In a statement from STUKU, it is explained that the name change was suggested by the Executive Management of the University. This year’s event, set to take place from 7 to 12 August, will be known as UP A Capella, after which an official name change will be carried out in consultation with TuksRes, the SRC, the Department of Student Affairs, and Executive Management.
According to STUKU, UP Executive Management “[had] rejected UP A Capella…to take place in the on-campus theatres”, such as the Musaion or Aula theatres. STUKU then took to social media with a petition to host the event at one of UP’s venues, stating that “students are not willing to compromise while the theatres are in a working state”.
According to a staff member who wishes to remain anonymous, management has not rejected the use of on-campus theatres as venues and, at the time of going to print, the Musaion and Aula were still booked for the event. The source said that Professor Themba Mosia, Vice Principal of student affairs, is yet to give approval for the event to go ahead.
TSC chairperson, Henrico Barnard, says that in a meeting he had with Prof. Mosia about Serenade, Prof. Mosia said that he truly enjoyed seeing students partake in events such as Serenade. Barnard went on to say that he is attempting to schedule a meeting with both UP Vice Chancellor and Pricipal, Prof. Cheryl de la Rey, and Prof. Mosia to determine what the future holds for Serenade.
Barnard believes that the event should not be cancelled, and that the reason the university is indecisive on the matter is because they feel that the university’s reputation might be compromised if something should go wrong.
“This year we have seen Serrie finals being cancelled, but the university should realise that cancelling Serenade could have worse consequences than simply letting the event take place in the first place,” says Barnard. “Risk can be managed,” he concluded.
According to an anonymous source in STUKU’s executive committee, the only factors that were preventing the event from being approved were the name and the venue for the event. The source said that university management wanted the name of the annual competition to be changed from Serenade to UP A Capella, after which the event would take place as planned. The source said that although a name change was planned to take place in 2018, STUKU conceded to the name change, and expected to proceed with the planning and promotion of the event. However, the source said that the event cannot proceed as management has not yet approved the use of campus venues.
Photo: Stefan Stander