The constitution was brought under review last year but the process was suspended after there were disagreements about the proposed changes to the constitution. Elections for Student Parliament, from which the Student Representative Council (SRC) is elected, were postponed at the end of last year “following a number of procedural irregularities in the run-up to the election”. Many political societies blamed the constitution, which governs elections and the functioning of student leadership, for the failure of the elections.
As a result, a Temporary Student Committee (TSC) has taken the place of the SRC until the review of the constitution can be completed. The TSC acts as a temporary student governance structure with its members nominated by the vice-chancellor rather than being elected by students.
According to Dr Madiba, Steerco is now beginning an intensive consultation process. The process will be open to scrutiny from individuals, societies and various student structures and will aim to get as many comments from students as possible. “The process creates an opportunity for broader student participation in defining how student leaders are elected and what their responsibilities are,” Dr Madiba said in a statement. “A process of rewriting a constitution needs to take into account as many of the views as possible, so that it can truly serve the students and the university,” Dr Madiba said.
She added that the feedback will cover a wide spectrum of topics. These include how students ensure the SRC serves student interests, whether the SRC president should be elected by students or the SRC and how to ensure all students are
The review process is expected to be completed and approved by the end of June. This will allow SRC elections to be held next semester.
Steerco’s process of consultation:
• The draft of the constitution, including a summary of the key elements of the new constitution, will be made available to all students through ClickUP. The system will allow for discussion groups to get as many comments from individual students as possible. • There will be open public meetings to introduce the process and allow for some clarification.
Meeting 1: 9 May 16:00 IT 2-27 • Individuals and societies will be invited to submit written comments on the draft document. • Steerco will invite some individuals and societies that have made written submissions to give clarification or to elaborate on their submissions. • Steerco will continue to meet to consider the submissions and refine the draft. • The final document must be approved by the university council before it can take effect.