Let’s talk Met Gala
The first Monday in May brings along one of the most exclusive events of the year, the Superbowl for fashion lovers if you will- it is the Met Gala. This year’s theme was truly a disgrace. Although he is an icon in the fashion industry, Karl Lagerfeld was too problematic to be made the theme of such an auspicious event. And anyway, if we are meant to be respecting and honouring the dead, at least respect that this fatphobic, racist, misogynistic, Islamophobic, and overall bigot of a man would have hated most of the guests anyway, so why disrespect him by making him the theme?
Enough about him, on to better things, namely the fashion. I will preface this by saying that I am no fashion expert but I am a hater so let us commence. Firstly, the protest(ish) fashion: the pink, the cats, and the knee socks. Lagerfeld is notorious for hating the colour pink, saying, “Think pink but, don’t wear it.” So, in true subtle protest fashion, celebrities showed up in their best, brightest pink. To Viola Davis, Quannah Chasinghorse, Grace Elizabeth, and especially Harvey Guillèn: Karl would have hated it, and that is iconic. On to Jared Leto, who decided to cosplay Lagerfeld’s beloved cat: what you wore (and what you always wear) was a hate crime but Karl would have despised it, and it is fine. But next time just be like the rest of your kind and wear a black suit. To the other feline in the room, Doja Cat: stunning dress, but an ode to the cat was not necessary. Can Pedro Pascal ever disappoint? No, I do not think so. Decked out in a short with knee socks and his leg hair on display. Lagerfeld is rolling over in his grave as we speak- he hated men’s long socks and visible leg hair.
On to the pretty part, the best dressed section. For this part the Lagerfeld hate will be paused because a celebrity following the theme and being best dressed should be honoured, despite the controversy. The
women dressed by Chanel did not miss. Dua Lipa in her white vintage Chanel gown wowed the crowd. Nicole Kidman and Gisele Bündchen made a self-reference by re-wearing Chanel looks that Lagerfeld had designed for them. Anne Hathaway was giving Mother in her Versace tweed safety pin gown. Generally, couples on the red carpet disappointed because they prove the “She looks beautiful... and he’s there” right, but three couples proved this wrong as both partners looked beautiful. These couples are Rita Ora and Taika Waititi, Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade, and Rihanna with Travis Scott (who were late, but Rihanna put the fashion in fashionably late, so anything she does is acceptable). Before the top four best dressed are announced, some honourable mentions: Burna Boy in Burberry, Halle Bailey in Gucci, Gigi Hadid in Givenchy, and bare- headed Florence Pugh in Valentino. I only have one word- slay. Now, in fourth place, Michaela Coel in Schiaparelli- WOW there are no words. In third place, Brian Tyree Henry in Karl Lagerfeld, not a fan of the designer, but he ventured away from a classic black suit, and he served a look to be remembered. In second place, the woman who couldn’t miss even if she tried, Anok Yai in Prabel Gurung, an absolute Goddess. In first place (although controversial), Jeremy Pope in Balmain. The larger-than-life Karl Lagerfeld cape is not great, but a blind eye can be turned because HE SERVED A LOOK and that cannot be denied.
Now for the hate. The worst dressed celebs. Starting off strong with the Kardashian/Jenner clan. Kendall, I know we all say that you never give anything but that doesn’t mean that you should be giving “You’ve been Krissed.” Kylie with her usual tight fitting, high slit dress- this is the Met Gala, there is a theme, please follow it. And the same goes for Kimberly in the pearls. The disappointment that comes around every year, Anna Wintour. This event is organised
and run by her, and yet, she forms part of the worst dressed list every year. The bedazzled cheeks of Lil Nas X are next on the menu. Sir, please be serious, we are tired. White boy of the month, dressed in a long trench coat and a bucket hat, Pete Davidson. You look like you are about to pickpocket me, start dressing on theme or stop coming. “Excuse me, waiter”, oops, I mean Rami Malek. A boring, simple black suit will have been better than what you wore. Speaking about black suits, every man who wore a black suit: pull it together, you are at the Met Gala. And lastly, to all the nepo babies, you never fail to disappoint. With all those resources and status, please do better.
This year’s theme, like every theme in the last five years has proved that nothing will ever compare to the Heavenly Bodies theme of 2018. This year’s theme specifically was a huge disappointment because of the obvious elephant in the room. Maybe if the queen of the Met, Blake Lively, had shown up, then it could have been slightly redeemed, but we are not that lucky. Maybe next year will be better but, knowing Anna Wintour, most likely not. I will wait in anticipation with nothing but judgement and opinions that no one cares about until the first Monday in May of 2024.
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Lagerfeld? Let’s be so collectively for real.
more problems than solutionsFranco Marais and Banathi Nkehli
On 19 April, the University of Pretoria released its official guidelines regarding the use of ChatGPT in all faculties during academic activities. This came as an expected response to the rapid growth of the AI tool and the threat it poses to higher education. Though students have taken to using the AI, UP’s regulation around ChatGPT and plagiarism is dated.
UP’s official stance regarding ChatGPT is a positive one. Not only is the university accommodating the AI tool, but it also plans to actively incorporate AI into methods of study. ChatGPT’s arrival on the scene, especially for the Social Sciences, was compared to the ground-breaking revolution that calculators and spreadsheets brought to the Natural and Economics Sciences. UP encourages students to use ChatGPT in many ways, such as summarising themes, solving equations with steps, getting an overview of a complex chapter before starting it, generating writing prompts, proofreading, generating an assessment outline for the topics given, and providing feedback on the student’s work. The university sees ChatGPT as a 24/7 tutor and learning aide that will be part of any student’s toolbox when facing the challenge of their studies.
However, the way in which students see ChatGPT is not aligned with how the University of Pretoria sees ChatGPT. According to a third-year LLB student who wishes to keep her identity concealed, ‘Roxanne’, students in the third year of LLB used ChatGPT during their Jurisprudence (legal philosophy) essay as well as their Administrative Law online semester test. Roxanne does not share the University of Pretoria’s sentiments on the subject. She said, “I’m really pissed! It happened with PBL310 and with Jurisprudence as well… we have been going through all the readings and put in a lot of effort into the essays. My friend who wrote the essay with ChatGPT got 60% whereas I got 68%, and I worked really, really hard on the essay.” Roxanne explained how students were able to do this for their Jurisprudence essays, “You can just state [to ChatGPT] ‘please write me an introduction of 250 words’, [and] the AI will write you an introduction. And if you are not happy with it, you can just regenerate it. And to avoid plagiarism you can put it into QuillBot to paraphrase it a bit.”
Roxanne explained further, “You can break down the essay question because it takes different readings. So you can say, ‘Summarise this reading for me in X amount of words, with reference to this text.’ [Then], ChatGPT writes you a beautiful paragraph about the work, and all the students have to do is compare it to a few slides and see what page in the reader or text the work is from [to reference it] without much effort.” Roxanne concluded, “That’s what happened with Jurisprudence, and that is why we are writing a semester test on campus, which for a student
[like me] who has 8 modules, I wasn’t planning on writing another semester test before my BWR310 (Law of Evidence) semester test.” Previously, Jurisprudence always had take-home essay-type assessments.
The same could be said for the Administrative Law assessment, which was an online ClickUP assessment. “You take the question, you copy paste the question, put it in ChatGPT and then voila, you have an answer. If it is too long you can be like, ‘Hey chat, please make it shorter.’ [If you] want to be sure [that the answer is correct] you can just regenerate the answer, and if it gives you the same thing, then you know it is correct.” Roxanne further commented, “So, that is how my friends passed PBL310 and I got 30%... my friends who didn’t study just pitched up [and knew] they could just use ChatGPT to get an answer. It is just really frustrating when you get comments [from your lecturers] saying, ‘Didn’t show full understanding of the work.’ Meanwhile, I am trying, and my friends […] are relying on an AI to comprehend the work for them. And they have no clue what’s going on, but it’s fine; they get 60% for the work by just using ChatGPT.”
UP wants not only students but also lecturers to embrace this new technology. They encourage lecturers to offer guidance to students regarding its use, even incorporating the rules of how they want it to be used in each subject’s study guide. The university’s new guidelines also mention how lesson plans can be prompted in the future. Lecturers are also encouraged to use AI to provide feedback on the completeness of a section and/or give students examples of how they could answer a question. UP aims to have ChatGPT become a constant TA for the lecturers in the future and lighten their load.
