There was also a beer garden and food stalls. A colour run, games and a food presentation were also planned.
The attendance by the student body, however, was greatly lacking and only a handful of students attended the event. Harald Hanke, an architecture student at UP, explained that he thought the poor attendance was due to a number of factors, including poor advertising and a misguided goal. “It was not advertised at all. Very few people knew it even existed, which then resulted in those knowing not wanting to come because attendance was so poor,” he said. Hanke added that “although the idea seems good and the actual set-up had potential, that potential was wasted.” Hanke contrasted the attendance of the event to the pre-Spring Day hosted the night before by Olienhout and Kollege.
Clinton Botha, who is now in his fifth year at UP, also expressed his disappointment. “Over the years Tuks has watered down Spring Day so much for staff and students that it feels like effort for the university to grant it’s people the day off,” he said. Botha went on to add that, “UP management should take a little more time to invest in the wellbeing of its people.”
Outgoing SRC member Khutso Ntuli, who has the marketing portfolio, responded to the poor attendance. “We [the SRC] are disappointed. Just because Spring Day in the past was all about DJs and something new was introduced, people could have given that a chance,” said Ntuli.
Ntuli also highlighted that this year was the first year that the SRC organised the event and that they were only informed that they were responsible for the entire event without much time to spare. “They let me know in June that Spring Day had moved from Rag to the SRC so therefore [I] had to organise something for it. My understanding was that I was only responsible for a sub-section of it and then it turned out that we’re actually organising the whole thing,” said Ntuli.
Despite this year’s turn out, Ntuli is positive that the event will pick up in the future. “What was unfortunate was that towards the end of the event, that’s when people started arriving,” said Ntuli. Ntuli added that, “What happened this year was an unfortunate event. I believe my successor will have better understanding and knowledge of what must happen and they will be able to plan in advance,” said Ntuli.
Photos: Michael Mbaya