During the SRC election period of 2021, PDBY attended the SRC Manifesto sessions of the various SRC portfolio’s. This article serves as a mirror representation of the campaign promises made by certain portfolio’s SRC elects in their Manifestos. Thus, no SRC member listed in this article has answered in their capacity as an SRC member but in their own personal capacity while campaigning.
SRC Presidential Elect 2021/2022: Thuto Mashila
• Ensure students have the necessary knowledge on what the SRC is supposed to do for them and what they can assist in.
• Strengthening the visibility of the SRC, by interacting in events held by Residences.
• Prioritise fund-raising to help address historical debt and students that are financially disadvantaged.
• Speak to businesses and external parties to create a fund to allow the SRC to address student debt and assist international students.
• Ensure access to learning devices and data bundles to allow students to be able to participate in classes and perform well academically.
• Constantly engage with companies to provide functioning equipment and engage with students to ensure that their needs are being addressed.
• Involve students in issues of governance and issues of the constitution that pertain to student governance to ensure efficiency in the performance of duties.
• Ensure the continuation of the relationships between societies and the SRC, as well as the promotion of programmes that speak to inclusivity, transformation and safety. Ensure that all students including students with disability are assisted in every way and not left on the side lines. This will ensure an environment free of discrimination and Gender Based Violence (GBV) and allow students to feel safe and heard in issues that involve them.
SRC Deputy President Elect 2021/2022: Stefan Steenekamp
• Ensure that lecturers and modules coordinators do not sacrifice the quality of education due to the online nature of teaching at the university.
• Assist students with registration through a hybrid system as some students struggled to register on time and resulted in exclusion.
• Fight student academic exclusion.
• Provide previously disadvantaged and international students with laptops, data and additional training in computer literacy.
• Address financial barriers, by collaborating with the university to get funding from external parties for students in need. Collaborate with the Finance Department to ensure that everyone is held accountable.
• Address and assist mental health issues by ensuring that affected students get the possible help they need as soon as possible. Issues will be dealt with by collaborating with the Department of Student Affairs (DSA) , executives, student counselling services and to ensure that the number of psychologists are increased on every campus by collaborating with BestMed and other medical services to ensure that these medical professionals are paid for.
• Ensure that there are more workers in the DSA , to allow them to help more students.
• Implement a sub-council to support each office of the SRC, to help plan and organise events to get exposure for certain issues and assist in training faculty house committees.
• Ensure the safety of all students against GBV, especially in the residences.
SRC Secretary Elect 2021/2022: Tarik Lala
• Ensure the running of what would be the SRC itself. Ensure that administratively, before the SRC begins term in office through projects, especially in ex-officio roles as well as the transformation roles and programmes, before beginning these programmes that the SRC should find itself in the position to address issues faced by students such as financial exclusion, academic exclusion. Thus, the SRC must be administratively ahead of and proactively ready for the issues that the SRC will be addressing.
• SRC should reach out and contact students as the SRC begins its term in office, not rather once the students have faced the problems themselves. Thus, SRC should provide a platform for students to come forth with issues so that they can be addressed long in advance.
• Would like to achieve an administrative process that is proactive and addresses issues at a level where the SRC can anticipate what is going to happen and address/respond/act before it becomes a major issue.
• Would like to support certain programmes within the SRC especially within the transformation portfolio but equally the SRC must ensure that postgraduate and international students are provided the platform to raise their issues or to even have programmes themselves to address their challenges.
• Advocate for transparency and accessibility
• Ensure that the student governance at large engages with the DSA
• Ensure that Day Houses, Faculty Houses and Key Committees and Special Committees are on board with the SRC Agenda to ensure that students have access to leadership and have access to resources. This will require the SRC to build a very strong communication line with these various structures.
SRC Deputy Secretary Elect 2021/2022: Anoint Fikile Sibanda
• Being a drive for institutional policy change by putting together a committee that will coordinate change and reforms by engaging key stakeholders with other SRC members which will be supported by various institutional personnel, which will help implement immediate constitutional and institutional change to realise rapid change.
