BY BRYNLEY VAN AARDT
Stellenbosch University (SU) students have been confused as to what the recent ban of alcohol consumption in residences means for the future of Huisdans, Huisfondsdans and the sale of alcohol at Varsity Cup on Monday nights.
Dr Choice Makhetha, Senior Director of Student Affairs said, “All events not held in the residences of the university, will not be affected by this ban, as much as we would still want to encourage students to use alcohol more responsibly and look out for one another to avoid risks which come with alcohol abuse.”
The SU Student Representative Council (SRC), however, also had something to say about the alcohol ban in an email sent out to students last week, titled “Our issue with the alcohol policy”.
“As the highest and final representative of students at SU, the SRC was engaged on the issue of the alcohol ban in only one session on 15 January. At this session we were promised continued engagement before decisions were reached, a promise which has clearly been contravened,” the email stated.
The SRC views this as a violation of the principles of cooperative governance and believes it has left the student body without a voice in a matter that directly concerns them. “It is for this reason that the SRC rejects the decision by SU management to temporarily ban the consumption of alcohol,” the email continues.
Prof Arnold Schoonwinkel, SU Vice-Rector of Learning and Teaching, replied to the SRC’s and other student grievances in another email that Friday.
“Let us not get distracted by the framing of this matter as a contest between ‘opposing sides’. Let us rather focus on what we have in common – firstly, a strong conviction to end alcohol abuse and gender-based violence, and secondly, a firm commitment to find agreement on the best ways of doing so,” Schoonwinkel said.
An official document has been made available by the SRC for students to anonymously report their concerns about the alcohol ban which the SRC will be taking to SU Senior Management.