5 June 2019| Volume 78 | Edition 5
UCT’s Food Project is back on track Image by: Soligah Solomons
By Soligah Solomons Following a standstill, operations for the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) food programme has been revived and reaches far more students than before.
s of 2 May 2019, Food & Connect an independent food vendor at UCT joined forces with the university’s food project and carries the cost for the food parcels distributed. The programme that was initiated last year in collaboration with the Department of Social Development’s Dr Chance Chagunda, the Department of Student Aﬀairs (DSA) as well as UCT’s Food Security Task Team which is headed by Deputy Vice-Chancellor Loretta Feris, recognised the pressing need to urgently address student hunger across campuses. “A hungry student cannot concentrate in class and thus cannot achieve the objective of learning.” The importance of the food programme was further emphasised by Dr Chagunda when he commented that, “A hungry student cannot concentrate in class and thus cannot achieve the objective of learning”. However, during April this year when the programme came to a standstill due to a transition between sponsoring departments and miscommunication, this left recipients of the project in a precarious situation. VARSITY learnt that Edwina Brooks from the DSA approached Food & Connect after students expressed their sentiments. “When the programme stopped, students shared how the loss of the programme impacted them and it was crucial to have it restarted. It is a great relief that it is on track again” she commented. Subsequently, the programme currently feeds 600 students compared to the 26 students since inception. Moreover, when VARSITY asked Paul Marais the Head of Retail and Catering at Food & Connect how they
plan to ensure the food programme remain sustainable, the individual noted that plans are well underway and that once all details are ﬁnalised, only then will they be able to provide the UCT community with more details. “Food & Connect is assisting with designing a phone app.” “Food & Connect is assisting the food security programme with the design of a phone app that will remove the associated embarrassment or stigma of collecting food or standing in line. The application will also be integrated with the UCT student card for those students without a phone” he commented. The food pack is based on a wellbalanced nutritious meal that is made up of a fruit, a fruit juice or bottled water as well as a sandwich. All students who ﬁnd themselves in a position in which they are unable to aﬀord buying their own lunches are strongly encouraged to grab a food pack at Room 1.04, Level 1 of the Leslie Social Sciences building on Upper Campus. Alternatively, students may also grab lunch from the following satellite campus distribution spots: Kramer building, Child and Guidance Clinic, College of Music, Hiddingh Campus and the Health Sciences Campus. All food packs are served between 12h00-14h00 during the week. Additionally, volunteers are welcome to assist with the issuing of the food packs and work according to a schedule. Be sure to check out VARSITY’s website for a video accompanied with this article: varsitynewspaper.co.za
@VarsityNews | 5 June 2019 | V78 E5 | Page 2
NEWS By Gabriel Vieira
ominations for UCT’s new ten-year term for Chancellor, who will replace the current Chancellor Graça Machel, are underway. The process of choosing the Chancellor is one that is designed to be participatory for the entire university body. As such, nominations can be made by all students, staﬀ, and members of the Convocation - a statutory body which is beholden to the Oﬃce of the Registrar and meant to provide a platform for all alumni to participate in and critically engage with the issues and forward movement of the university. The ﬁnal decision will be made by members of a specialised built electoral college.
Gabriel Vieira & Sophie Fischer email@example.com
Convocation, student or staﬀ bodies. Additionally, each nomination must be accompanied by a written acceptance from the nominee and a two-hundred word statement detailing their curriculum vitae and candidature. Nominators must also provide their contact details with the nomination. Nominees cannot be a member of the UCT staﬀ or student body, or of the Convocation.
“The Chancellor position itself is very signiﬁcant for the UCT community.”
The Chancellor position itself is very signiﬁcant for the UCT community. As the representative and titular head of the university, it is they whom “confer all degrees and awards all diplomas and certiﬁcates in the name of the university,” according to UCT communication liaison, Elijah “The role of chancellor Moholola. The symbolic role of requires an individual of the Chancellor is anything but stature with exceptional negligible. According to Mr. personal qualities and Moholola, “The role of Chancellor requires an individual of stature integrity.” with exceptional personal qualities and integrity. He or she will be an established thought leader [and] Nominations require a will represent the values of the petition of at least twenty, but not university.” more than thirty, signatories- all of whom must be members of the
Source: The Elders Organisation
Choosing the new Chancellor Additionally, the role of Chancellor includes garnering support for the university both domestically and internationally as well as representing the university at high level events. The students of UCT, by design, have active members heavily involved in the selection process. The electoral college counts among their number, “21 members elected by the graduates, and holders of diplomas and certiﬁcates from their number,” says Mr. Moholola, in addition to six students elected by the Student Representative Council (SRC).
