News

Sue Nyamnjoh

In a response to the need for more comprehensive mental health care and an effort to prevent the number of suicides amongst its student body, UCT announced its partnership with the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) on April 23rd. This consociation takes the form of a toll-free 24/7 helpline called the UCT Student Careline.

Ashley Seymour

Due to library budget cuts implemented earlier this year, students and staff have experienced problems gaining access to some academic journals. The budget cuts, a result of UCT's newly implemented austerity measures and the continued depreciation of the Rand, has forced UCT Libraries to cancel previous subscriptions to academic journals. This has left both the students and UCT academics with a restricted access to academic content and thus, many are worried over the future ramifications this may have on the University.

Catherine Fulton

On April 21st, Sizwe Nxasana, the newly appointed Chairperson of the National Student’s Financial Aid Scheme (NFSAS), presenting the new funding model to Witswaterstrand University. The plan will allow for NSFAS to tighten the control of fund allocation to students as part of the new funding scheme set to start in 2018. Nxasana accused universities for being part of the problem in hindering students from accessing the necessary funds to higher education and is implementing this plan to circumvent the issue.

Zoe Postman

The second sitting of Student Parliament took place on Wednesday May 4th in the New Snape Building, Studio 4C and had 77% attendance, allowing for a legitimate decision-making process. Dr Max Price, Vice Chancellor of UCT, presented the new strategic plan for 2016-2019, which outlined five main focus areas of forging a new identity for UCT. The focus areas were: Institutional Culture, Africa and International, Engaged Scholarship, Graduate Attributes, and Research. According to the strategic plan document, ‘Strategic plans are designed to drive change, or concentrate effort and resources, in areas requiring attention in order for an organisation to fully realise its Mission.’

Sue Nyamnjoh & Zoe Postman Research by Ali Findlay and Aisha Abdool Karim

On April 15th Prof. Sandra Klopper, Acting Vice Chancellor at the time, released a statement via e-mail regarding a UCT student who had been raped in her residence room. The statement did not specify which resident this occurred in, but outlined that the perpetrator was not a UCT student and that an investigation into the matter is currently underway. While this is the first e-mail to have been sent to the university body regarding an incident of this nature, it is not the first time that a student has been raped in the residence.

Tanya Magaisa

5 short summaries of events happening in South Africa and around the world

Sue Nyamnjoh

On March 31st, Liesbeeck Gardens Residence launched the #KnowYourNeighbour campaign to encourage interaction and build relations between students in residences. This followed a statement released on March 21st by Liesbeeck Residence, which said that the residence would be approaching Residence Council regarding how mental health is handled in residences. The aim is to get the ‘Residence Council to engage the university management to look into the [spate] of suicides in residences and put in place systems to help students with psycho-social and other suicide-inducing problems.’

Zoe Postman

On March 15, 2016, the SRC received a two million rand donation from Old Mutual towards their #Fundingfutures campaign. The hand over took place at the company’s head offices in Pinelands. Busi Nxumalo, the Corporate Relations Officer of the SRC, expressed her deepest gratitude towards Old Mutual for their generous donation. She hoped that it would set an example for other corporate companies to get involved.

Tanya Magaisa

Earlier this year, as a facet of the decolonisation project at UCT, questions were raised regarding the lack of diversity in the university’s academic staff.

Nicole Arends and Ashley Seymour

5 short summaries of events happening in South Africa and around the world.

Written by Tsepo Ngwenyama Research by Ashley Seymour

A large part of the decolonial project, as argued by movements such as Rhodes Must Fall (RMF) and the Black Academic Caucus (BAC), is transformation within the academic staff demography across all faculties. The issue of academic representation has formed part of a larger debate of transformation at UCT, and the apparent lack of urgency and speed with which UCT management is dealing with the issue is highly contested.

Robyn Ausmeier

On April 5th, a review of UCT’s Discrimination and Harassment Office (DISCHO) was made publicly available. This review was initiated last year following criticism from the UCT community about the functioning of DISCHO and the failings of the current system in addressing sexual assault and harassment on campus.

Robyn Ausmeier

On April 5th 2016, a review of UCT’s Discrimination and Harassment Office (DISCHO) was made publically available. This review was initiated last year following criticism from the UCT community about the functioning of DISCHO and the failings of the current system in addressing sexual assault and harassment on campus.

The DISCHO Review was conducted by a review panel made up of five members. The panel was chaired by Associate Professor Sally Swartz, Deputy Dean of Humanities, and included three internal members as well as one external consultant.

Yogi Shoba Research by Nico Nomyayi

In November last year, UCT despatched private security onto campus following an upsurge of protest action from both student and worker movements. Since then, concerns have been raised regarding the necessity of private security on campus as well as issues of safety regarding how private security officers interact with staff and students.

Ashley Seymour

Students gathered outside of Bremner building on Wednesday, March 16th to protest the multiple incidences of rape and sexual harrasement experienced by UCT students in the past few weeks. The event, titled #RapeAtUct, called on supporters to denounce the lack of proper support structures equipped to deal with sexual assault. This follows from campaigning against the Discrimination and Harassment Office (DISCHO) and sexual assault by UCT survivors earlier last week.

Julius Stopforth

A year after the inception of the Rhodes Must Fall (RMF) movement, an exhibition titled ‘Echoing Voices from Within’ was held at the Centre for African Studies (CAS) on Wednesday, March 9th. The exhibition was interrupted by the arrival of members from the UCT Trans Collective, some of whom were fully nude. In a statement by the Trans Collective on their Facebook page, the motivation for the disruption

Nicholas Martinez

Finding a parking space for staff and students at UCT is stressful and luck of the draw. Even with the purchase of a parking disc, you are not always guaranteed a space in the many parking bays on campus. This year for students, a parking disc for unmarked bays is R960 a year, for Smuts/Fuller it is R1524 a year, and for Obz Square it comes out to R1740 a year. According to the traffic department, the reason Obz Square is so expensive is because there is 24-hour surveillance on that parking structure and the extra fee helps pay for the increased surveillance.
The parking policy developed by the Properties and Services Department at UCT states that the

Jess Worsley

Rhodes Memorial Rape Suspect Appears in Court
The suspect arrested on Saturday appeared in Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Monday facing charges for the rape that occurred on November 19 last year. Police are also investigating the possibility that the suspect might be responsible for other cases that have occurred in the area. The case was postponed to March 18 to allow time to secure a relative’s address and draw up a formal bail application, which the state intends to oppose.
EWN: Eyewitness News

Nico Nomyayi

Since the removal of the statue of Cecil John Rhodes on April 9th, 2015, decolonisation at the institution has been a widely discussed topic. Student and staff organisations including the #RhodesMustFall Movement, the Trans Collective and the Black Academic Caucus have led the transformation dialogue.

Aisha Abdool Karim Research by Nico Nomyayi, Michaela Findeis and Tanya Magaisa

There were four reported cases of sexual violence at Rhodes Memorial from December 11th 2015 to February 4th 2016. Of the four women raped, three were UCT students. These incidents have highlighted the issue of sexual violence on campus, which has been an ongoing problem.

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