Katelyn-Mae Carter, an academic associate in the department of Public Law, weighs in on the subject. On the topic of students using ChatGPT, Carter said, “It can often steer people on the wrong path, mostly because it is geared towards American education and not South African education.” Carter explained further, “It also takes away from your education because it doesn’t get you to do things yourself. You’re not learning how to research; it is compiling the research for you. And you aren’t reading books and cases to compile your own informed opinions, legal or otherwise.” When asked whether she would recommend ChatGPT to students, Carter answered, “I think it’s very cool and interesting, but I wouldn’t encourage students to use ChatGPT in academic work.” Regarding educators using ChatGPT in academic activities, she said, “I think I wouldn’t trust the computer to read me an article and write me a dissertation on it. As much as there is human error, the computer can make errors.” Carter offered the following example: “If you ask it [ChatGPT] to write an article on the stance on the death penalty [from] a South African perspective, it will still factor in federal law which South Africa no longer uses.”
The disciplinary aspect to ChatGPT
Assignments are going to change without a doubt. The focus will shift more toward the thought process and evaluation of a topic, with a myriad of methods to ensure that it remains student work already being suggested or implemented. The big ones are that Turnitin has incorporated an AI text identifier, and assignments will require a complete ChatGPT-generated assignment to be submitted with your work as reference. Yet, as a positive, they also mention the possibility of using it as a translation tool to broaden the scope of their teaching, or making the work more personalised to cater to every student.
On the subject of the disciplinary aspect to ChatGPT, Chief Justice of the Constitutional Tribunal Lesedi Ngubeni shared his thoughts. “Students can definitely face a disciplinary from using ChatGPT; it’s plagiarism. Turnitin will pick it up immediately and flag it to the lecturer.” Regarding whether the use of an AI’s production of work could amount to plagiarism, Ngubeni stated, “Technology is advancing fast, and in the field of education there must be integrity, and platforms like Turnitin are here to do that. It’s not your own work.” On whether the use of this AI would amount to using a calculator, Ngubeni stated, “Sort of, there’s a difference in the nature of numbers and words. Words come naturally to us and are a by-product of our thoughts; numbers aren’t like that. Therefore, it can’t be regarded as a calculator.”
Construction on Campus set to end in May
Lara Oosthuizen, Karla van Dyk
On 15 October 2022, construction started on Hatfield Campus to upgrade the domestic and fire water networks as well as the 11kV network. Seven months later, construction is still ongoing.
What are the estimated timelines?
According to Ludolf van der Merwe, deputy for technical services at the University of Pretoria, they are “expediting both projects to be completed by the end of May 2023”. This shortens the timeline of upgrades for domestic and fire water networks by half a month, as they were previously estimated to finish on 15 June 2023. Furthermore, these new projections will shorten the 11kV network upgrades, which were set to end on 23 August 2023, by three months.
Why is the estimated timeline so lengthy?
“It is [the] nature of construction projects. We are actually executing the project in phases to avoid congestion on campus,” stated Van der Merwe. The constructions are still within their respective timelines, and despite complications due to 26 days of rain within the projects, they “are catching up on lost times”.
What do the students think?
PDBY asked Daniël Gouws, a third-year LLB student, and Lathan Dooms, an English Honours student, about their thoughts on the construction. Neither students knew the exact reason for the building work, but Gouws guessed that it was “for laying down pipes or for sanitation”. For Gouws, the construction has impacted his mobility in the following way: “It has made it difficult to move around campus because over the last three or four years, I have developed my own routes. [...] So, it is inconvenient for me to find new ways and longer routes.” Similarly, Dooms said, “It’s increased my walk time. Like when I go to Vida e Caffé by the Law Building and Centenary, I can’t cut through [certain areas any more].” Both Gouws and Dooms guessed that the construction will be completed by the end of the July recess.
What else can we expect from the construction?
Preparations for the third phase of the domestic and fire water network upgrades are underway, and this phase will commence shortly. The fourth and final phase will be completed at the beginning of 2024.
Nationwide Cockroach Infestation
In the past month, a surge of cockroaches has been reported in South Africa, specifically in Tuks Residences. PDBY interviewed Dr Clarke Scholtz, a retired professor and the former head of zoology at the University of Pretoria, to shed some light on this recent infestation.
What type of cockroaches are they?
“There are about two or three types of cockroaches causing problems in South Africa,” states Dr Scholtz. “The one in Pretoria is called the German cockroach, and [its scientific name is] Blattella germanica.” According to Dr Scholtz, this cockroach is considered a synanthropic cockroach – meaning it lives with people – and is found in houses, for example in the kitchen. This species originates from Eurasia and is about 1 cm long. Scholtz indicates that other types of cockroaches are likely contributing to the problem, such as the American cockroach, which can be found outside in dustbins and is about 2 cm long.
Is this a TuksRes problem?
Dr Scholtz states that the cockroaches are, in fact, a nationwide problem. “Apparently, it’s a problem across the country; it’s not just on the Tukkies campus at the moment. [...] I’ve had several inquiries from all over the place –Durban and various other places.”
Why is this an issue now?
“We don’t know why there is a sudden surge of cockroaches now, but what we do know is that all insects go through population explosions. Those conditions are determined by enough food and suitable environmental
The tribe has spoken
TukRes Survivor 2023
The popular reality TV show Survivor has captivated audiences and challenged survival buffs over the last 23 years. TuksRes recently featured their own version of the competition over six days, from 26 April to 1 May. A total of 24 UP residence students contended for the title of sole survivor at Intundla Game Lodge and Bush Spa.
As in the TV show, the castaways were divided into three teams (Whanau, Ignis, Morehu), who took part in various challenges and voted out members until a merge took place on Day Four. The ten remaining survivors merged into a tribe called Ratanga.
conditions,” states Dr Scholtz. He further comments that the moist summers contribute to the problem, since cockroaches live in dark and humid places with high moisture levels.
What can students in res do?
Dr Scholtz advises against the use of pesticides, especially the ones in spray canisters. He reasons that it contaminates food and other appliances, which could harm our health. He instead recommends the use of bait. This way, cockroaches are lured away from spaces students usually occupy. Storing foods such as sugars, bread, and cold meats in plastic containers and ensuring that dustbins are cleared multiple times a day will significantly alleviate the problem as well.
Dr Scholtz concludes that these cockroaches are not here for the long run. With the weather starting to turn cold, their environmental conditions will no longer be favourable. He also adds that these insects pose no serious health risks. “They are only as dirty as their environment. Theoretically they can carry germs, but such is the case with everyone.” If everyone practises good general hygiene, these cockroaches will not be an issue for long.
Lanché van Tonder, the TuksRes manager of residence management and student life, explained that the event is more than a competition. “TuksRes Survivor addresses the aspect of personal growth and emotional intelligence among young adults […] that requires contestants to reflect on their personal strengths and weaknesses, their relationships with others, and their values and priorities,” stated Van Tonder.
Dieter Volker (from Tuks Ekhaya), Reneev Govender (TuksVillage), and Connor Versfeld (Varsity Lodge) made it to the final tribal council. Govender walked away as the winner of TuksRes Survivor, receiving four of the seven votes. Volker (Tuks Ekhaya) received the remaining three votes to take the runner-up position.
Not only did Govender win the title of TuksRes Survivor 2023 but also a cash prize of R12 000. “Winning TuksRes Survivor is absolutely surreal,” said Govender. “It was a life changing and absolutely unforgettable
experience. It pushes you to your limit and shows you that you can handle a lot more than you think.”
Van Tonder explained that an even bigger and better version of TuksRes Survivor will take place in 2024. “We will be catering for an even broader community, [with] higher prize money and a breathtaking venue,” said Van Tonder.
The entire show was live-streamed and is still available on the @SurvivorTuksRes YouTube channel.
Digital Sex Work Among Students
The Covid-19 pandemic forced sex workers to find alternative ways of continuing their work. Online platforms like OnlyFans became mainstream, owing to Twitter-active sex workers who popularised the platform. Many people, including students, have taken an interest in digital sex work. PDBY interviewed a student and former digital sex worker, ‘Peach’.
Peach started creating adult content at 18. The content included curated, explicit pictures that aligned with the BDSM (bondage, discipline, dominance, submission and masochism) dynamic. Peach said, “I never met with anyone physically. I did everything online, and I did charge for the services that I had online.” She indicated that she did make money, mainly from men who were seeking a dominant figure in their lives.
“Boundaries were always maintained. Sex work is not the scariest or taboo thing that everyone thinks it is.”
“I started adult content creation because I was looking for ways to express my anatomy through my sexuality,” Peach explained.