UCT has had six Chancellors until this point, with the current being former ﬁrst lady of South Africa, Graça Machel. VARSITY requested a statement on Graça Machel’s tenure from UCT but the university said that such a statement would have to wait for a later date. As nominations are still currently open, UCT will make a forthcoming statement at an apt time detailing the identities of the nominees. The period for making nominations closes on the 7th of June, 2019.
EGS Department Welcomes Lactation Room for Mothers By Shameeka Voyiya
he Environmental and Geographical Sciences (EGS) department established a Parent and Child Facility in its building, in 2018.
This facility can be accessed by UCT students and staﬀ who wish to have the privacy to express at work or while attending classes. The project was spearheaded by Anna Taylor, mother of two, who suggested the installation of a lactation room in the building. “I wanted to give my children the beneﬁts of breast milk for at least the ﬁrst year, and that meant expressing at work. It proved very tricky to ﬁnd a private space,” she commented.
“This has a signiﬁcant impact on gender equality and inclusivity of women’s needs in the workplace.” This is reﬂective of a prevalent matter among new mothers in the workplace. “The experience made me very conscious of the practical struggles of mothers returning to work and trying to do the best for their babies,” she said. The opportunity arose for Anna to get involved in setting this project in motion when the EGS department was
reviewing its toilet arrangements and made plans to convert some of them to unisex facilities. She suggested that one of them be converted into a lactation room. This gained support and the project was thus set in motion. According to Ameeta Jaga, a UCT Associate Professor in Organisational Psychology who has done intensive studies and research on breastfeeding in the workplace, providing spaces for breastfeeding mothers increases inclusivity and productivity in the workplace. This has a signiﬁcant impact on gender equality and inclusivity of women’s needs in the workplace. Anna stated that since her idea gained momentum and support, it took a year for work on the new facility to be completed. The acknowledgement and accommodation of expressing mothers has resulted in a positive transformational shift and has brought awareness to such matters in the work and school environment. Further updates regarding future implementations of such projects will be provided.
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An eye on the transformations of the new Employment Equity Plan By Sophie Fischer
Source: UCT News
The new plan is aimed towards disability inclusion as well as the equal representation of both national and international employees at the university.
he new Employment Equity Plan (EEP) from 2019-2021 replaces the previous five-year structure. The new plan came in the wake of a request by Council in 2017 to develop stretch targets for Employment Equity. It is the result of both an Employment Equity Act Compliance Assessment and a review by the Department of Labour in February 2018 in which the University of Cape Town (UCT) was found to be non-compliant in a few areas. The main shortcomings in the EEP from 2015-2020 have been its disability targets as well as the format and the structure of its consultative forum on the plan and the implementation thereof. The previous EE strategy included a two-pronged approach: 1) focusing on space creation and 2) developing elaborate, highly participative, transparent recruitment and selection processes, foregrounding the Employment Equity policy. This strategy has yielded mixed results. According to Mrs. Kayster, the Employment Equity Specialist of UCT, since 2015 the university’s workforce profile has shifted with 74% of the overall workforce profile being from designated groups of which 68% is generic black South African.
“Although significant progress has been made with the development of the Black South African professioriate last year, it remains a challenge.” However, this shift has happened mostly at the lower to middle pay class levels. Academics are a specific concern and as of October 2018 only 29% were black South African. Although significant progress has been made with the development of Black South African professoriate last year, it remains a challenge. At senior management during the same period the picture looked better, and 85% were from designated groups of which 68,75% were black. However, only 6,25% were African black. Therefore the new EEP orientates itself more on inclusivity and representation of disability in the work space. Mrs. Kayster explains that the issue regarding persons with disabilities is derived from the lack of understanding around the definition of persons with disabilities and highlights the importance of staff sensitization and awareness-raising, especially about the self-declaration of invisible conditions and impairments which are still underreported. To this end, a disability sensitization drive is being rolled out in the organisation.The
representativity of persons with disabilities were 1.4% in October 2018. Its four key objectives categorise the achievements in the yearly structure of the plan and are firstly: communication, advocacy and awareness. Secondly, recruitment and selection process - sometimes overly complicated and a barrier to entry. There is a need to speed up the process without compromising quality, as well as to empower managers or directors and keep them accountable for decisions made. Thirdly, development and retention; and lastly, measurement. These objectives are focused on eliminating the barriers. Affirmative Action (i.e corrective) measures include revision of policies, procedures and practices identified in the EE analysis conducted with time frames and persons responsible for implementation.
“The targets and goals reflected in the numerical plan represents the university’s identity as a national African university with global reach.”
The Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment scorecard is a quantitative measure of the institution’s transformation efforts. The current Management Control score is 11.35 out of 20 points, which includes the EE element. The aim is to improve the rating of this element by at least one point per year. According to this, UCT aims to bring on board more black and in particular African black academics. The targets and goals reflected in the numerical plan represents the university’s identity as a national African university with global reach. In line with its stated identity, a foreign national staff component which ranges from between 8% and 10% at any given point will be maintained. “[The] employment equity strategy aims to ensure that UCT can attract, engage, nurture, develop and retain designated and non-designated employees with the right, scarce, critical and diverse skills to foster a culture of excellence,” states the new EEP.
