There have been numerous requests for broken locks and doors to be fixed. We once again want to assure you that we are aware of the maintenance issues that currently exist and want to remind you that we are still trying to negotiate with various stakeholders to allow essential services such as Technical Services and Plumbers to be able to come into residences and complete work that needs to be done.
We are furthermore aware of the cleaning that is not taking place by the cleaning services and the efforts and responsibility taken by students to complete basic cleaning in their residences. Again, we appreciate this as the university, just as much as you, the students, are particularly concerned about health issues that could arise due to the state of our residences; this is truly a frustrating time for all. We have further come to understand, through your numerous emails, that not all residences have access to cleaning materials that have been delivered to residences on various occasions..
On the 5 November 2016, cleaning solutions were organised and delivered for 11 residences. These cleaning solutions included: multi-purpose cleaning detergent, large toilet rolls, gloves, refuse bags, Handy Andy etc. The CHC has opted to take on the responsibly of distributing to house committees to in turn, distribute to each of the residences for clean-up operations. We are uncertain of what is happening and the CHC has assured us that distribution has been taking place and records kept. We are looking into the matter. This has not been the first delivery of cleaning materials to residences; the CHC Chairperson has indicated that students may contact him at the CHC office regarding cleaning materials that are required for cleaning in residences.
In the matter of security, the university is, as previously stated, in constant engagement with various stakeholders around bringing necessary, essential services back into the residences. We will notify you when there is new information to be shared in respect of this matter.
For now, as always, we urge you please be conscious of your personal safety and the safe keeping of your important personal possessions. In line with this, we want to emphasise that it will be in your better interests (those students who have opted to write their examinations in January) to, pack, store and leave for home, given the current state of residences and that you look out for emails pertaining to the arrangements for January examinations or make further enquiries closer to your return in the new year.
For those who have elected to write the November examinations, our prayers and well wishes are with you in these very challenging times. We understand that difficult must be an understatement given the complexity of the current situation; we still urge you to do your best under the circumstances and to call on us where counseling interventions are needed. Please see details below:
▪ The email@example.com
m that was sent out to students on 21 October 2016 and,
▪ The CSSS Crisis Line 076 091 6645 that is available for calls and WhattsApp.
We urge you to please use this service if you are seeking assisting in dealing with any trauma that you have experienced over the past weeks. We also encourage you to use the firstname.lastname@example.org to declare your checking out and confirm that all your goods have been packed, boxed and labelled as set out in the letter dated 21 October 2016.
Yours in Understanding and Support,
The Department of Residential Services.
Examinations continued this morning in off-campus venues as planned. There was a good turn-out of students for both the morning and afternoon sessions, with average turn-out of more than 60%.
It is however regrettable that we have to inform the campus community about the developments that happened on campus overnight. Following yesterday’s incidence where students were stoning vehicles on Robert Sobukwe road and on campus, one student was arrested.
The student protest action continued last night and is unfortunately becoming increasingly dangerous and destructive. Five students attempted to forcefully enter the nature reserve and were prevented by Campus Protection. In the process, two security staff were severely assaulted.
Two buildings – the east wing of the Education faculty building as well as the Res-Admin (which was burned last year during student protest and recently refurbished) – were set alight last night. Campus Protection Services were alerted and on their way to help extinguish the fires, were regrettably attacked with objects thrown at them and two have sustained multiple injuries.
Conditions in the residence have deteriorated significantly and this poses a serious threat to the health and safety of students in the residences. The prevention of essential services from entering residences has rendered our residence students vulnerable to intimidation, abuse and threats from protesting students. This is confirmed by an increasing number of letters from students who are reporting on their lived experiences of intimidation and of being prevented from leaving their rooms to go and write examinations.
The cumulative effect of the protest action over the last month, the suspension of services, the violent nature of protest, threats and injuries sustained by students and staff, the psychological effect on the students and staff, the increasing number of buildings that have been burned and vandalised, cannot be understated.
We call upon the campus community to condemn these acts of arson, intimidation of non-protesting students and attacks on campus protection personnel. We respect the right of students to protest but cannot tolerate the violence and intimidation visited upon students who want to write examinations. We call on the protesting students to respect the rights of others. We are looking at ways to immediately ensure the provision of essential services in residences in the interest of the safety and wellbeing of our students.
UWC Executive Management