“And through sex work and adult content creation, you really get the chance to put your
sexuality in your hands, and get to reframe your own sexual desires in a positive light.” However, she ended her digital sex work career after her family gained knowledge of the fact. “They were more concerned with what people who know me and them would say if they found out that I was a
digital sex worker,” she said.
Digital sex work started years before the pandemic with digital sex workers who worked for companies that had internet pornography websites such as Pornhub. However, the social
distancing protocols of the Covid-19 pandemic caused the industry to thrive as people turned to the virtual world to fulfil their needs.
Sex workers who operate digitally mainly deal with adult content creation. This type of content creation consists of explicit pictures and videos of the creator in the nude and engaging in sexual activities, either alone or with another individual. There are several online platforms that are easily accessible worldwide, and these have made it possible for any individual to become a virtual sex worker. The cons of digital sex work include unpaid labour, emotional labour, social stigma, and online harassment. Furthermore, virtual sex workers are not exempt from customer service because they need to personalise their connection to each subscriber.
According to an Africanews article, there are an estimated 150 000 (physical and digital) sex workers in South Africa. However, sex work in South Africa will remain illegal until the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences And Related Matters) Amendment Bill is ratified by the president. The prolonged fight to have sex work decriminalised and destigmatised still continues.
Oh no! There goes Square 2.0
If you asked anyone around Hatfield about the coolest Friday hangout spots with good music and drinks, Square 2.0 on the corner of Hilda and Prospect Street would definitely have been on the list a few months ago. This, however, has not been the case for the past two months, with the business occasionally closing its doors and now experiencing a slump in patrons. PDBY investigated the true nature of these circumstances.
Square 2.0 does not cater only for those looking for a strong drink, as the premises also house other businesses such as the Mono tuck shop and Mo Piiercings. Occasionally, Square 2.0 would not sell any alcohol, while these businesses remained operational. However, at times everything has been closed, with no business being conducted at all.
PDBY interviewed Joël Kitongwa, a Square 2.0 employee, about the current situation. When asked why there has been a slump in patrons, he replied, “We have been closed for almost two months, so there has been a loss in traffic.” According to Kitongwa, the reasons for the closure were personal issues and disagreements between the owners, as well as a “licensing issue”. When asked to clarify the nature of the licensing issue, Kitongwa said that their liquor licence had expired and they had to wait for a renewal. He asserted that the bar has not been selling alcohol for the past two months due to this expired licence. However, other businesses on the premises have been operating freely.
Regardless of the nature of the issues affecting Square 2.0, the impact is clear in their customer turnout for what were once popular Friday night events. Will this hangout ever go back to being the hot and happening spot, or is this the beginning of the end?
Employment Equity Amendment Bill Signed into Law
President Ramaphosa signed the Employment Equity Amendment Bill into law on 12 April. The Amendment Bill was tabled in 2020 before being passed by Parliament in May 2022, and this brings about a few changes to the Employment Equity Act (55 of 1998). PDBY explores this.
How are bills signed into law?
A bill is a draft version of a law. Bills are usually drafted by a governmental department under the direction and supervision of the respective minister. After it is drafted, the bill is tabled in Parliament and considered by the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces. Following this, the bill is published in the Government Gazette so that the public can comment, before it is debated in the relevant parliamentary committees to determine if an amendment is necessary. The bill is then passed by Parliament and ratified by the president.
The Employment Equity Act
The Employment Equity Act was introduced in 1998 to address the injustices of the past and to ensure that everyone enjoys equal rights and opportunities in the workplace. The Act aims to implement affirmative action within the workplace. Affirmative action is focused on demographics with historically low levels of representation in the workplace, especially in senior positions. Furthermore, affirmative action involves measures to ensure that people from designated groups (people of colour, women, and disabled persons) are represented in the workplace.
Employment Equity Amendment Bill
The Bill aims to change a few definitions within the Employment Equity Act (hereafter, the Act) and to grant the minister of labour the power to set and identify sectoral targets to ensure equal representation of people from designated groups within the workplace. Among the changes to the Act is the definition of designated employers. Before the amendment of the Act, a designated employer was defined as an employer who “employs 50 or more employees”, or “an employer who employs
fewer [than] 50 employees, but has a total annual turnover that is equal to or above the applicable annual turnover of a small business” as determined by the Act. All designated employers were obliged to comply with the Act.
With the acceptance of the Amendment Bill, the term “designated employer” no longer includes an employer who employs less than 50 employees, regardless of their annual turnover. As a result, designated employers are positively affected by this change, as they have now been exempted from complying with the Act and are thus not required to submit Employment Equity reports.
Since designated employers are not obliged to comply with the Act, it raises the question of whether designated groups will be represented in workplaces where an employer is considered as a designated employer. With the high unemployment rate in South Africa, especially considering that a significant percentage of the unemployment rate is people of colour, it is unclear whether the amendment of this Act will decrease the high unemployment rate or increase it.
PDBY approached Nomvelo Nhleko, a final-year LLB student, for her opinion on the matter. Nhleko said,
“This change can put employees of designated employers in a vulnerable position because the employers will now have the discretion to either implement employment equity or any affirmative action measures in the workplace, or choose not to since they are not obliged by the law to do so.”
Nhleko continued, “Chances of employees being treated unfairly and exploited in the designated employer’s workplace will be high.”
FLY@UP Thrift shopLara Oosthuizen
On 25 April, FLY@UP held its third annual thrift shop at the piazza on UP’s Hatfield campus.
What is FLY@UP, and how did the initiative start?
FLY@UP is an academic support programme at the university, but it strives to holistically support students beyond just academics, hence the Thrift Store Day initiative. According to FLY@UP coordinator Tayla Jonker, the decision to start the thrift shop came after the programme’s Instagram page received “a lot of DMs about students who didn’t have clothing, and they were writing exams, and they were cold”.
In order to help students in need, FLY@UP has three boxes for the donation of clothing that are permanently placed on campus in the Administration, DSA and IT buildings. In the weeks preceding this year’s thrifting event, FLY@UP strategically placed seven new donation boxes near the Piazza, Steers, Merensky, the SSC building and the Prospect, Landon and Duxbury gates. This was to help address this year’s increased need for support. Jonker indicated that this donation and thrifting project is an ongoing initiative which takes place twice a year during the periods leading up to exams.
How it works
Twenty-five people can enter the pop-up shop at a time and have eight minutes to thrift for five free items of clothing. Once a group has concluded their thrifting, they are required to exit and make way for the next group of thrifters. The shop is open to all students as well as staff members at the university.
Time to Stop Sexual AssaultKatherine Weber
Sexual assault and harassment is not a new issue in today’s society. What is more, it is a problem that seems to be growing as more and more people find the courage to speak up and tell their stories. Subsequently, a larger light is being shone on this problem. Because this issue is steadily increasing, April has been recognised as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in an attempt to spread awareness about sexual violence around the world. It does not solely focus on women’s issues but also includes steps and education for men who may find themselves in a similar situation. Though men’s sexual assault receives less attention than women’s, it is just as important. Given the increasing violence against women and men in South Africa, resources and issues surrounding this subject have the opportunity to come to the forefront in April. According to Speakout, sexual harassment can come in many different forms, which include, but are not limited to, aesthetic appreciation and sexual assault.
From 17 to 20 April, the Centre for Sexualities, AIDS and Gender (CSA&G) collaborated with UP’s Transformation Office. The two bodies commemorated the month by hosting numerous events meant to raise awareness about sexual violence and educate communities on how to be proactive.
Sexual Assault Awareness Week
Starting on Monday, 17 April, Students United Against GBV hosted a digital launch, in collaboration with the CSA&G and the UP Transformation Office, which discussed the impact of gender-based violence in the institution. Continuing on Tuesday, pledges were made on Hatfield Campus at the Wall. Students painted their hands and signatures on the Wall and promised to do better against r*pe culture and ignorance. Wednesday consisted of a workshop at the Akanyang building, where digital sexual harassment was discussed. The objective of the workshop was to raise awareness and educate communities on how to be proactive in preventing sexual assault. Digital sexual harassment can include revenge porn, unwanted sexting or sexual advances, bullying, and photo editing. Additionally, it entails any use of a digital platform to harass or assault another person.
Finally, the week ended with information sessions held outside the Transformation and Akanyang buildings on Thursday. These sessions gave a breakdown of what the CSA&G does and which services they provide. These include free HIV testing and counselling services, the 9-week entry-level training for volunteers, the distribution of internal resources like condoms, as well the distribution of pamphlets containing information on sexual assault. Events throughout the week were pushed forward by students belonging to Just Leaders, which operates under the CSA&G, and Speakout, which operates under the Transformation Office.
