MARKO SVICEVIC UP’s Department of Facilities Management, in collaboration with UP’s Department of Residence Affairs and Accommoda...Read more
The UP SRC released an open letter addressed to UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Cheryl de la Rey, on 14 November, regarding the possibility of exam deferrals. The letter was written by the SRC “in a desperate attempt to save students who have been negatively affected by the implications of various developments and decisions”, and said that the SRC was attempting to save students in the same way that UP had made a “desperate attempt to save the academic year”. In the letter, the SRC said that for the last 7 weeks UP had substituted contact lectures with a hybrid learning system, and that the transition between the systems had “compromised many students who have to deal with the cultural shock just moments before their examinations”. The SRC said, “In an institution as large as ours, where class inequality is ever so prevalent, the system does violence to those without material conditions for success,” and raised the issues of access to study facilities, internet services, textbooks and online learning material.
On 9 November the Constitutional Tribunal for 2017 was inaugurated at Duxbury Place. Thabo Shingange, interim chairperson of the SRC and chairperson of the Judicial Services Commission in charge of appointing the new tribunal convened the ceremony. Dr Matete Madiba, director of the Department of Student Affairs gave a short welcoming speech. She emphasised that the new Constitutional Tribunal should be humble and smart in the way that they uphold student law at UP. Mia Labuschagne, outgoing Chief Justice of the tribunal, announced the new judges, and swore them in by oath as judges of the Constitutional Tribunal.
The 2016 Society of Tropical Veterinary Medicine (STVM) Norval-Young Award was recently awarded to UP student Luïse Robbertse. The award is presented every two years to one candidate, recognised to be a leading young mind in the field of Tropical Veterinary Medicine. The award ceremony was organised by the Institute for Parasitology and Tropical Veterinary Medicine at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.
Sixteen students were arrested in the early hours of the morning on Monday, 7 November, during a memorial held by UP Fees Must Fall. The memorial was being held in memory of University of Johannesburg (UJ) student Kelvin Baloy, who was shot dead at an end of year party at a private residence, allegedly by a security guard.
The students will be appearing at Pretoria Central Magistrates Court on Tuesday, 8 November at 9:00. UP Fees Must Fall said, "As [UP Fees Must Fall], we demand that the victimsation and malicious arrests of our students stop, and we ask if really everyone is equal before the law. Management together with the SAPS should know that putting us behind bars will not change our ideology and we remain resolute on our call for free decolonised education."
According to a tweet by UP Fees Must Fall, arrested students were separated and taken to the holding cells of different police stations across Pretoria.
The Brooklyn SAPS could not be reached for comment at the time of publication.
Since UP’s official shutdown on 26 September, the university has said that it is “implementing arrangements alternative to on-campus lectures”. This has changed the working academic environment since 11 October, UP announced that “all lecture and study material will be made available by the faculties either online or by other means.” Students have raised their concerns about a lack of access to computers and internet. However, on 19 October, UP announced that it had “liais[ed] with several service providers to provide students with the option of accessing the university website and ClickUP free of charge.” These service providers are Tshwane Free Wi-Fi, AlwaysOn, and Telkom. The university has said that more services will be added as they become available. These network zones are only free in accessing the university website and ClickUP, therefore, students will not have access to other websites including social media.