De Jager told Perdeby that the exclusion of external campuses has been noted and she aims to improve the situation. De Jager’s portfolio includes making provisions to address students’ concerns from the Mamelodi, Groenkloof, Prinshof, Onderstepoort and the Sport campuses, and also to include them in the activities of student life and governance. She said that SRC portfolio for external campus affairs is a fairly new portfolio which reflects that the university is working on a greater involvement of external campuses.

The key goals for the portfolio for 2014 are to work in cooperation with day houses and faculty houses in order to ensure that day students are included in student life. It is also aimed to increase the participation of external campuses in major events and projects which usually occur on the Hatfield campus. According to De Jager, this will be done through active events, such as flash mobs and Tukkie Pride Thursdays, a day on which students are encouraged to wear an item with the university logo. In addition the SRC intends to introduce campus tours as well as to invite guests to speak at different campuses.

Only one external SRC representative, Gabriel Nel, runs his office at Prinshof. All other SRC members are based on the Main campus.

Since its establishment in 1908, the university has grown to over 55 000 students. As a result, external campuses were built to accommodate this expansion and focus on specific disciplines for example, Prinshof campus (medical department), Groenkloof campus (education), Onderstepoort campus (veterinary sciences), Mamelodi campus (extended BSc programmes) and LC de Villiers (sport).

Perdeby asked students from the various campuses how they experience student life on their specific campuses and if they feel left out from the Main campus. Carla Dressler, a fourth- year physiotherapy student said that, “Prinshof is very nice, but I think we do feel excluded from the Main campus to an extent as life is very busy there.”

Gugulethu Masemola, a first-year education student on Groenkloof campus, is not bothered by learning away from the Main campus. Masemola says that the main campus is crowded.

First-year BSc Physics student Maaz Harriskhan, also does not feel excluded. He said that Mamelodi campus is “more intimate and hands on with lecturers and tutors. The environment is more relaxed and calm”.

Shona Goss-Ross a third-year human movement science and psychology student from Sport campus said that, “Life on LC is chilled, not so busy like main campus. You don’t need to fight through crowds of people and you never have to wait in lines to grab some food.” Goss-Ross feels a little excluded as Sport campus never has the activities or giveaways that Main campus does.

Agang Moagi, a second-year veterinary sciences student, told Perdeby that Onderstepoort campus (OP), situated approximately 20km from Hatfield, “is a very small community of hardworking students, very competitive and we have cliques”. She said that OP participates in sport and old traditions such as Serrie and Serenade, as well as read Perdeby. “Those are the main links to the main campus,” Moagi said. OP has its own newspaper, The Republic, which focuses on OP news.

Moagi said that she does not feel excluded, except for the fact that OP is away from malls and student life. “We are isolated, in the middle of nowhere, there is no campus transport linking us to the main campus, so it does get lonely here,” she says.

De Jager said that the SRC is working on implementing a bus system that could go to all of the external campuses, and are looking into a smaller Combi instead of a bus as an alternative, which would be more cost effective.

Image: mg.co.za

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