What you should do if you have been assaulted
PDBY spoke to a sister from the Student Health Services Centre about the process surrounding sexual assault. While the clinic does not offer r*pe kits, it still has a referral system in place to assist students who have been sexually assaulted. Once a student comes in, they are referred to an accredited clinic or the Tshwane District Hospital, where a forensic doctor is available to do the necessary testing. Security Services are also called in, and they make contact with an investigating officer in the SAPS if the person wishes to press charges. The Transformation Office is also contacted. If the crime is reported within three days of it
Trigger and Content Warning: Sexual Assault
happening, a decision is made to either pursue a disciplinary process or mediation. However, if the crime is reported after three days, a prima facie assessment is done done, where the case is assessed to determine whether there is enough evidence to warrant further action. While the clinic is not accredited or able to administer pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) (medication used in the treatment of HIV/ AIDS in the event of exposure to HIV), it still has HIV testing kits available.
Resources Other resources available include the university’s Law Clinic, which is located at 1107 South Street, Hatfield. The clinic offers free legal services to marginalised groups of people and is a recognised legal aid in terms of the Legal Practice Act (28 of 2014). The clinic forms part of the Faculty of Law and offers assistance on several legal issues, which include, among others, matters of domestic violence and protection from harassment.
In case of sexual assault:
Important Numbers and Addresses
In light of April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month, PDBY asked students to share their experiences of sexual assault (SA). Here are some of their stories.
I (F19) was assaulted by my cousin (now F21) when I was 6 years old over a period of 3 days
When I was in grade 7 a man on the street stuck his hands on my cooch in the street
SA is not some mysterious thing that happens in dark alleyways but often in your home.
When I was 14, I was groped at a party. After, he asked me to have sex with him. He followed me as I left. I had not even had my first period.
I was SA’d at the age of 3 and every year since then I have experienced some form of SA either by peers or by strangers in malls, in clubs, even on campus.
[…] Turns out the guy had assaulted plenty of the kids in the building previously.
A guy sent me unsolicited nudes on Instagram and got mad when I would not send any in return.
Pilates and Yoga: A Man’s Sport
Popularised by Hollywood celebrities and Facebook moms, pilates and yoga bear a convoluted public image. Some people think they are both way too difficult to get into, and others think there is no point getting involved in these forms of exercise because “It’s basically stretching! You’re not even working out.” These days it is very easy to dismiss yoga and pilates as women’s exercise. And yoga’s bad reputation for being ‘glorified stretching’, with pilates as yoga’s fancy cousin, have not helped to change this viewpoint at all. However, both these exercises have advantages that can last a lifetime, improving your body’s overall functioning in more ways than you can imagine, regardless of your gender.
According to Yoga for Everyone, yoga is a practice that involves exercises that are combined with meditation and breathing principles. Pilates, on the other hand, is a form of low impact exercise that involves strengthening your core, and also using breathing exercises.
Pilates can easily be incorporated into your workout routine. According to menshealth.com, some basic exercises include the following: the pelvic curl, which involves rotating your hips in a circular motion with your feet and back on the floor; the supine twist, which involves moving your legs into a tabletop position while on your back and then moving your legs from side to side. These exercises improve mobility in your lumbar region and strengthen your hip flexors.
Some benefits of pilates and yoga include the following: improved balance, increased core strength, better posture, higher energy levels and decreased stress. More interestingly, the effects of these two movement-focused forms of exercise can lead to an enhanced sex life.
With that said, let’s talk about sex baby. Increased strength, mobility and flexibility can lead to a very spicy sex life.
A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that women who engaged in a 12-week yoga programme reported higher levels of desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm and satisfaction, as well as lower levels of pain, so who is to say it will not be the same for men. Poses like cat- cow, not only increase blood flow but also tone your hip and pelvis. So, when it comes down to the naked dance, participants in yoga and pilates can boast a more adventurous and more pleasurable experience.
It is very easy to list the benefits of pilates and yoga, like increased flexibility or increased blood flow, but what does that mean practically? Regular blood circulation is very important for a strong mind, a healthy heart and, of course, a strong immune system. The month of May in Pretoria signals the beginning of the weird in-between stage wherein winter kick-starts the day and summer randomly comes in with a sucker punch at some point in the day. But make no mistake, winter is on its way, and it never starts without at least one person getting sick and spreading it all around campus. And heaven knows missing out on one day of classes somehow ends up
in falling an entire quarter behind. Perhaps everyone on campus might benefit from the strong mind, healthy heart and strong immune system that are promised by these exercise forms.
Pilates and yoga are also both low maintenance exercises and do not require you to spend an arm and a leg. All you technically need is a yoga mat and a device that can acess
Youtube, where there are plenty of videos of workouts that you can do alongside the instructor. If you are a member of a local gym, there are often pilates classes you can attend. Alternatively, you can google basic exercises and poses that you can slowly incorporate into your regular workout routine.
So why not man up and try doing some yoga and pilates?
How to Save a Semester in ten days
It is that time of the year again. Semester tests are in full swing, assignments are due and exams are fast approaching. You will probably feel all of those missed classes and nights out very soon – if you have not already, all of this means one thing: it is time to save the semester.
Go to class
Every student has probably heard this piece of advice a million times before and for good reason too. Attending class can help you better understand the work. Professors also tend to give a lot of information in lectures which can be very helpful during tests and exams. This can include summarising the work during the lecture, telling you how to study for the module, giving tips about the test, and telling you which work you will and will not be assessed on.
Finding good, reliable notes can be a great and time-effective way to help you study. Summarising content yourself is a good way to learn, but it is not always possible when you are working against the clock. When looking for notes, keep in mind that not all summaries are made equal. Ask other students in your module
for recommendations, use your textbook to fact-check summaries and refer to your study guide to ensure that all of the content is included.
Set a schedule
Seeing your test timetable can feel incredibly overwhelming. Breaking everything down that you need to do every day can help you keep up to date with everything that you need to get done. Moreover, having a detailed and clear plan can make you feel less overwhelmed.
Do past papers
Doing past papers can help you understand how you are meant to answer questions and know what to expect in your future assessments. Luckily, students are not the only ones who love to cut corners. Many lecturers do not feel the need to set new questions every year. Looking at past questions can get you some free marks.
Location, location, location
With studying, as with property, location is everything. Each student has different preferences in terms of where they study best. If you need a quiet environment, the library is a great place to study. If you work best in fresh air, there are many great spots. These include the maths garden, Aula
and the grass outside of the Economics building. If you work best in a group, make the most out of the discussion rooms in the library or go to one of the many coffee shops on campus. No matter your preference, there is a place for everyone.
Divide and conquer
In the words of Professor Maimela, “We are a team!” Take advantage of the friends you have in your course. You can divide the work amongst each other and split note-making responsibilities. If you do not understand a certain topic, your friends can explain it to you. Conversely, explaining work to someone else can help you better understand it, as well. Your friends can also help motivate you and help you cope
with all of the stresses that come with varsity academics.
Develop some healthy coping mechanisms
Saving the semester can be really stressful, so it is essential that you find some ways to help yourself cope. Exercise is a great and healthy way to relieve some stress. Writing in a journal, listening to music and meditating are all also other great ways to help keep the stress at bay. If all else fails, having a little cry can do wonders for your mental health. So, go ahead and schedule a mental breakdown in between your semester saving activities.
The pill for Him
On 17 April, a group of researchers from Washington State University published an article in Nature Communications about a massive breakthrough on a highly effective, reversible, and non-hormonal male contraceptive. So, is the time for men to take the pill just around the corner?
Dr Mariana Ianello Giassetti and her colleagues, the group responsible for this breakthrough, found a gene in the testes of male mice, pigs, cattle, and humans. This gene, called ARRDC5, plays a crucial role in the creation of sperm. It was discovered that when this gene is put to sleep, the sperm count drops, the speed at which they swim slows down and most sperm are deformed. This results in a quick and easy sterilisation. However, the clincher is that once the gene is no longer suppressed, sperm production returns to normal. In fact, this discovery is so potentially revolutionary that it has already been patented for further testing.
But surely, many readers must now be thinking, “About time”. Before we examine the wider impact this discovery might have, let us look at the history of male contraceptives to determine why it is only now being pushed to the forefront.
Back in 1974, the topic of male contraceptives was a talking point at the UN World Population Conference. According to an article originally published in Mosaic, Dr Elsimar Coutinho was testing a potential male contraceptive called gossypol at the Federal University of Bahia. He would present his proposal and findings to the 1400 delegates at the conference. But much to his own surprise, most of the women in attendance rejected his proposal. The reasoning was that women had overseen their own fertility matters for nearly a decade and did not see the need to relinquish that control to men.
