Heléne Leonard 

Vensters is an annual event where thousands of first year Maties gather and put their various talents on display for the Stellenbosch community. Stellenbosch University (SU) resi­dences and private student organisa­tions (PSOs) collaborate to bring audiences a vibrant and entertaining performance, which will be connected with the social impact projects all first year students are involved in through­out the year.

Each residence and PSO choose their own theme, related to their social impact project, and create a perfor­mance that is entertaining while also conveying a message of social aware­ness. This event encourages students to engage more in critical discussions. Students learn from the “get go” to be more involved in society.

Stalls and the food walk in Victoria Street will start doing business from 16:30 on Friday, but the Venster per­formances will only start from 18:00 and will continue until 22:00. Many SU students support their fellow first years through watching Vensters.Over 40 PSOs and residences take part in this event.

First years get the opportunity to showcase themselves on stage and this also creates a space for students to grow in their confidence. Students engage with topical social and economic issues that hinder our society. Through Vensters students from different backgrounds will come to­gether and learn what each other’s his­tory and heritage is about. Vensters is all about creating an environment where students get chal­lenged with difficult societal problems and, through a festive and entertaining manner, first years are taught what it means to be a citizen in society.

According to Cailin Perrie, chair of Connect, Vensters is a “fundraising event where the proceedings go to the participating residences and PSOs”. The money is then used for various “social upliftment projects”. Perrie further says that the focus of this year’s Vensters is on making good choices to improve society.

“Each Vensters partnership was thus challenged to add to the phrase ‘choose to’, for example ‘choose to be sustainable’,” she said.

The residences Dagbreek and Neri­na chose the theme ‘choose to change the world’, while Venustia and Gold­fields will have as their theme ‘choose to be you’. Through choosing such inspiring themes, students develope a sense understanding of the socio-political problems and ever growing change­within their society. Vensters officially marks the end of the first years orien­tation. Senior students have been mov­ing into Stellenbosch and their resi­dences since the 26 of January and are expected to support their fellow first years during Vensters.

Lectures for most SU students will start on Monday 4 February.

Photo: Armin Prinsloo