The university board recently debated discontinuing Serrie, Ienk Melodienk, Rag and Spring Day. In response to these debates, Afriforum Jeug has drawn up a petition to preserve the university’s oldest and most beloved traditions.

Charl Oberholzer, head of Afriforum Jeug, said that they plan to get 10 000 signatures from the students within 30 days.

“The issue arose during talks and committee meetings held earlier in the year by the SRC. A decision has not been made yet, but it seems that is the direction the university is moving in,” said Oberholzer.

Oberholzer added that if their target of 10 000 signatures is met, Afriforum Jeug will present the petition to the university board.

Concerning the Rag issue, Oberholzer said that the university has argued that it has lost its usefulness as a fund raising event. But he argues: “Rag is much more than a fund raiser, it is an important tradition. We understand the university’s concerns surrounding the drinking culture around Rag, but it can be controlled by moving the parade to the Rag farm, as an example.”

The Tuks Rag chairperson, Kudzi Tafirei, said that it is encouraging to know that the students are concerned and proactive about the preservation of Rag. “We are, however, not aware and have not been informed by Afriforum of any petition with regards to our survival. The university executive informed us that it was approved that Rag will continue in its current form [next year].”

Mideé Buizer, HK for Vividus Ienk Melodienk, said she found out about the university’s intentions about three weeks ago. “I was shocked. If they take Ienk away they will destroy the competitive spirit in every residence.”

External HK for Serrie and Serenade at Vividus, Mardéne van der Linde, said she was not informed about the petition. “I think it will destroy the essence of student life if they take Serrie and Ser away. You become great friends through it. It is our culture.”

Afriforum Jeug has put the petition forms up on the graffiti wall next to the Campus Kiosk and invites students to have a look and support the cause. Students can also sign the petition eletronically on the Afriforum Jeug website.

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