Dr Coutinho then decided to pursue further research and support in the developing world and found sponsors in China. Once the trial results returned and showed that large numbers of men could no longer retain their sperm count due to tissue damage caused by the drug, the idea of the male contraceptive was pushed far back. With this risky history, it would be easy to bemoan the need for the male contraceptives, but some other facts need to be taken into account as well.
According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly half of all pregnancies are accidental. This mainly boils down to
ineffective hormonal contraceptives for women, both sexes’ unwillingness to undergo invasive operations, the discomfort and inconvenience caused by options such as condoms, and the painful nature of measures like IUDs. The need for an on-demand, safe and unintrusive contraceptive has always been the top priority. But for the longest time contraception was mostly focused toward women because of the challenges that come with male contraceptives. This is due to the high rate at which men produce sperm – nearly a thousand every second – and the need to stop every single one of them from fertilising a single egg.
WTF is DTF?
How to Do Casual
Come on! You are young, full of life and living in a city of tens of thousands of excited twentysomethings at varying levels of romantic and sexual inexperience. Everyone is hooking up and you are convinced that you cannot. So, instead, you are stuck thinking about the guy who held the humanities elevator open for you two months ago.
Casual relationships are not hard to come by in the year 2023. Among student communities they present the unique opportunity to not only get your fix, but to do so while staying relatively sober. They also allow you to stay on the streets but occasionally stop to lie on the According to Brides.com, casual dating is a physical and emotional relationship between people who go on dates without necessarily demanding or expecting the extra commitments of a more serious romantic relationship. So, is your need to DTR (define your relationship) every other week starting to AYL (affect your life)? Do not worry, whether you have already mastered casual dating or are still mulling over your first Netflix and Chill, these five tips will help you along the journey:
Decide if this is really what you want to do
It can be easy to feel pressured into pursuing casual relationships due to the lack of romantic or sexual prospects. Moreover, seeing how easy relationships are for the people around you can also add to that. If you decide to partake in casual dating against your authentic will, not only will it not be enjoyable but there is the risk that you will utterly regret it. Casual dating can be a very positive experience as it can allow you to discover what you like. It provides variety and it also offers a reprieve from the pressures of monogamy. However, it also has the negative effects of being impersonal and not allowing an appropriate environment for developing a deeper emotional connection.
Yet, that is where the research being conducted by Dr Giassetti and her colleagues comes into play.
If the ARRDC5 gene is the missing ingredient to the contraceptive puzzle, then hormone contraceptives, with all their health risks and side effects, can finally be discarded. And the ridiculous prices pharmaceutical companies put on their hundreds of different products can be curbed. All of this, and a safer sex future has possibly been found simply by looking around a mouse’s sack.
Communicate with your partners
There is no guidebook for casual relationships. Therefore, communication with partners will differ for each person. This can look like: telling them not to booty call you after 11pm, having direct conversations about contraception, being honest if you do not want to be casual anymore, etc. This also includes setting boundaries and respecting any partner’s boundaries.
Forget the rom-com fantasies
Going into this kind of relationship expecting that you can convince someone to fall in love with you when they have explicitly stated that they are interested in something casual will (probably) only leave you hurt and disappointed. Life does not exactly work like a romantic comedy where that arrangement would be portrayed as a meet-cute you can one day laugh about when relaying it to your kids. Keep your expectations low and just have fun with it.
Keep it moving
One of the good things about casual dating is the amount of variety you are afforded with. The lack of emotional attachment also helps to allow for so many different outcomes. If one avenue does not work out, you have the opportunity to go down another path.
Keep an open mind
Enjoy the variety. Check-in with yourself. Enjoy the seemingly endless prospects and possibilities. Revel in the side eyes of your friends who just do not get it. Laugh at your questionable decisions. Stay safe and have fun.
Put yourself first
Make youself your first priority. While it may be fun to date around, you should also be taking time for yourself. You should take yourself out, do things you enjoy and partake in all of the things you never had the chance to do while you were in a serious relationship.
Prioritise your other relationships
It can be easy to neglect your friends when you start dating someone. But since you are dipping your toes into the casual pool, you should make a point of spending time with your friends. If you have other friends who are also doing casual, it can be great to go through the experience together. But even if they are not, they can still offer advice, support, or even just a fun Friday night out. Sometimes the best realtionships are just purely platonic.
Be honest with yourself
Casual dating is not for everyone. There is no shame in relaising that it is not something you enjoy. Be honest with yourself about your feelings. If you develop feelings for your situationship, either walk away or tell them and be prepared for disappointment. No matter how succesful this time may be for you, it is all a learning experience.
The Wonderful World of Sci-Enza
In the heart of the Natural and Agricultural Faculty of University of Pretoria lies SciEnza, an interactive science center that prides itself on a “hands-on” experience when it comes to learning science. Since its launch in 1977, it has been operating for a total of 46 years and asserts itself as the oldest interactive Science Center on the African continent. Many of us know the name, but not the history of this institution and what is has to offer. With mirror mazes, chemistry experiments and a Camera Obscura that is enough to make even the most stoic of students excited, Sci-Enza opens it’s doors for UP once again.
On December 10, 2020, Sci-Enza released an article as a tribute to Lȍtz Strauss, the mind behind the centre. According to the tribute, Strauss was appointed as a mere technical assistant in the Department of Physics at the university, only to be given the position of lecturer a year later. Afterward, he obtained a MSc and PhD in nuclear physics at the university. A speedy promotion was warranted. This ‘no-nonsense man”, taught introductory physics sending thousands of students toward their degrees. He even published two textbooks during his career here.
According to Puleng Tsie, the Sci-Enza manager, it all started when Strauss visited America. “When he was there, he visited the San Francisco Exploratorium. He loved the idea of hands-on science,” she said. When he came back, he was determined to establish UP’s very own science centre. With a team of students, the inauguration of Strauss’s idea began. “They started to incorporate school learners and holiday programs for staff members. Just like that it grew, and it was called The Exploratorium”.
From its inception, it was an informal setting situated in the NW 1 building, where the Camera Obscura still sits today. The centre got bigger, and before long it had to be relocated into the Technical Services building. A remodelling was underway, and after some issues surrounding the trademark of its name, Discovery was born. But according to Tsie, the name lacked a ring to it, hence the center was renamed Sci-Enza. It is a combination of “science” and “sebenza”, which is isiZulu for “work” or “to do”. “It’s a nice evolution of a centre actually,” said Tsie, “it explained itself much better within an African
The journey to being a renowned science centre was a tumultuous one, especially with Covid-19 that preyed on institutions. The centre had no choice but to close in 2020. With the many outreach programs Sci-Enza hosts and the hundreds of visitors they receive, it is understandable why they had to close. Pulang comments that bouncing back from the ramifications of Covid was especially hard, “When you are closed for a long time, you must reintroduce yourself and build back up again.”
When walking into Sci-Enza as a young school learner you are greeted with a world of wonders; from frogs that are split open, to mirrors that supposedly defy the laws of gravity. There seems to be no end to the fast world of science. “The idea is to fit as many sciences as we can in this building.” said Puleng, “We want to showcase the diversity of science. It’s everywhere.” Puleng says pursuing an interest in the sciences can be very daunting. She reasons people have a misconception that the sciences are reserved for only selected individuals. She hopes that by illustrating the most basic concepts, through puzzles and games, it will emphasize the fact that big, complicated topics often come from small beginnings.
It is without a doubt that Stauss’s vision came to fruition. “Every time we hear of students telling us that Sci-Enza sparked their interest in the sciences, we get super excited.” said Puleng . “We get so little time with anybody that walks through the centre. When we have their attention, the idea is to “light that bulb” and make them wonder about the world they are in.” When people leave, staff members of Sci-Enza never really know whether they made an impact, but when school children come back years later wearing their UP-student cards, they are delighted. “We live for those moments,” said Puleng.
When you’re visiting Sci-Enza, stop by the mirror maze and make a fool out of yourself. Go take a look at the creepy “whisper mirrors” and discover the history of parabolic sound radars. If you have the time, also visit the Camera Obscura on top of the NW 1 building, where you can see the entirety of Pretoria if the weather permits it. There is no better time to unleash your childlike wonder than now.
In the last few months, the deinfluencing trend has taken Tiktok by storm. Unfortunately, this trend which started out as a way to combat overconsumption and capatalism soon turned into another way for influencers to sell prdoducts. What started as “You don’t need to buy this” soon became “Don’t buy this… Buy this other thing instead!”
