened there before.

The Tshwane traffic department has already been consulted with regards to placing a traffic circle on the street since 25 October 2012, but there has been no response. The residents are not allowed to speak to the head of the traffic department, Mr Steve Ngobeni, directly, despite trying to contact him on numerous occasions. Ngobeni was not available for comment at the time of goint to print.

Read more: Tuks students involved in accident

SRC assists students with financial aid

BUSISIWE BEJE AND MICHAEL BONGANI REINDERS

The SRC provided financial aid to students in need of help with registration fees, as promised during their election campaign last year.

Reghard Pretorius, SRC member with the student finances portfolio, said that the remaining funds from the 2013/2014 SRC budget amounted to R240 000 and was allocated to the current SRC. This was to help them get on their feet as they are still waiting to receive university funds, which will only happen at the end of February. “The money that [we] received was used to help all students that came to seek help as they were unable to register. We were able to help 48 students with that money,” said Pretorius.

Preference was given to first- and final-year students. Furthermore, students that applied for SRC aid had to have a bursary or had to have applied for NSFAS aid. “The student had to be financially set for the year and had to have an average that is above 50% to increase their chances of receiving help, as many students apply,” said Pretorius.

In order to apply, a student had to go to any of the SRC members at the beginning of the year when registration opened and explain their situation to them. They also needed to write a motivational letter if they had an average below 50%, as well as supply a copy of their ID, proof of income, their most recent academic record and supporting documents for their application.

However, not every student that applied received help. A BEd FET student, who wished to remain anonymous, told Perdeby that she handed her application in to SRC President Mosibudi Rasethaba at the beginning of the registration week for seniors. Rasethaba said that they would get back to her the following week. She had still not been informed about the status of her application three weeks after she applied. She said, “I have not yet registered, but I’m hoping that they will get back to me at some point because they are my last hope.”

When asked about the financial aid, Rasethaba said, “We managed to help as many students as possible, but this is clearly not enough.” He also spoke of fundraisers which the SRC have planned and a book drive to help students who can’t afford textbooks.

He also told Perdeby that “money has been made available from the university management, R3 million to be exact, to assist students that don’t necessarily fall under the NSFAS criteria.”

Rasethaba also added that, “we would just like to urge all students that applied for financial aid with the SRC office, that haven’t received any form of communication, to contact the SRC office, particularly the office of the SRC financial aid officer, Reghard Pretorius, to find out how far the application [is] and if it was not approved, why it was not approved, and to see if there are any other means we can [use to] help try [to] get in contact with bursars or any other potential loans that you can access that you are not aware of.”

 

Photo: Hendro van der Merwe

Update on new test and exam rules

JODY DAVISON AND MICHAEL BONGANI REINDERS

UP has recently made changes to the test and exam rules. Certain items will no longer be allowed into the test or exam venue. These items are: bags, handbags, pencil cases, books, unauthorized apparatus, any electronic device which facilitates communication, paper and notes.

However, as of Friday 20 February these new rules were temporarily amended. Bags, books, cellphones etc. will now be allowed into test and exam venues, but all items must be placed inside the bags which must be closed and placed under the student’s seat. Electronic devices must be switched off and placed inside bags or on the floor out of sight of the student. Students may not have physical access to any of the items placed on the floor for the duration of the exam session.

The initial decision to change the rules was made last year. Mosibudi Rasethaba, SRC President, told Perdeby that the rules have changed because of the number of disciplinary hearings due to students breaking the exam rules. Not having some of these items in the exam will diminish the chances of students cheating.

Read more: Update on new test and exam rules

Hatfield Studios: questions clarified

NASIPHI MDLULWA

At the beginning of 2015, Hatfield Studios was made available as a form of accommodation for TuksRes students. Recently many questions have arisen about the the accommodation fee and pricing structure as well as the criteria for placement.

Perdeby spoke to the Prof. Themba Mosia, Vice-Principal of Student Affairs and Residence Affairs at Tuks and Feenstra Group about Hatfield Studios.

Previously, Tuks leased out Urban Nest and Campus House to provide additional accomodation to students. “The initial lease agreement with Urban Nest was for [temporary] accommodation for 280 students of UP residences undergoing renovation and refurbishment in 2013. Given the need for additional private accommodation, a number of units were also leased in Campus House to assist students in dire need. The facilities are accredited for National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) purposes. While the university was still engaged in processes to expand its accommodation capacity, the lease agreements were extended for the 2014 academic year,” says Prof. Mosia.

Read more: Hatfield Studios: questions clarified

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