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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Soligah Solomons firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking back, all I feel is proud!
ACTING MANAGING EDITOR Aidan Croy email@example.com
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Soligah Solomons Editor-in-Chief
ONLINE EDITOR Arin Barry email@example.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR Tasneem Jacobs creativedirector@ varsitynewspaper.co.za CONTRIBUTORS Zahra Abba Omar, Martyn McGrath, Lajpaal Foundation, Anna van Renen and Arin Barry PRINT NEWS Gabriel Vieira & Sophie Fischer firstname.lastname@example.org
lowly but surely the exam period is drawing to a close and with it comes the end of the first semester. It has been a tough semester all round, starting with a nine week first term and then jumping into exams after only three weeks in the second term. But here we are. We did it. We pushed through and the vacation is so close we can almost taste it. With the end of the first semester and the publication of this edition, VARSITY has also reached its halfway mark for the year, with this edition being our fifth of the year. Looking back over the last few months, I cannot believe how much the paper has grown. I look back at our first edition and all I feel is pride, we’ve come so far and we’ll still go so much further in the months to come. The current team has really come into their own and each edition they still improve with leaps and bounds. The Online team has grown exponentially this year by adding deputy section editors as the online side of the paper had grown too big for only four editors to handle. I have been a part of Online for three years now and each year we grow and expand, but this year alone we’ve doubled our team size, implemented new structures and user interactions has shown
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significant improvement. Through this semester, VARSITY has become a part of the collective’s daily lives. Our section editors and writers are constantly on the lookout to find the next scoop and they’re always trying to suss out the real story. I’ve watched the collective’s dedication to VARSITY grow and I am so proud of what we have become and what we have achieved in such a short amount of time. I cannot wait to see to what heights the collective will reach before this year is over. From all of us at VARSITY Newspaper; we wish you good luck with the last few days of exams and we hope you enjoy that well earned vac.
PRINT FEATURES Sebastian Moronell features@varsitynewspaper. co.za
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ADIDAS SAMPLE SALE
@VarsityNews | 5 June 2019 | V78 E5 |Page 6
FEATURES By Sebastian Moronell
Sebastian Monorell firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s nearly the holidays
t’s nearly the holidays and I’m stuck half-way between my longing and my fear. I long for the warm embrace of unscheduled days and the almost-poetic binging of Netflix it brings. But I fear the thought of my incapacity, of my wasted dreams – of more than a month of doing nothing. Why does life toss me between these two vagaries?
“For others, the holidays mean family. Here the act of spending time with them is sufficient. Your very existence is celebrated – and doesn’t that feel good?” For some, the holidays mean going home. I am one of those – I fly out on a plane and land, newly awakened, somewhere completely different. I cannot stress the transformation this brings – from spending weeks, if not months, in the computer labs and libraries at the university, one is confronted with a set of new sensations – new smells, faces, tastes and noises. But these sensations are not as new as they are old, and one is often confronted with nostalgia at this point: these are the sensations of home.
“But still, between the sensation of home and the celebration of your existence, don’t we all just tend to feel a bit empty?” For others, the holidays means family. Here the act of spending time with them is sufficient. Your very existence is celebrated – and doesn’t that feel good? After a semester of an overbearing university taking you to task for every piece of information it can squeeze in (and out) of you, your family lets you be and loves you for it. Home-cooked meals and a set of much chided (but often missed) chores make you feel once again at home. But still, between the sensation of home and the celebration of your existence, don’t we all just tend to feel a bit empty? As if the university has some hold over us to dictate when we will be happy and when we will be fulfilled. Or maybe that’s just how I feel. Whilst I will be facing a new set of existential crises, I hope for your holidays that you take a break – from yourself. Maybe that’s the only way we can escape the hold this place has over us. Will four weeks be enough time for that?
Source: Source - Field Mag
What killed Game of Thrones? By Rachel Reynolds Has G.o.T season 8 failed because it shifts the focus from being character-centric to plot-centric, or the other way round?
ince the season 8 disaster that was Game of Thrones, fans have been torn between the two aforementioned reasons as to what exactly has turned a once intriguing show sour. It is a general consensus that lack of guidance from the original books, having not yet been completed by George R.R. Martin, is what nearly killed the story. The question to ask is what exactly did screenwriters David Benioff and D.B Weiss do that has so drastically changed passionate watchers’ feelings towards the show? On one hand, we see fans arguing that the show stops caring about character arcs — that the true nature of some characters are sacrificed to accomplish a tight-set plot that needs to play out for the ending to be reached in just six episodes. Instead of the characters sticking to their objectives in the show, we have seen them performing actions that are completely out of their character –like the supposedly hard nut Brienne cracking under Jaime, and the very aloof Gendry Baratheon suddenly being moved to dramatically propose to Arya. In a very interesting Twitter thread by Daniel Silvermint, he explains that George R.R. Martin’s writing style in G.o.T is to write authentic characters without an end goal in mind, which makes them more realistic and the story more unpredictable and enticing to watch. However, when it came to finishing the story, the characters that had previously been under no pressure to follow a prestructured plot suddenly began doing things just to tie up dead ends and provide ‘closure’ for viewers. Ironically, fans seemed to fair better under circumstances where the show left ends open and provided no closure whatsoever.
