More than 30” emails about GBV to the SRC
In 2020, the UP SRC announced the launch of a GBV email address that aimed to assist students who would fall victim to gender based violence by making the email address the first point of contact for victims to use to get guidance and assistance to report and resolve their cases.
When asked about the initiative the SRC said, “the GBV initiative has truly been a great success”, but did not provide feedback on the number of emails received or the number of students assisted by the initiative. SRC member for Media, Marketing and Communications, Chanel Brown, said that it “is difficult to even quantify the number of students”, but that “more than 30 but less than 60 emails have been received”. Brown did not reveal who monitors or responds to emails, and said only that “an SRC member” manages the account.
Huawei invests in UP EBIT students
Huawei Technologies South Africa recently awarded bursaries to the value of R1,1 million to eight students from the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology (EBIT) at UP.
The bursaries were awarded to full time undergraduate and masters students to help them further their studies in the fields of EBIT.
UP lecturer selected to be part of BRICS collaboration
Prof. Hanlie Smuts from the Department of Informatics has been chosen to facilitate collaboration among researchers and institutions across the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) member countries as part of a project to find creative solutions to the current global health crisis.
Prof. Smuts is the principal investigator on the research initiative that brings together the experience of scholars from Brazil, Russia, and South Africa. The initiative will be known as BRICSmart and will be titled ‘BRICS-ICT alliance for smart resource utilisation to combat global pandemic outbreaks’. It covers artificial intelligence as well as information and communication technology (ICT) and how these topics may be applied to address issues around pandemics.
UP experts consider cannabis use and labour law
UP medico-legal experts, Dr JB Laurens and Professor Pieter Carstens, raised legal dilemmas regarding cannabis use by workers in a research article entitled “Cannabis legislation and testing for cannabis use in safety- and risk-sensitive environments”.
A question that was raised was how employers can accurately and ethically detect if employees are under the influence of THC (the active component of cannabis) while at work. The legal dilemma arose in that THC can be detected in blood tests, saliva tests and urine tests for days after consumption, and is not an accurate indication of current intoxication.
Dr Laurens and Prof. Carstens explain that using a ‘zero’ point threshold for testing is not “scientifically correct and could be problematic to defend in a court or labour hearing, since the ‘zero’ depends on the detection method”. They express that it is “essential to set a threshold concentration that was low enough for an individual to operate in a risk-sensitive environment, while also respecting their autonomy to use cannabis in private”.