BY FLAVIA DAVIDS
In line with its mandate to serve the students of Stellenbosch University (SU), the Student Representative Council (SRC), in collaboration with the Academic Affairs Council (AAC), assisted students with outstanding debt by preparing appeals for readmission to the institution. In addition to this initiative, the SRC’s Transformation Office assisted newcomers with transport during the annual Welcoming period, which was underway from 1–13 February.
The SRC is key to the functioning of the SU student body, and its primary purpose is the representation and promotion of student interests during discussions with SU administration, management and executive bodies. Similarly, the AAC has been mandated by the Student Constitution to represent the students’ academic interests to the executive management of the SRC and the university’s management. They also serve to promote the students’ rights to quality education and academic support, and to ensure that assessment procedures are transparent and justifiable. The bodies have attempted to achieve their respective objectives by means of their joint initiative to assist students with readmission.
George van Dyk, chairperson of the AAC, headed the readmission initiative but was unavailable for comment. According to an Instagram post on the SRC’s account (@stellenbosch_src), the initiative aimed to ensure that students who wanted to reregister to the university had their appeals “presented in a manner where [the appeal] can be judged on its merits, with full supporting documentation”. The post also communicated that it was the SRC’s belief that the project would assist these students’ chances of successful readmission to the university for this year.
The SRC’s Transformation Office also launched its transport initiative. Zander Niemand, the SRC’s Transformation Officer for this year, along with fellow SRC members Chris Briel and Alex Vink (who head both the student wellness and the womxn and queer empowerment (WAQE) portfolios respectively), headed the Newcomer Transport Initiative.
This initiative began on the eve of SU’s annual Welcoming period, 1 February, and was underway until 10 February. It was born from the newcomers’ need for assistance to get to their various student communities after travelling to Stellenbosch from all over the country. This project was the idea of former transformation officer Viwe Kobokana, who is the current chairperson of the SRC. The drivers for the initiative provided newcomers with lifts to their residences and private accommodation, and picked them up from airports and bus and train terminals from in and around Stellenbosch.
“We wanted to ensure that arriving newcomers had access to safe and cost free transportation. I’m very happy to say that we’re continuing the initiative again this year, and we’ve made the additional provisions to ensure that newcomers arriving to Tygerberg can also make use of free and safe transport,” said Niemand.
Briel, Niemand and Vink have great expectations for this initiative, which has seen the interplay between the SRC and various student leaders of House Committees and private student organisations (PSOs).
“We’ve asked that the various student communities aid us in this project, that they help us capture the details of students who are requesting assistance. We hope that this collaboration with House Committees and residence leaders will ensure that all newcomers are aware of the initiative that the SRC is running and that they are aware there is help if they need it,” added Niemand.
Niemand explained that they hoped this initiative would “help to spark collaborative leadership between the SRC and House