Deinfluencing? Never heard of her So, what is deinfluencing? Deinfluencing is a trend that started on Tiktok as a way of encouraging viewers to spend less money and stop buying unnecessary products. Anyone who was raised in the online landscape is likely used to being constantly advertised to and bobmarded with a rolodex of new and trendy things that they supposedly need to buy. You may already own more cosmetics than you could ever use, but you need that new Conspiracy palette. And sure, you already own enough lipsticks, but do you own one in the shade Rum Raison? Tiktok says that
you should. While you are at it, you may as well buy that merchandise from your favorite creator (even though it is incredibly overpriced and poorly made). And do not forget about that new water bottle! If you are not drinking your water out of a Stanley Cup you may as well not be drinking at all.
It is because of this pattern of constantly feeling the need to keep buying new products that this deinfluencing trend felt like such a breath of fresh air to so many people. It essentially begged people to ask themselves one question: “do you need this?” This trend encouraged people to finish what they already own before buying new items, think about whether they could afford certain purchases, and consider if they would genuinely use that new product.
What say you, Socialist Youth Movement?
PDBY spoke to Cameron Rodrigues, the
chairperson of the Socialist Youth Movement UP. When asked about overconsumption, they stated that it is “a concept that has existed for a while, especially within fashion due to the fact that fast companies such as Shein and H&M are constantly creating new trends within the market and catering to those trends. When people overconsume its due to companies constantly pushing new trends so we don’t necessarily feel as if we can keep up with them. Along with over consumption comes the exploitation of working class people in clothing production, especially in the developing world because of transnational corporations and landfills. It is a really good thing to encourage responsible consumption of goods and be more conscious of what you purchase. Along with this must also come the recognition of the fact that a lot of poor and working class people rely on cheap clothing brands and thrifting, which now has been co-opted by rich and middle class people spending exorbitant amounts of money on Shein
hauls when they could actually afford to buy sustainably.”
Do you really need it?
Another problem with this perpetual pushing of products is that many people do not view these products through the lens of necessity. For many people, it feels like new products represent much more than what meets the eye. If that influencer, who seemingly has their life together, owns an iPad, then surely buying a new iPad will mean that you will aslo get your life together. That person on Tiktok who owns an entire collection of Selke dresses looks happy. So, if you buy that too then you will surely be just as happy, right? Unfortunately, those who fall down this trap of trying to buy a new life, or feeling, are often left dissapointed. Trendy products may give you a temporary boost in serotonin, but it cannot solve any feelings of inferiority or mental health struggles. Ultimately, you will only be left with a feeling of disillusionment and debt.
Hello UP student, this is a safe place to shoot your shot at all those cute people you see around campus. Tell those people how you feel about them, hit on your crush or compliment a person on that outfit they were wearing the other day. Anything positive really. Try to be as detailed and creative as possible with your description so it makes it easy for the person to identify themself. Here’s to hoping for your success, and maybe even a possible meet up :)
To the girl that works for PDBY, that has a butterfly tattoo on her right hand, with dreadlocks, it only took a sec for me to notice you, it didn’t take long coz when I saw you, you had a smile on your face, I swear your smile makes me drown, it gives me butterflies and tickles me, I would go on and on but I’ll end it here, seeing you at times brightens my day. I wonder how it would be if I did see you most of the time. With all that being said I’m asking to take you out on a date.
To the hottie who played 5’s football on a Monday last year, studies some sort of BCom degree and whose name is James. Let’s go on a date?
To the Tuks Rugby player I met on Saturday in Kapstadt, I'm over your brother, you were always the hottest and my first choice. Number 10 on the rugby field but number 1 in my heart.
To the girl with Denim jacket in CMY 383. When I first saw you, I thought you were really cute, however you stole my heart on the day when the lecturer brought a hammer to class. I don’t have the guts to tell you how I feel in person, but I want you to know how you make me feel.
To the tall chubby guy who stays in Varsity Studios (VS) he's always looking good in his shorts and short-sleeved shirts. I always bump into him in the study area; his laptop has a lot of anime stickers. He's coffee colour and wears prescription glasses. I like you and I think you would be my perfect gentleman. *wink* *blowing kisses*
Want to shoot your shot? Scan the QR code.
Crash Course: Thrifting in PretoriaDanielle Yeatman and Rebecca van Besouw
In today’s world of fast-approaching deadlines, fast food, and fast fashion, thrifting offers a slow and sustainable release from all the chaos. Pretoria has a habit of consuming local markets and local artists, leaving them unseen to most who hunt for their locations. This leaves it up to the veteran thrifters to illuminate the yellow brick road of local events for those new thrifters to navigate. Following issue 4’s “Thrifting Save-the-Dates” article, this is not a closed list of markets but a short description of Hatfield’s most prominent and inclusive thrift markets.
Vintage Square Thrift Fair
For those staring into the wardrobe abyss every month, finding that none of their clothes provide satisfaction, there are monthly markets that could fill an entire Saturday with delicious food and vintage clothing. The most popular of these is the Vintage Square Thrift Fair. Located at Brooklyn Mall on the first Saturday of every month, the fair boasts a vast collection of stalls offering copious amounts of clothing, shoes and accessories for all styles and all sizes. A particular treasure trove for all Doc Marten lovers is a personal favourite. And after hours of shopping, thrifters can reenergise at one of Brooklyn’s many restaurants.
Litchi Vintage Thrift Market
Another monthly favourite, less-known to the thrifting audience, is the Litchi Vintage Thrift Market at the corner of Milner and 198 Long Street, Pretoria. While slightly smaller than the Brooklyn Market, Litchi’s Saturday shopping is filled with wonderful people and fantastic finds. This outside market is perfect for dog lovers who wish to bring their canine companions along for the thrift, as the market is dog friendly and encourages one to bring along their furry friends. And their project, Mother Litchi, is easy and innovative; it ensures that less material ends up in landfills. This project encourages thrifters to bring old clothes and fabrics to the market to either be repaired as you thrift or recycled into reusable items.
Sungardens Hospice Charity Shop
Another thrifting spot for anyone looking to support a good cause is the Sungardens Hospice Charity Shop. The hospice provides palliative care for patients with terminal illnesses. According to the hospice’s website, almost 50% of their
fundraising is done via their charity shop located on 18 Twig Street in Lynnwood Glen. The shop offers many thrifted treasures, including clothes, vintage furniture, craft supplies, decor and a library’s worth of secondhand books. Additionally, anyone who has clothes, books or furniture that deserve a new home can donate them to the shop and keep the cycle of sustainable thrifting going.
Tips for thrifting
Thrifting is a rewarding hobby, but the experience can be made better with a little strategy. Here are some guidelines to get the most out of your trip to the thrift market:
1) Look out for quality. Check for holes in fabric and cracks in leather. Make sure to identify the kind of fabrics used in clothing, as natural fabrics like wool will be of higher quality and will last longer than synthetic fabrics like acrylic.
2) Dress for the occasion. Many thrift shops and markets do
Literature Spotlight: Babel by RF KuangRebecca van Besouw
Babel, the latest novel by fantasy author RF Kuang, is relevant to any student with its pointed criticism of academia and its relationship with colonialism. Set in the early 1800s, Kuang depicts an alternate history in which the British Empire is powered by magical silver. The magic system is imaginative and unique, involving silver bars engraved with translated phrases in order to create magical reactions. The novel plays with the power of translation and connection through language, but also comments on imperial power, the flaws of academia and the power of individuals working together to correct injustice.
The story follows Robin Swift, a boy torn from his home in Canton and brought to London, where his skill in language is honed until he is finally admitted to the Institute of Translation at Oxford University. At the institute, people of colour are accepted for study and taught to use their native languages to manipulate silver. At first, Robin sees Oxford as a paradise where he has friends and a purpose, but he gradually begins to realise the injustices of the academic system. The translators, fluent in many
languages from around the world, must submit the power of their native languages to the British Empire, thereby contributing to the expansion of the empire. Eventually, Robin must make a choice between safety and justice, with unexpected consequences.
Babel is unflinching in its criticism of the academic system, reflecting on academia’s role in colonialism as it explores Oxford’s complicity in exploitation. As a recent example of the ‘dark academia’ trend in literature, the novel effectively examines and subverts the romanticised view of so-called ‘prestigious’ universities. Another highlight of the novel is the character development; Robin’s struggle to reconcile his love for Oxford with his conscience is particularly well-realised. The ‘alternate’ world, however, is perhaps not as developed as it could be, with the historical setting remaining largely similar to ours despite the inclusion of magic as a major influence. Nevertheless, Kuang’s writing style pulls the reader into Robin’s world, delivering emotional punches with ease. Despite its considerable length, the novel flies by with exciting twists and believable characters. Any fantasy enthusiasts, disillusioned students or fans of dark academia are encouraged to seek this one out.
not have fitting rooms, so making sure that you can easily try on new finds over your clothes is essential. Dress for comfort and ease of trying clothes on; bulky clothes will make it more difficult to see what fits.