“main characters could easily be killed off in previous seasons without killing off viewers” On the other hand, some fans are adamant that the show’s plot used to be its shining armour — evidenced by the fact that in previous seasons, main characters could easily be killed off without killing off viewers. According to these fans, it used to be a brave show that focused more on institutions and societies than on singular characters, and its complicated web of families and history of power struggles meant it became known in the series world as a cut above the rest. Season 8, however, has been criticized for abandoning this advantage, and falling into the horrible lazy writers’ trap of indulging in characters. In an article in The Scientific American, Zeynep Tufekci explains how most Hollywood writers write from a psychological point of view — highly individualized characters that are either loved or hated — but that G.o.T used to be written from a sociological perspective. Tufekci states, “For seven seasons, the show had focused on the sociology of what an external, otherised threat—such as the Night King, the Army of the Undead and the Winter to Come. Having killed one of the main sociological tensions that had animated the whole series with one well-placed knife-stab, Benioff and Weiss then turned to ruining the
other sociological tension: the story of the corruption of power”. By eliminating these sources of external pressure, the final season becomes dependent on the characters— it’s no wonder why so few main ones are killed off in this season.
“the characters don’t complement the plot in season 8 and the plot doesn’t complement the characters” Perhaps both of these takes are valid and true in nuanced ways. By focusing on plot and external circumstances, the characters are brought to life in seasons 1-7. However, by readjusting the story-telling method to focus on individual characters, the limelight is actually stolen from them, rendering them inauthentic and leaving viewers frustrated. All in all, the characters don’t complement the plot in season 8 and the plot doesn’t complement the characters. One thing is for sure, Benioff and Weiss won’t be asked to write anything for HBO anytime soon.
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Excusing the inexcusable By Anna van Renen
queer spaces in Cape Town, and people still live with fear of judgement and abuse against simply being themselves.
“Marginalised groups cannot compare to sporting legends, people with incredible talent, household names”
Source: Crusaders rugby Twitter account
n Saturday evening Adam Lennox, Alex Paterimos, and Jeremy Pelsner walked into the Long Street McDonald’s. Their entrance was met with jeers from a group of men, who were clearly making fun of their sexuality. Androgynous dress and stereotypically feminine mannerisms were met by mocking high pitched voices and limp wrist movements, coupled with these men filming them. It was later revealed that these men were none other than New Zealand’s Crusaders rugby team. Homophobia is certainly a social issue that has plagued not only South Africa but the world in general for an extremely long time. On paper, South Africa’s progressive Constitution and supposed inclusivity may lead one to believe that homophobia is not a problem in this country, but that would be incorrect. Arguably, homophobia is certainly declining, and the queer community of Cape Town has certainly gained power over the past few decades; however, it would be ignorant to say that homophobia does not exist anymore. There are few safe
The Crusaders rugby team appear to have gotten away with their mockery and actions. The timeline of events was tweeted by Lennox: the three men entered the popular fast food establishment to see the rugby team laughing and sniggering at them. The Crusaders then proceeded to film them, and physically threatened them when the team members were asked by Paterimos to put their phones away. An Instagram video from Paterimos shows hard evidence that one of the people affiliated with the team lashed out at him after he began to film. Lennox commented that, after posting the altercation on social media, he received angry messages from rugby fans. These people were angry not because they thought the Crusaders actions were justified, but because they thought that these actions were excused by the fact that they were sporting heroes. The world appears ready to tackle homophobic actions and abuse towards the queer community, but as soon the perpetrators are heroes and celebrities, the lines become blurred. People feel more willing to sit back and let abuse happen. Marginalised groups cannot compare to sporting legends, people with incredible talent, household names.
