University can be daunting and it functions at a completely different pace compared to when you were in school, so you’ll find yourself faced with many new things. If not, maybe you should consider getting involved in something.

You cannot study all the time: there is this thing called burning out. There are many opportunities to get involved as a Tuks student, and this could help you to balance work and play. Tuks has a wide range of things to keep you from staring at the wall of your room after you have been cramming for a test. There are five main service providers available to students at Tuks.

Student Culture, otherwise known as Stuku, is the heart of cultural activities at Tuks. Stuku is a service provider that promotes and appreciates the diversity at Tuks. They facilitate various activities where students can showcase their unique talents and express themselves culturally through events such as Tuks Has Got Talent, Tuks Dance-Off, Tuks Idols, and debates that are held throughout the year. According to Thandeka Mogoerane, the 2015 Stuku SRC representative, “Stuku is a very fun platform that gives a holistic experience of university life. We at Stuku are highly committed in giving this experience to all students.” It is mainly residence students that take part in the major events of Stuku, but all students are welcome to join a day house to be able to express their creative side and to learn more about other cultures through this platform.

TuksSport is the sport department of Tuks. Students who study sport participate in their available programmes but they are also open to volunteers. TuksSport is located on the Sport campus on South Street. Their facilities include indoor sport halls, heated swimming pools, five cricket ovals, six rugby fields, a golf driving range and short course, seven squash courts, two climbing walls and even an archery range. There are also clubs you can join such as waterpolo, lifesaving, judo, gymnastics and fencing. A comprehensive list of the available clubs is available on the Tuks website.

With an average of 50 000 listeners, Tuks FM is your new best friend. They cater to many different and alternative tastes with a great variety of shows, such as the Dark Side for lovers of heavy music, Alt La Femme for all things girl-related, and The Man Cave for the guys out there. Tuks FM has also been the winner of the MTN Radio Awards best campus station of the year award for three consecutive years. The students that work at Tuks FM do  so on a voluntary basis and they receive about 600 applications annually. As a Tuks student, you can also apply to become part of the Tuks FM team. Prominent figures that have their roots at Tuks FM include Gareth Cliff, Rob Forbes and Grant Nash.

Another service provider available to you is Perdeby, the official student newspaper of Tuks. Perdeby is the biggest student newspaper in South Africa and is also the only student newspaper that distributes on a weekly basis. Perdeby publishes 10 000 copies every week and has a readership of 30 000 students. There are approximately 95 Tuks students who work at Perdeby on a voluntary basis and applications for new staff open twice a year.

TuksRag (short for Reach out and Give) is a non-profit platform where students can give back and empower less fortunate communities. The main events of TuksRag include the Rag procession in the beginning of the year and various community engagement opportunities throughout the year. TuksRag has undergone a massive change to align themselves with the university’s 2025 plan, yet there are more than enough opportunities for you to get involved in community projects.

Last but not least are the societies of Tuks. From the wine-time people who enjoy a good merlot and the people doing yoga on the Aula grass in the early morning to the people who sit in a circle in hippy clothes singing calmly as they play th eir mini piano-organs, societies are a great way to relieve stress and grow friendships that will last longer than your degree programme. With 140 different societies registered at Tuks, you can take your pick. “I think societies are an important part of student culture especially for those students who don’t belong to a residence,” says Matshepo Tladi, the societies SRC member for 2014, who added, “It gives [the students] the opportunity to meet new people and develop themselves in other ways besides just the academics.”

Tladi stated that she thinks it is important as a student, whether first-year or not, to be involved in something other than academics, simply because that is an opportunity for you to develop yourself and to teach yourself some of life’s greatest lessons. The working world is very real and it needs people who are not just book smart but who are able to work with other people and apply other skills to problems which perhaps can’t be learnt in a lecture hall.

Go out and join a society, show your artistic side, help the less fortunate, and, above all, balance your studies. After all, diversity is the spice of life.


Illustration: Johann van Tonder

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