• Establish a results based management that will provide an effective and transparent platform to demonstrate accountability, results and impact of student leaders. With this, student issues will be effectively recorded and effectively dealt with.s. SRC will also have direct communication with residency sub-councils and attend sub council meetings.
• There will be an implementation of reports which will include information with regards to student debt, mental health, legal services-cases on and off campuses, gender based violence, academic and financial exclusion, resident culture issues and
residence placements. It will also include information on issues of poverty, institutional, environmental, gender and sexual assault cases statistics which will provide students with accurate information. This will be made available through spreading of SRC minutes, by making the SRC tab on ClickUP permanent, and by posting on social media, and will be released regularly.
Postgraduate and International Student Elect 2021/2022: Neville Mupita
Aims to divide the portfolio into two segments:
1. Postgraduate segment:
- Will liaise with relevant department to increase the intake of postgraduate students in the University because statistics have shown that in 2020, UP had 53 430 undergrad students but only 5867 students were taken into postgraduate studies.
• Will work with the university to give out the necessary information to final year students about postgraduate studies.
• Give the necessary academic support to postgraduate students.
• Hold incompetent and unapproachable supervisors accountable because postgraduate students have complained about slow communication from supervisors.
- Conduct surveys quarterly in order to get feedback on postgraduate courses.
- Promote mental health initiatives for postgraduate students.
2. International Students segment:
- Help international students with visa and registration applications.
- Continue with online applications for international students instead of having to go to the University in person to seek help.
- Ensure the university does not reject personal medical aid for international students so that they do not have to pay an additional R5000 on top of the registration money.
- Liaise with ISD for cheaper medical aid for international students.
- Faculty House postgraduate and international students portfolio holders must be trained on how to conduct international student applications, passport and visa applications because half of the portfolio holders are not postgraduate students or even international students.
- Ensure international students receive institutional assistance for accommodation.
- Have a social support programme to ensure that international students adapt to a South African environment.
- Create an International Student Committee to help international students with visa applications etc.
- Start a mentorship programme for first year international students.
- Liaise with the university for International student financial aid by raising funds and granting international students study loans.
Day Student and External Campus Affairs Elect 2021/2022: Lauren Thabethe
• “I ran for this portfolio because it is closer to my heart. I am a day student and I share the same struggles that day students face. When I decided to run for this portfolio, I had strategies in my mind on how I could solve some of the issues that are being faced by day students. I ran for this portfolio because I want to be the voice of day students and students that are in Groenkloof, Prinshof, Mamelodi and Ondersterpoort campuses. I believe I have the required knowledge that will assist me in dealing with some of the matters”.
• “In my office tenure, I intend to ensure that all day students, this includes students from Groenkloof, Prinshof, Mamelodi and Ondersterpoort are included in the full university experience. I want to instill a culture of inclusivity amongst students, especially the LGBTQIA+ community. Issues that are being faced daily by students in accredited private accommodations are also of utmost priority to me.I will ensure that students have a comfortable stay at these residences. These issues will of course be handled successfully with the help of house committees from the different residences”.
• “While doing my research I have discovered that students from external campuses are not familiar with the SRC structure. They do not really know where to run to for help. I want to address this challenge that they have. I want to actively engage in these campuses so that students are familiar with the SRC structure and feel included”.
• “There are crime hotspot areas in Hatfield, and I am willing to work with my colleague from the facilities, safety, and security portfolio to identify these areas and alert students about them and give recommendations that could prevent students being victims to crime. With the help of our security from the university, we are going to prioritize student safety and ensure that students have a university experience that is not traumatic”.
• “I am a leader that likes being on the playground, I will leave no email unanswered, every concern that is brought to me by students will be handled with urgency. I intend on meeting with some of the students personally at times and get to engage with them on a personal level. It is not possible to meet all the students, but I will form structures that will bridge the gap between students and me”.
• “My main objective is to serve students in the most diligent way possible. I want day students to feel like they belong. I do not want to leave any room for exclusivity. Day students’ concerns should be heard and resolved amicably”.