“It appears that sporting ability and celebrity status overrides outrage towards the players” The Crusaders released a lacklustre statement a few days after the incident stating that they strongly refuted, and were extremely distressed by, these allegations. The statement ended with a promise to investigate further, however, this was immediately followed by the words ‘[we] are confident in the account that we have received from the team.’ It makes little sense to be committed to inclusivity, yet disregard such allegations so nonchalantly, particularly when there is video evidence. No further statements were released with information on their investigation. The team was also contacted twice for a comment for this article, but they did not respond. Incidents like these are not isolated. It appears that sporting ability and celebrity status overrides outrage towards the players. We have seen it with Israel Falou, who spent years making homophobic comments before finally being fired, and with Ghaleb Cachalia, who defended himself for calling Eusebius McKaiser, a gay man, a woman. Time and time again, the queer community is marginalised, alienated and attacked, and time and time again it is excused in certain situations. The operation of homophobia appears to have shifted, but why? How is it still acceptable to justify homophobic actions, and why are celebrities seemingly immune from the consequences of their actions?
Sports Centre – The duality of space By Sara Lagardien Abdullah Buildings are not merely blocks of concrete, but structures whose design and function inform how we engage with spaces and how our experience within those spaces unravel.
ports Centre, situated at the University of Cape Town’s Upper Campus, fulfils a peculiar role within the university’s design. Functioning as a building that facilitates stress release through its function as a sports centre with three indoor sports halls as well as a building that cultivates stress through its function as the university’s primary examination venue, each student’s relationship with Sports Centre differs.
“the building’s hostile architecture and vastness forces us to meditate on our smallness” For the majority of students their initial engagement with Sports Centre is during registration where students spend hours waiting to register for the academic year ahead
amidst simmering feelings of frustration and impatience. Thereafter, one’s relationship with Sports Centre is reignited during test and examination periods. It is safe to assume that the majority of students’ relationship to Sports Centre is one filled with immense trepidation – one where the building’s hostile architecture and vastness forces us to meditate on our smallness.
“Sports Centre is truly a building that embraces and embodies duality – mirroring and confronting us with the duality within ourselves” Whilst some might find this extremely intimidating, others might locate a deep sense of empowerment within this reflection. On the contrary, Sports Centre – as its name suggests – exists as a sports facility where people gather to engage in sporting activities. From Capoeira to Basketball, Table Tennis and Taekwondo, Sports Centre has forged a world away from
the rushed nature and monotony of university, where students across faculties are able to immerse themselves in a university experience that nurtures community and encourages stillness. Alternative relationships to the space exist and depending on the reasoning behind one occupying a particular space, that relationship shifts. Sports Centre is truly a building that embraces and embodies duality – mirroring and confronting us with the duality within ourselves; leaving those who occupy the building with a feeling of accomplishment, be it the ending of an examination, finally registering, or the closing of a Basketball game.
Ways to De-Stress
• Disconnect from technology & work. • Go outside. • Stretch. • Dance. • Sit in the sun.
• Meditate. • Call a friend. • Focus and be present in the moment. • Take deep slow breaths. • Finally, write down 10 things you are grateful for.
All images taken by Tao Varty
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Column What the Pigeon Heard Do students owe their lecturers anything beyond fees?
By The Anonymous Pigeon email@example.com
Source: Wikimedia Commons
ast Saturday I found myself trapped in one of those substandard Menzies classrooms. As per usual, all the students looked down at me as I passed their feet, but not a single one bothered to stand up and let me out. Granted, they were writing a tutorial test at the time so I gathered that their attention was elsewhere. Eventually, when all the papers were collected, the students filed out and I was able to escape between a herd of multicoloured shoes. As I was leaving I caught a student complaining to her friend, “I don’t know why he cares if I complete the test or not, I’ve paid him and I don’t owe him anything beyond that. If I want to get zero then let me be”. Her friend nodded in agreement. “The ambiguity of the university policies regarding student conduct don’t help to bring the debate to its knees. But human decency should.”
Is it true that the only thing students owe their lecturers are fees? I’ve been around long enough to know that most lecturers introduce their courses by saying “come to lectures or don’t, it’s not my responsibility. If you want to sit here and waste your parents or your own money, then that’s on you”. However, you get the odd professor who takes attendance, feels personally offended when students don’t pay attention in class, and takes special care to try and form close relationships with students. The tension between the committed lecturer who gets huffy when the student fails to perform timeously, and the inattentive student who claims that the only person they have to impress is themselves, has long since been standing. Sadly, the ambiguity of the university policies regarding student conduct don’t help to bring the debate to its knees. But human decency should.
