Tuks News Category

SRC holds emergency mass meeting


The SRC held an emergency mass meeting on the Aula grass on 19 March. The meeting was requested by political societies and arranged by the SRC after the quarterly Student Forum was ended early due to disruptions on Tuesday 17 March. SRC representatives, including the president, vice-president and secretary, were present. Political parties present included Sasco, EFF, Daso, AfriForum. UP's Security Services were also monitoring the event and members from the DSA were observing the proceedings. 

SRC president Mosibudi “Rassie” Rasethaba began proceedings by addressing some of the prominent issues affecting students. He emphasised the problems that students face regarding study finance and housing. He made the announcement that the university has made R5 million available to assist students with study finance. Rasethaba then spoke about student housing. He mentioned the “I am Jackson” campaign, a student initiative which was started by the EFF which aims to help students with housing. Rasethaba encouraged students to help and donate money to the campaign. Rasethaba mentioned that the campaign has a few corporate sponsors and he also pledged R500 to the campaign. Rasethaba also spoke of the issue of students squatting on campus. He said that students who are struggling to find accommodation have been given place in Tuks Bophelong. He concluded by encouraging students who are struggling with study finance or accommodation to go to Roosmaryn so that the SRC can help them.

Read more: SRC holds emergency mass meeting

First Student Forum collapses


On the evening of 17 March the first Student Forum for 2015 was held. The forum took place in the EMB building. Following from the unrest of the subcouncil meeting where forum members were voted in, the first Student Forum also resulted in discontent. Sanan Mirzoyev, Chief Justice of the Constitutional Tribunal, was the chairperson of the forum and ended the meeting abruptly and prematurely on the basis that the forum was chaotic.

From the start of the meeting to its sudden end, there were problems. The venue was not suited for the forum as floor members were expected to be relatively quiet as other students were writing tests in the building. The first half-hour of the meeting was spent deliberating on whether the meeting should be postponed until 19:00 and whether or not the SRC would answer questions about their budget. The meeting became ungovernable when a member of the floor asked for the purpose of satellite offices to be re-explained. Mirzoyev wanted to defer the member’s response to the allocated question and answer session at the end, to which the member replied, “When we deal with student issues we cannot move swiftly through these things, because the fact of the matter is any decisions taken will affect the [majority of students].”
From this point onwards the SRC’s plan of action was not discussed further and the floor broke out into chaos and drowned out Mirzoyev. The meeting was then ended with Mirzoyev saying, “I do have the power to stand the Student Forum down if this process is not going to be governable. The Student Forum will be officially closed now and there will be no further Student Forum.”
Only a part of the first agenda point was discussed and most of the matters that were meant to be discussed, including the SRC budget, were not. Sasco, in a press statement, expressed their disappointment “at this fact, as there are serious issues that were not addressed by the SRC ... The turn of events was rather unfortunate but also unavoidable.”
Tuks political organisations have different opinions of Mirzoyev’s decisions throughout the meeting. Mirzoyev asked that questions be deferred until the question and answer sessions so as to stick to the agenda. Sasco feels that, “[Mirzoyev] was hell-bent on suppressing any form of interaction, anything that would compromise the SRC.” They have since called on the SRC to host another sitting to urgently re-evaluate the matter of the Constitutional Tribunal council chairing the proceedings, “because they are not there to facilitate deliberation on serious student issues,” according to Sasco.

While Werner Beineke, AfriForum’s chairperson, said that AfriForum “condemns the behaviour of the ANYL, Sasco and the EFF following the disruption of the Student Forum... By misusing their right for information, they took away the rest of the Student Forum's democratic rights for more information on the SRC's plan of action and budget.” AfriForum Youth felt that the Constitutional Tribunal council’s actions were justifiable and “hopes that there will be steps taken to foresee such disruptions from happening again.”
Student Forum did not achieve what it had intended to and societies still have questions about the SRC budget in particular. It is uncertain whether there will be another sitting of the forum, however, a bulk sms and various notices were sent out yesterday by the SRC regarding a mass meeting to be held on the Aula grass at 13:00 today. According to the sms, the meeting plans to “provide a way forward on student issues”.


Fact Box: SRC plan of action 

The Student Forum came to an abrupt end on Tuesday night and not all issues on the agenda were discussed. It was only the SRC’s plan of action that was covered. The SRC’s plan of action consists of eight initiatives built on their vision for 2015 which is “an all-inclusive environment for student success”.  

The first initiative’s aim is to ensure that student life is inclusive and includes events such as a ladies high tea, Campus Leagues and the remodelling of day houses. Mosibudi “Rassie” Rasethaba, SRC President, explained that the current day houses are exclusive in catering only for a specific group, saying that “the majority of the day houses consist of one particular race.”
The second initiative’s aim is academic success and to that end the SRC plans to facilitate it of students through top achiever awards and the extension of library hours. Rasethaba clarified the SRC’s plans on mother tongue mentorship saying that it will open the conversation for the creation of a platform to speak about how African languages are relevant to the university.

The SRC’s third initiative is their effort to uphold the value and image of the SRC. This initiative consists of the SRC Day and Mobile SRC event, which will both aim to increase the SRC’s interaction with students and help the SRC better engage with student issues.
The fourth initiative is the promotion of student community engagement. This initiative is broken down into a focus on SRC projects being environmentally friendly, the requirement of all societies to have community service projects, and job creation for students in different university departments.

The fifth initiative is to improve safety, security and facilities on all campuses through Green Route security walks and improving transportation. The sixth initiative is to create collective involvement among Tuks campuses. The SRC plans to achieve this by setting up satellite offices so that the SRC can engage directly with students on all campuses.
The last two initiatives were not discussed at the student forum. The seventh initiative is the SRC’s use of platforms such as Perdeby, Tuks FM, ClickUp and social media to communicate with students. The last initiative is to inspire Tukkie pride through events like res students wearing Tuks shirts on a particular day of every month.


Photos: Shen Scott

Israeli Apartheid Week at Tuks


Sasco, in collaboration with the Muslim Student Association (MSA) and EFF Tuks, hosted a series of events throughout the Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) of 2-8 March. These events were hosted to raise awareness for human rights issues whereby the non-Jewish indigenous population of Palestine are allegedly oppressed and segregated by Israel.

Read more: Israeli Apartheid Week at Tuks

Talk of textured pathways


The introduction of textured pathways to the Hatfield campus is an initiative that began last year and is currently being drafted into a proposal for Prof. Susan Adendorff, the director of facilities management.

The SRC member with the Transformation and Student Success portfolio Jhua-nine Wyrley-Birch and the member with the Safety and Security portfolio Sibahle Sgwane are working on the textured pathways initiative together with Mandla Ntimane, a third-year town and regional planning student. The idea behind textured pathways “is to give blind students the chance to move around freely on campus without having to worry”, explained Wyrley- Birch. Wyrley-Birch confirmed that this project “is definitely going to happen this year”.

Read more: Talk of textured pathways

Wine Tasting Society opens for 2015


UP’s Wine Tasting Society officially opened its doors for 2015 at the Law kiosk on Thursday 12 March. Any student interested in joining could sign up at a small cost of R5 for bottomless wine.

The Wine Tasting Society aims to host at least two tastings a month on campus, where professionals from prestigious vineyards in the Western Cape share their knowledge with members of the society while they enjoy tasting the different selections of wine.

Read more: Wine Tasting Society opens for 2015

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Perdeby Poll

How do you feel about UP's new virtual open day?

I think it is a good idea. - 35%
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I will wait and see how it goes. - 20.2%

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