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The TSC chairperson for 2017 is Henrico Barnard, who was voted in internally by the UP council appointed TSC. Barnard spoke to Perdeby about his goals for 2017.
As the TSC chairperson, what are your goals for this year?
My best achievement could be more stability on campus than last year, have a conducive student environment and study environment, for people on last year [the protests] played an even bigger strain on needy students by all these actions. In general thats why we are here, so my main focus is a conducive student environment, and also to actively debate about the issues on campus that are sensitive and people need to discuss, and not just do it in your own party, but have the openness to speak to other people and tell then where you come from, and reach a mutual understanding to see what are the things we agree on, through all these differences, and focus on what we can achieve together.
The TSC is made up of students from very different backgrounds, how will you manage to work together?
I made it very clear from the start there is no place for politics in that office. As soon as you associate yourself with a specific party, then you exclude a huge amount of students, other than that, they don’t approach you as openly as they would.
What’s going to happen with student culture in general?
I personally support that, and I think student culture is a big part of student life. 1sync will be the first student culture event.
Due to disruptions by the fees must fall protests during the second semester of UP last year, a Temporary Student Committee (TSC) was appointed by the UP council for 2017. The TSC was appointed to take care of urgent SRC business until such a time that fair SRC elections can be held again. The TSC should consists of four members from the 2016 SRC and another eight members from various other student governing bodies. All members of the TSC must have met the same eligibility requirements necessary to become part of the SRC, including that they must have had a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 60% and must have completed 80% of their academic work over three consecutive semesters at UP. The chairperson and vice-chairperson of the TSC were elected as Henrico Barnard and Thabo Shingange respectively.
Mzikazi Noholoza, head of Student Governance was unavailable for comment.
On 15 December 2016 the North Gauteng High court rejected an application to stop the phasing out of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction at the University of Pretoria. The application was brought by Afriforum, Afriforum Youth, and Solidarity on 1 December.
The university will phase out Afrikaans from 2017.
“[UP] welcomes the High Court’s decision to uphold the resolution passed by the UP Council earlier this year,” read a statement released by the university. The new UP language policy was adopted on 22 June and stipulated that English would be the primary language of instruction from 2017.
With the registration process for first year students starting on 18 January, students have been cautioned on who they take assistance from. In a post on the UP website students were urged to only take advice from university staff when dealing with fees, housing, registration or any other administrative support. According to UP, “no political party or organisation has been given permission to provide assistance to students as specified above, and students should not be misled to think otherwise.”
On 12 January, the UP fees must fall (UPFMF) movement released a statement raising their disappointment in UP’s warning calling it a “dull-witted propaganda stunt” and labelling it as disingenuous. Political societies on campus have offered assistance to students in previous years.