Though UCT seems concerned only with rules and regulations regarding admissions, payment, and housing policies, there is a small section in their General Rules and Policies dedicated to student values (Handbook 3). One of these is to ‘Promote academic excellence and the attainment of the institutional goal of becoming a world-class African University’. It could be argued that what constitutes ‘world-class’ is as hazy as a smog-filled horizon we fly towards after a serious bout of pollution. However, one would think that a student upholding a standard akin to a worldclass university wouldn’t sit in a lecture and watch an episode of ‘Suits’ while the lecturer attempts to instill his knowledge and wisdom upon the class.
fully engaging in the lecturer’s words— words that they too have paid to hear. Not only this, but the lecturer himself may lose focus and momentum of thought and speech, all in the name of reprimanding a supposedly adult human on Netflix. Whilst the University’s values are slightly ambiguous, I do believe that it is common sense to perform activities in a space where they are meant to be performed. It is birds that go to the toilet wherever they please; humans perform lavatory activities only in the toilet. Students should follow suit, and if scholars want to prioritize Mike and Harvey over the three different types of monetary policy in South Africa, then they should do it in a place meant for series watching—ie. not in a lecture. Though, if There seems to be a general consensus you’re on a comfy couch and not in a classroom, that lecturers should be shown respect in the I would personally recommend watching classroom and yet, time after time we see students ‘Angry Bird Toons’ over ‘Suits’ any day. sitting—sometimes not even discreetly — scrolling through Instagram videos and listening to WhatsApp voice notes, happy to distract DISCLAIMER everyone else in the venue from being educated while simultaneously detracting from the lecturer’s lesson. UCT’s set of values also mention ‘Respect for individual privacy, dignity and the right to personal choice’. This may be interpreted This section of the VARSITY is a to mean that if students wish to paint their nails vehicle for expression on any topic by the and listen to music or choose not to participate columnist. The opinions within this section in a discussion, then that is completely up to are not necessarily those of the VARSITY them and not to be contested by anyone else. collective or its advertisers. Letters to the Editor can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org “It is common sense to perform activities in a space where they are meant to be performed.” That is all good and well, but it is commonly known that free choice is only permissible if it doesn’t infringe on the personal freedom of other individuals. In exercising a supposed right to watching nature videos or a sports match on their MacBook in the front row, the student may actually be preventing other people from
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Lajpaal’s annual Haleem and Akhni Ramadaan drive
By the Lajpaal Foundation
o feed the poor and needy during the Holy Month of Ramadaan is an enormous blessing. The Lajpaal Foundation, based in Durban, has embarked on its annual Ramadaan drive to feed all members of the community throughout the Holy Month. Thus, the Foundation’s Ramadaan drive does not only bring relief to many - regardless of race, religion or colour and irrespective in terms of one’s affordability - but also enables people from all walks of life to share in the joy of this blessed month.
“There were at least a hundred odd children who had partaken in the meal and it was an absolute pleasure to see the delightful smiles on the little ones faces.” The Lajpaal Foundation will be hosting their annual Ramadaan Drive distributing Haleem (an Indian soup) and Akni (a rice and meat dish) throughout the month of Ramadaan. Their first haleem and akhni distribution took place on the first Sunday of Ramadaan. Two teams went out and distributed food in the surrounding areas, whilst one team distributed the food from 78 Malinson Road in Overport. On that day, many people had gathered with their buckets and containers to receive their share of food. The Foundation’s team members alongside youth volunteers had participated with the distribution of haleem and akhni at various points in Durban and its surrounding areas. Some of the team members went to Kwa Mashu to serve
over one hundred and fifty people for iftaar (the time to break the fast). There were at least a hundred odd children who had partaken in the meal and it was an absolute pleasure to see the delightful smiles on the little ones’ faces. Another team had set out to distribute food to underprivileged communities in Seacowlake. Many had gathered in their numbers to receive their share of the haleem and akhni. Perhaps this was their first meal of the day. Outside of Durban, distribution took place in areas like Athlone and Lansdowne in Cape Town as well as in Pretoria. All of these distribution points had an excellent turnout.
“Ramadaan is a month when one needs to cleanse body, mind and soul, and embark on a journey of spiritual rejuvenation” The blessed month of Ramadaan is earmarked as the ninth month on the Islamic calendar. It is during the Holy Month of fasting that one needs to embark on a spiritual journey of self-reflection and introspection. Ramadaan is a month when one needs to cleanse the mind, body and soul, and embark on a journey of renewed hope with a new resolve to overcome life’s many challenges and obstacles. One starts fasting from dawn to dusk; it is a completely dry fast, where no eating, drinking or smoking takes place. It is during this Holy Month that one must pay their Zakaat or alms. The act of paying ones
Zakaat, which is a tax on your wealth, is regarded as cleansing the wealth of the giver as well as being an act of charity. In practice, Zakaat refers to the giving of charity to poor Muslims who cannot afford to sustain themselves.
“It is a day spent with family, friends but also to go visit the poor, the needy, the elderly and sick.” The foundation humbly appeals to the public to support their initiatives with the contribution of their ZAKAAH, LILLAH, SADAQAH, FIDYAH, KAFFARAH, FITRAH, etc. Every cent counts in changing lives together and making a difference by bringing comfort to those who are left out in the cold. The sighting of the moon will earmark the end of the fasting and thus herald Eid-ul-Fitr (a day of joy) which is celebrated after a month long fast. It is a day spent with family and friends, but also to go visit the poor, needy, elderly and sick. Many people and organizations feed the poor and the needy. It is also important on this day to maintain and strengthen family ties and bonds. Alhamdullillah, (by the Grace of the Almighty), the Foundation would once again like to take this opportunity to thank their donors for their generosity and support for making their distribution drive a success.