3) Donate before you buy. Thrifting should not be an excuse to clutter up your space. Donating also keeps thrift stores alive; you might donate a piece that someone will discover on the shelves and cherish.
Re-wearing is caring, and with this crash course in mind, students are encouraged to thoroughly thrift until they discover the item that belongs in their hands. In an unsustainable and fastpaced world, slow and sustainable fashion offers a break from the hustle and bustle.
Instagram Handles for the markets:
Litchi Vintage Thrift Market: @litchi_vintage_thrift_market
The Vintage Square Thrift Fair: @thevintagesquarethriftfair
2. Got the Time - Zebra
3. Sweet Red - Year of Dogs
4. Table Manners - The Plastics
5. Boho Boy - Crosscurrent
6. Sondela Forever - Muzi
7. Setting Sun - Boyes Drive
8. Human of the Week - Yo Grapes
9. Video Games - Amy Lilley
Putting the hype in hypothermia
Amani Cassim, Kirsten Minnaar and Jade Fabri
With Winter fast approaching, many people are likely planning on waiting out the cold by spending the next few months indoors. But just because temperatures are dropping, does not mean that you cannot live your best life. Here are some tips to combat the winter boredom.
Get some new hobbies
Winter can be a great time to develop new hobbies and skills that you might not ordinarily have time for. Try your hand at mixology and finally learn how to make that R90 espresso martini. You can also learn how to crochet and make yourself some blankets and scarves to help survive the chilly season. Alternatively, you can create some crochet tops and bikinis in preparation for when summer rolls around again.
Go coffee shop hopping
Campus and Hatfield itself are both filled with an endless array of coffee shops. Why not keep warm by swinging by some new coffee shops this chilly season? Switch things up by trying various specialty drinks. Or order something different and finally find out what on earth a cortado really is.
Host a dinner party
Invite your friends over and host a dinner party. Keep things simple by lighting a few candles and putting on your favourite playlist. If you are feeling more ambitious, then you can pick a theme, and coordinate all of your decorations and dishes accordingly. Either way, you can never go wrong with some pasta and wine.
Excessive drinking and unhinged dancing are sure to warm you up. After all, it is always summer weather inside the club. Grab all your friends and go “shake ass” on your favourite sticky floors to defrost. And always remember, in the wise words or Cardi B, “Hoes don’t get cold.”
Shop the Steam sale
Steam’s seasonal sales usually have some great deals. This year’s Summer Sale is set to take place from 29 June to 13 July, just in time for the e-sport enthusiasts on campus to start a new game during the winter break. And (finally) finish Elden Ring.
Have a spa day
Those in need of a little pampering can enjoy a mini spa day. Doing nails with scented candles burning in the background and wearing
a facemask can truly make one feel like a brand-new person. So why not break out all of those Oh So Heavenly products you still have not touched since you received them at Christmas and spoil yourself?
Winter can be an utterly dull season, but these activities can add some excitement. The cold should not stop anyone from having a good time, especially not during the best and most stressful years of life. Make winter wonderful, but remember to keep your friends close and your hot water bottle closer.
Word Search: Mystical Creatures
ALICANTO ANANSI BANSHEE BASILISK CHIMERA CHUPACABRA CURUPIRA CYCLOPS DEMOGORGON DRAGON GRIFFIN KELPIE
Spot the Difference (Spot 10)
MINOKAWA NEKOMATA NIFFLER QILIN ROC SELKIE SIREN TANUKI UNICORN YETI YOKAI
Would you Rather...
1. Make out in a bathroom at the strip or during a lecture.
2. Date a crypto-bro or a Formula 1 girl.
3. Fight a rabid Pitbull or a Sonop boy (Blossoms delight).
4. Dress like an engineer or an agriculture student for the rest of your life.
5. Get an STI or a Pregnancy scare every time you dance the devils tango.
Capricorn (December 22 - January 19)
You’re not smart; you’re just loud.
Aquarius (January 20 - February 18)
You’re girlbossing a little too close to the sun right now. Maybe humble that god-complex a little.
Pisces (February 19 - March 20)
You’ve really been going through it, but you’re doing a great job sweetie.
Aries (March 21 - April 19)
Avoiding everything started out as being silly-goofy but it is time to start addressing all those things you’re avoiding.
Taurus (April 20 - May 20)
Stop calling people when you are drunk. It is not cute, and you are causing unnecessary problems in your life.
Gemini (May 21 - June 21)
A lot of people say you are the worst sign. It’s
1. Capital of Egypt
2. Solve this anagram for a famous English actor: BIDE LIARS
7. Food students stereotypically live off
9. Film Four Weddings and a
11. Skin Art
13. Creature that loves brains
14. Fifth ‘rock’ from the sun
15. Most famous Queen song
1. Latin for “seize the day”
3. Mountain range that forms the border between KwaZulu-Natal and Lesotho
4. Solve this anagram for a South African actress: ONE ZILCH RATHER
5. Restaurant on the Strip for your fastfood needs
6. Flower on a 50 cent coin
10. Name of the racoon in Guardians of the Galaxy
really not true, but please… At least try and prove them wrong.
Cancer (June 22 - July 22)
Jealousy is not a cute look on you. Please calm down.
Leo (July 23 - August 22)
You need an attitude adjustment. Stop making everything about yourself- you are not the main character.
Virgo (August 23 - September 22)
Casual dating might not be for you; refer to page 8.
Libra (September 23 - October 22)
Nobody hates you. Mercury is just in retrograde.
Scorpio (October 23 - November 21)
Stop being deluded- they’re just not that into you.
Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21)
Hey babe. It’s finally time to figure out that toxic situationship. Your friends are getting worried :)
Chef’s Last Dinner
“You’re so useless, I wish you had noodles for brains!!!”
“Okay everybody, remember the plan.”
The Sport Hater’s Guide to Spectatorship
Navigating your way around campus life can be difficult when you have no knowledge about or interest in sports. After all, what is UPlympics anyway? What do you mean Tuks has basketball? Why does my faculty house have a volleyball league? You can still make the most out of varsity by attending sporting events, even if you think you would have a better time watching paint dry. Here are some ways to enjoy sporting events as someone who sees the Varsity Cup as half empty.
Make the match your picnic
One thing sports fans and haters alike can enjoy is snacking. For bigger events, like Varsity Cup, there are plenty of food stalls to choose from but for the smaller events, there might not be food for sale. No need to fret, though. Pack your snacks and blanket, and get ready to make a picnic out of the match.
Bring your friends
Do not be put off by the screaming fans on the sidelines. A sport match is the perfect time to chat with friends. Bring all of your friends along and have a catch up session, with the game playing in the background.
Res Rugby Round 5
After a short recess and the postponement of Round 4, we are finally back with more Res Rugby action, which involved high scores and close-cut action.
OP Village had a try fest, scoring seven tries to win the match 47-7 against House Tau. Three of these tries were long distance with a lot of pace and sleek ball handling skills. It is clear that the hard work of the forward pack paid off as they secured the ball for the backline. The defending champions are starting to find some serious form, keeping the rest of the division on their toes.
Drink the game away
Sobriety is the enemy for any sports hater trying to make their way through a match. Buy drinks at the game, or show up tipsy. You can even make a drinking game out of the match if you have no idea what is happening on the field.
Tuks swimmers back with a splash
At the recent SA National Aquatic Championships held in Gqeberha, Tatjana Schoenmaker reminded everyone why she is an Olympic gold medallist and world record holder. Schoenmaker swam the 50m breaststroke in 30.71 seconds, the 100m breaststroke in 1:05.89 minutes and the 200m breaststroke in 2:22.44 minutes. Her achievement in the 100m breaststroke is equal to the second fastest time in the world this year. Another Tuks swimmer, Pieter Coetzé, put on a show by setting
a new national and continental record in the 100m backstroke. He swam an impressive time of 52.78 seconds.
A-qualifying times, also known as Olympic qualifying times, are set by World Aquatics, formerly FINA, the international governing body for all aquatic sports.. These A-qualifying times are important, since they allow swimmers to automatically qualify for the 2023 World Aquatics Championships that will be held in Japan in July. Six of the 12 swimmers who swam A-qualifying times at the SA Nationals are from Tuks. What an unbelievable feat.
