Steerco, which is comprised of ten students and six staff members, has put forward a first draft of the constitution for students to consider and contribute towards. The draft takes into consideration all individuals and societies in the UP student community and has been made available on ClickUP for all students to access. It grants everyone the opportunity to make a contribution to the new constitution.
Contributions can be submitted to Steerco in the form of written submissions. Steerco will then put all submissions together and call for another discussion to produce the next version of the constitution. If written submissions need to be elaborated on, further discussions will be held which will allow students to expand on their submissions to Steerco. The aim is to present the final draft of the constitution to the university council by the end of June.
At the end of the information session the floor was opened for questions from the students present at the meeting. The students’ main concern was how Steerco was going to take all written submissions into account when producing the final draft that would be taken to council. Prof. Kok assured the audience that Steerco does not have the final say. “The final draft will be shaped by students’ contribution. We want the students’ voices on this constitution. Steerco will not make a final decision,” he said. He added that in a situation where a student or student body’s contribution is not accepted, a clear explanation will be given.
One student said that he did not understand why there needs to be a steering committee because the 2010 constitution was effective and there were only a few problems that needed to be addressed. Another member expressed his concern about the interference of the university council in the drafting of this constitution. Other concerns were that Steerco was not representative of the student body.
Dr Madiba told Perdeby that Steerco will be expanded. She said that they are calling on students to submit proposals regarding how Steerco can be expanded to ensure maximum representation of students. She added that there will be a public conference for all students once Steerco has gone through the written submissions. She specified, however, that this will be a conference calling on a large group of students to finalise the constitution rather than a multi-party conference. “It will be a whole group meeting [like the public meeting on 9 May],” she said. She added that the emphasis was on looking at the constitution section for section as a group so that the next version of the constitution can be agreed on.
To read the full statements from the Department of Student Affairs about the Student Leadership Constitution go to our Web Exclusive section.
Photo: Gloria Mbogoma