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Embracing trans in transforming schools
By Zahra Abba Omar
n the third school term this July, a 14-year-old girl will make South African history. She will start schooling at Wynberg Girls’ High in Cape Town and is set to be the first transgender pupil in South Africa at an all-girls government school. The teen has identified as a girl since starting school and after her mother approached Wynberg Girls’ in September last year to apply for a place, the school governing body agreed to admit transgender girls in November. Her acceptance into the school, aided with the assistance of the school’s social worker, has prompted the provincial government to consider developing policies to assist schools in being more inclusive in their accommodation of pupils of all genders – a task that should be at the top of the agendas of all schools.
“Going forward, the department will have a case-to-case approach to the developing policies, as each learner’s circumstances may vary.”
Responding to her admittance, Bronagh Hammond, Western Cape Department of Education spokesperson, noted on CapeTalk: “There has not been a departmental policy, we are only really drafting it right now. There are quite a few principals at schools who have been dealing with these issues over the past few years and needed guidance on it and there is no national or provincial policy on this.” Going forward, the department will have a case-to-case approach to the developing policies, as each learner’s circumstances may vary. LGBTQIA+ organizations such as The Triangle Project responded to the news by commending Wynberg Girls’ High for this big step, noting the immense challenges that transgender students face in schooling environments. The space of the school has long been understood as one of rigidity, and one that, ultimately, shapes the lives and outlooks of learners. As Paulo Freire writes in his seminal text on the theory of education, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, “Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present
system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.”
“this presents the opportunity to think deeply about the assumed ideas about gender that permeate all schooling environments.” In addition to implementing a single-payer system, our radical re-conception of a schooling system that produces scholars committed to the transformation of their world must be underscored by making schools accommodating of a multiplicity of identities, including those of gender minorities. Our peers who do not neatly fit into the confines of the gender binary illuminate to us the fallacies of the gender construct and this presents the opportunity to think deeply about the assumed ideas about gender that permeate all schooling
environments. Whether it manifests in the division of sports along gendered lines, or separate sex education classes, probing this ‘logic’ of the present system’s articulation of gender reveals how it can rely on essentialist notions of biology, or be inherited, and even how it might not fit how we feel truly about ourselves. My own alma mater is an all-girls school that maintains a mercurial approach to femininity: it continues to hammer the neo-liberal slogans that women can have it all and be their best Sheryl Sandberg-type ‘girl-boss’ selves, while simultaneously limiting the conception of what femininity is and what it could consequently mean to pupils. Hopefully, this historic moment can prompt necessary reflection that resists those institutional barriers that prescribe young people’s relationship to gender within the school walls and beyond.
The objectification of women in public spaces By Mantwa Mehlape
Viral masturbating video at Virgin Active highlights the way men sexualise women
four second video clip of a man masturbating in the studio gym of the Stellenbosch Virgin Active went viral in the past few weeks. As a result, the Western Cape police have opened a case of sexual assault against the man. This video centralises the reality that women are constantly sexualised in public settings. The action of sexualising women has become such a normal thing that most men participate in. Watching pornography and lusting over women in public settings illustrates how most men continue to view women as sexual objects and not as human beings that can offer a lot more than just sex. In the twenty first century
feminist activists have educated and informed society of the significant role that women play and this has brought awareness to the fact that men sexualising women should not be considered normal.
“being objectified... often discourages women from being able to comfortably express themselves. “ Platforms online have made it easy for men to access visual images and videos of women who have been purposely hypersexualised. For
example, certain Instagram posts that females upload are not there for men to seek sexual pleasure out of. The action of women being objectified is practiced in many different ways and it often discourages women from being able to comfortably express themselves. Riang Dlamini, a student at UCT, says, “I think men need to take a step back and ask themselves what if everyday someone saw me as a sexual object, that is disposable. What if all I was seen as by people
was for their own sexual pleasure. I think if men ask themselves these questions, they would understand a lot more about women and how they feel about being sexualised.” This quote calls on men to put themselves in women’s shoes, this is the only way that they will be able to understand the implications of their actions and how it affects women.
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Abortion ban in Alabama is an infringement on freedom
Debunking the Myths Surrounding the Alabama Abortion Bill
By Julia Rowley
Conversely to what conservative American politicians would suggest, the new Alabama ban on abortion is not the solution to ending the termination of unwanted pregnancies.
