Sina Malebana, TSC member in charge of the day and faculty house portfolio, said that, “When observing the day of a day student, although there is a variety of activities students can take part in, participation is very low.” She added that, in contrast to residences, there is no way to monitor participation and improve student life.
According to Malebana, students who have an active student life perform better than those who only focus on their academics.
However, when Perdeby asked students if they agreed with this statement, they had contrasting opinions. Some students prefer to stay uninvolved in student activities because they feel that they do not have time outside of their studies to get involved. Others said that the emotional support provided by day houses does help in ensuring better academic results. Some students felt that they don’t have to be involved in a day house to feel included in university activities.
Vividus Men’s Chairperson Juan-Pierre van der Walt and Vividus Ladies Primaria Midee Buizer both said that day houses offer students the opportunity to take part in sport and cultural activites which has a positive impact on students.
Zeus’s Chairperson Ronel Bekker said that students in day houses learn the importance of time management because they learn how to cope with their studies and other commitments. Bekker said that day houses are not for everyone and that some students have no interest in student life activities because their main focus is studying.
Stuku is also involved in getting students to feel as if they are receiving the full university experience. Earlier this year Stuku held a series of five events collectively named UP Arts with the express intention of promoting the involvement of all students in culture at the university.
Stuku member Nthabiseng Nooe explained that, “The role of a tertiary education institution, beyond giving qualifications, is making sure students are ready for the world in areas beyond academic excellence.” She said that day houses in this instance provide these opportunities earlier rather than later and people skills can be perfected before one enters the job market and has to practice it.
Nooe added that, “The challenge is making day houses attractive enough for all students to want to take part.”
Malebana said that students who are not involved in student life activities are disadvantaged because there are certain skills that you cannot learn in the classroom. Participating in societies and other extra-mural activities are another manner in which students can experience student life. However, Malebana said a large percentage of students aren’t involved in anything.
Malebana is looking for a way to include more students in student life activities and increase participation.
From the students:
“Being in a Day House gives me the opportunity to take part in all varsity activities that I miss out on by not being in res. Most of my best friends are the ones that I met at Vividus Ladies, friendships and opportunities that I would not have had otherwise.”
– Laverne de Wet, third-year Civil Engineering student
“I don’t think that taking part in student activities is necessary. I prefer to make plans with friends and I’m not really interested in sport.”
– Giselle Diemer, first-year BSc Biological Science student
“It is not necessary to take part in student activities but it will help in meeting new students around campus as well as making new friends. I am involved in a cycling club outside of varsity because they don’t have one at the varsity.”
– Keegan van Vuuren, first-year BCom Business Management student
“I am interested in the student activities but they are not necessarily necessary as you experience different things at varsity every day.”
– Matthew Hardy, first-year Business Management student
“I don’t think that day house students have an advantage over day students who aren’t in day houses.”
– Kaylan Naicker, first-year BCom own choice student
“By being in a day house I’ve met new people and got to know the varsity environment better. I don’t necessarily think that being in a day house gives me an advantage over students who aren’t because everyone has their own preferences.”
– Naudette McDaling, first-year BA general student
“Day houses encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and develop new skills and friendships. [They] provide not only support during the transition between school and varsity but also pushes you to gain life experience that will benefit you later on in life.”
– Andria Jv Rensburg, fourth-year BCom Financial Management student
“I don’t think student activities are necessary as I have hobbies outside of varsity.”
– Jason Jardine, first-year BCom Business Management student
“I think that taking part in student activities is important because you get to meet new people. It’s part of the varsity experience. There should be more day houses.”
– Hlonela Nokele, first-year physiotherapy student