Perdeby spoke to Mr Charl Oberholzer, Chairperson of the Student Representative Council 2011 about the their plan of action for this year. The SRC at the University of Pretoria is a council representing all the students at UP. Chosen by students and for students, the SRC strives to give students what they need by representing them on every decision making structure at UP. “It’s like the HK of the university,” explains Mr Oberholzer. In a nutshell, the SRC is the communication between the voices of students and top management.
Mr Oberholzer explains that in 2011 the SRC will strive to generate a stronger sense of Tuks pride or “Tukkie trots” among students. “We want students to not only be proud of their residence, but be excited about being a Tuks student as well.” The SRC will try and generate an identity that students can associate with and be proud of.
Other objectives that the SRC wants to achieve in 2011 include:
The removal of the quota system in HK elections in residences.
Initiate a trust fund at UP to support students who are struggling financially.
Tackle food prices on campus. The council also wants to start selling affordable food at cost price from the SRC offices.
Include students in important decision making by establishing referendums.
Run a “Mother Tongue Campaign” to inform students of the importance of mother tongue education..
Develop and sustain tuition in Afrikaans and Sepedi.
Make internet more affordable and freely available to students.
Launch media platforms such as a Facebook group, a web page, an email address and a tutor account where students can communicate with the SRC.
Amend the university’s constitution in order to expand the role of the SRC and to give them more authority on campus.
Increase support for international students by employing an immigration practitioner to assist international students.
Appoint an SRC member to each residence to attend and participate in house meetings and to ensure that activities at residences are running smoothly.
These and other objectives are to be approved by UP management and may still be modified to some extent.
Oberholzer’s personal goal for this year is to unite the students at UP. “The SRC should act strategically so that students can be a unit at the end of the year. I think that this is important,” says Oberholzer. He will also fight for student rights, Afrikaans and traditions at residences. “I believe that if we have student rights that we all can associate with, students will become more united.”
Photo: Ester van Eeden