CHEER AT UP
Cheerleading is a sport, as well as a team activity. One we can see from our very own cheer squad, TuksCheerleading. Let us have a look at UP’s cheerleaders. TuksCheerleading took part in the inaugural #CheerleadersThatRock competition and secured the second runners-up position. This competition was created during the Varsity Cup games where people were encouraged to vote for the best cheerleading team of the season. The final official judging was conducted by the South Africa Majorettes and Cheerleading Association as well as Gymnastics South Africa. It is clear that UP’s cheer team has the moves and energy to uplift the spirits of both the supporters and the team. On that note, we must acknowledge the dedicated hours of training they put into their craft to deliver it to us. The team trains for three hours every week on Mondays and Wednesdays to ensure they put in the necessary time and effort to keep everyone cheering all game long.. So next time when you are cheering for the sporting teams, do no forget to show some support for the cheerleaders as well. For those
looking to join, try-outs are at the start of the next semester. For the exact dates, please get in touch with TuksCheerleading through the TuksSport home page. So, start stretching now and put on those dancing shoes, as you could be the one who takes the team to the top of the podium next year.
Play the dating game
The players do not have to be the only people playing the field. Find the cutest athlete on the field and strike up a conversation with them after the game, shoot your shot on Instagram, or just sit back and admire them from afar. You do not need to have any interest in sport to enjoy the view too.
However, Sonop vs House Mopane was a tighter match, with Sonop scoring the first points on the brink of halftime. With the clock ticking down, Sonop’s drop goal conversion during the second half put more pressure on Mopane. Mopane did manage to score a try, but could not build momentum from it. Sonop played the territorial game to their advantage and won the match 10-5.
This round had great rugby and an even better atmosphere with whips, vuvuzelas and drums being played to ignite the fire within the teams. Come down for the next round, and experience some unique student culture for yourself!
UPlympics: An inside look at the chess tournament
The UPlympics took place on 22 April with thrilling events lined up for the day. The events included athletics, indigenous chess and blind chess, which was especially competitive as more than 50 players from the university came to participate and showcase their skills.
Many might be asking, why chess? Well, with the new wave of chess players around the world being drawn to the game, it was an obvious inclusion. This new interest can largely be attributed to the cheating scandal involving international grandmaster Hans Niemann late last year. Furthermore, popular streamers like GothamChess and Hikaru Nakamura provide entertaining commentary that keeps people involved in the world of chess. And the genuine fun that the game can provide has won over many fans.
At the UPlympics competition, the games were timed and lasted for seven rounds.The atmosphere in the playing venue was mysterious and intimidating because no one knew how strong their opponents really were. They had to bring their A game. When you sit down at the table and press the chess clock, the world seems to take a pause, and it is just you and your opponent. It becomes an intense battle of who will make the first blunder because ultimately, chess played perfectly is a draw. With the every movement of a piece, the heart skips a beat, and
you wonder whether a fatal mistake has been made. The battle ends when the king has no legal moves and you shout “checkmate”, or when the time runs out. Playing games like these weighs heavily on the brain. Hence, in the tournament, players were listening to music during the games to calm their minds.
There were some dominant performances in the tournament. It concluded with winner achieving 7/7 points. Second place had 6/7 points and finally, third place had 5.5/7. These top three players received their medals, a fantastic way to cap off a wonderful performance in this UPlympic event.
UPlympics: Gold for Madelief and House Mopane
Micaela Wathen & Katharine O’Ehley
It is that time of year again where students can dust off their running shoes and put on their tutus – it is the UPlympics. 22 April marked the commencement of one of the largest sporting events of the year. UPlympics, which was organised by UP Student Sport (UPSS), consisted of five events and took place in two spheres: online and in person at LC de Villiers. The event drew the participation of residences, societies, faculty houses and day houses all, competing for the gold.
The Indigenous Games kicked off the event in the early morning. These games are reminiscent of childhood and hold a cultural significance for many South Africans. The indigenous games played were Diketo and Skipping.
Diketo is traditionally played with a shooting marble, ten small stones and a hole in the ground. The game consists of a chief coordinator, two scorers and one runner. The skill necessary for this game can be underestimated, but success depends on a player’s reflexes, speed and concentration. Then there was Skipping. This demands agility, timing and of course, a springy set of legs. Both games were played with a similar excitement that one may recall from the school playground at break. This makes it all the more wonderful to see the same game bringing joy to a larger stage in university.
Madireng Malatji (Eastwoods Village)
Mahlatsi Kwadi (Hayani)
Itumeleng Mayisela (House Education)
Masetshaba Molefone (EBIT)
Nsovo Ecstacy Masingi (Ikageng)
Asive Mdlankomo (Mopane)
It goes without saying that athletics is always a winner. The energy radiated from the track, as the field sports was the peak for many in attendance.
UPlympics had it all. Long jump, hurdles and high jump for those with a spring in their step. Shot put, javelin and discus throw for those with missiles for arms. Long distance running for those going the extra mile. The sprints (a highlight for the fans) for the darting bullets among us.
Student Karabo Nakedi told PDBY, “UPlympics was amazing, my friend won the women’s relay. So it was quite nice.”
Another student, Ashley Antill, said, “Today was really fun. I think the vibes have been great, with all the residences that showed up. And my favourite was the HC relay – just seeing them giving their heart and soul out there is awesome.”
Victor Lodorum (Male) Track
Carl Janse van Rensburg (Mopane)
Ruan Bronkhorst (Tuks individual)
Etienne van Wyk (Dregeana)
Victrix Lodorum (Female) Track
Shanelle Venter (Health House)
Jani Badenhorst (Vividus)
Simone de Wet (Madelief)
Victor Lodorum (Male) Field
Nantus Joubert (Tuks individual)
Tiaan Stoltz (EBIT)
Ruan Bronkhorst (Tuks individual)
Victrix Lodorum (Female) Field
Cara Pieterse (Vividus)
Celie Janse van Rensburg (Madelief)
Leonor Roode (Curelitzia)
Showing pride is the backbone of the UPlympics. This was especially prevalent during the spectators’ challenges, where other athletes and non-participants could show their support, for their fellow athletes during the event. Spectators from different houses, residences, societies and day houses showed their support with three teams facing off against each other at a time. These competitions flaunted the groups’ abilities to perform and their overall cheer spirit for their team.
Spectators’ Challenge winners: Tirisano House Mopane Curelitzia
Tour de Tukkies
Tour de Tukkies is one of the most innovative means of participation at the UPlympics. This online cycling competition had cyclists from various structures competing from the comfort of their homes. UP Student Sport conducted the event well and yielded great results. Vice-chairperson of UPSS Alexandra Pashkin stated, “Tour de Tukkies actually started the event already two days ago. What do I mean by that? We ensured everybody signed into the app; we ensured everyone was comfortable with it. Any questions were covered within two, three days of signing into the app; give it a go, see how it works. And because of that, today went extremely smoothly because they were aware of how the app works, and they were very comfortable with using it on the day at the times required.”
Winners of the Tour de Tukkies:
Simeon Joubert (House Mopane)
Cornelis Marinus Faling (House Tau)
Philip Morkel (House Mopane)
A further development in UPlympics, specifically in chess, was the incorporation of the blind chess tournament. This was done by having braille chess boards with the black and white tiles also marked by different heights. Hlulani Mawila, TuksSport representative portfolio holder, stated, “I took an idea and made sure it was inclusive. People enjoyed chess, they were able to see how it can be accommodating.” Mawila also attributed the success of this new development to a group effort. She recognises all the hands from TuksSport and TuksChess who made an idea a reality. This year is only the base board from which UPSS will jump to creating a more inclusive sporting event for the university’s students.
After a fun and exhilarating day of events, it came down to the big announcement. Out of all the residences, day houses, faculty houses and solo competitors, who placed where when all was said and done?
Women’s points rankings:
Madelief - 77,5
Azalea - 56
Curelitzia - 41,5
Men’s points rankings:
House Mopane - 96
EBIT - 81
Tuks Individuals - 71,5
UPlympics is one of the largest and most integrated sporting events at the University of Pretoria. It was filled with vibe and energy brought by the roars of the crowd and the music playlist bursting through the speakers. It takes no small team to put an event of this scale together, but when every member pulls together, it is sure to be a success. To the victors, congratulations. To the future of UPlympics, the game of all games!Photo: Katharine O’Ehley Photo: Katharine O’Ehley Photo: Cletus Mulaudi