By Martyn McGrath
o sum up the complex issues around Alabama’s Human Life Protection Act it would take a thesis, not a short article. Consequently, I will seek ﬁrst to debunk some popular myths surrounding the Bill– and brieﬂy address some points in favor of the law. •
25 White men shouldn’t be making laws about women.
Firstly, this is an ad hominem fallacy that deals with a direct attack on the individuals and/or their characteristics as opposed to their actual argument or action. It is cheap and meaningless to critique an argument based on the person who made it – address the issue itself. Additionally, it was a woman who sponsored the Bill (Rep. Terri Collins) and a woman who signed it into law (Gov. Kay Ivey). Secondly, this Bill is representative of the primarily Republican Alabama population. Statistics show that Republican women oppose abortion in greater numbers than Republican men. Within Alabama this is certainly the case, however this Bill is still one that is supported by the majority of Alabama’s population – both women and men.
“no woman will face prosecution of any kind under this Bill.” •
A 12 year old who is raped can go to prison for 99 years. This is blatantly false, section 5
(s5) of the Bill states clearly that NO woman who has an abortion will be held criminally OR civilly liable – this means that no woman will face prosecution of any kind under this Bill. Neither will any physician who certiﬁes a woman as having a serious health risk in terms of the Bill and carries out, or orders, the abortion be prosecuted(s5).
“The reality of this Bill is that it was drafted to preserve human life.” Beyond this, the reality is that less than 1% of Abortions nationwide in the US are the result of rape and/or incest, a statistic that further weakens the broader argument behind this popular falsehood.
n May, the state of Alabama in the US passed a new law that has put a near-total ban on abortion in the state. This new law bans abortion of any foetus after six weeks, including in cases of rape and incest. The law aims to protect and show that “every human life is a sacred gift from God.” Temporarily ignoring the questionable mix of religion and state. This eerily Handmaid’s Tale-esque legislature will have grave consequences for women in Alabama.
The reality of this Bill is that it was drafted to preserve human life. It does this consistently as it protects the life of the unborn child as well as the mother involved – it explicitly allows for abortion in cases of serious health risks to the mother and bestows the “Placing a ban at six weeks is power of this decision upon the absurdly early, and takes the choice mother and the physician. Medical away from a pregnant woman before evidence increasingly shows that an she even has the chance to decide unborn child is a separate entity with whether or not she wants a child.” its own unique DNA, circulatory system etc. Thus, the Alabama Bill is fulﬁlling the duty and purpose of the Banning abortion after six weeks is a legislature by protecting the lives of ridiculous infringement on the decisions human beings. that a woman can make regarding her own body. At six weeks, most women don’t even know that they are pregnant. Being six weeks pregnant can mean that you are two weeks late for your period. Often, menstrual cycles can become irregular due to stress. Sometimes, a period is late simply because it is a process completely controlled by your body, and doesn’t always follow a strict 28 day cycle. Placing a ban at six weeks is absurdly early, and takes the choice away from a pregnant woman before she even has the chance to decide whether or not she wants a child.
Alabama governor (Kay Ivey) signs bill outlawing abortion. Source: APNews.com
“Implementing a strict abortion law not only harms the lives of the “babies” that Republicans so clearly want to protect, but also the lives of millions of women.” Furthermore, if a woman wants an abortion, she will have an abortion. Choosing to abort a foetus is a diﬃcult and emotional decision that no woman takes lightly. If they are desperate enough to have an abortion in the ﬁrst place, a woman will have it whether or not the abortion is legal. This endangers the life of the woman as she seeks out back-street abortion procedures or consumes a dangerous concoction of chemicals in order to force a miscarriage. Implementing a strict abortion law not only harms the lives of the “babies” that Republicans so clearly want to protect, but also the lives of millions of women. A better solution would be better sex education in public schools, free birth control and widely-available and aﬀordable pre- and post-natal care from public hospitals. This would decrease the amount of unwanted pregnancies, while still granting women their constitutional right to have autonomy over their bodies.
DISCLAIMER This section of the VARSITY is a vehicle for expression, on any topic by members of the UCT community. The opinions within this section are not necessarily those of the VARSITY collective or its advertisers. Letters to the Editor need to be kept at a minimum of 300 words and can be sent to: editorial@varsitynewspaper. co.za
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Two Weeks Tonight June
Good Times x Headroom Kickstart your vac or take a well-deserved break filled with irresistible beats, vibrant visuals, and an all out enjoyable experience. Tickets: Presold R50 / Door R80 before 10pm and R100 thereafter Where: District 61c, Harrington Street
Cape Town Kulcafest
Gugulethu is bringing live music, food, dance and performances to the masses, and showcasing young talents and entrepreneurs alike. This is an event not to be missed. Tickets: R100 (general tickets), R250 (VIP tickets), R1000 (VVIP tickets)
Bokmakierie Hazendal Athlone Youth Day Event This Youth Day event is packed with food, music and entertainment,with the Mayor joining the festivities on the 17th. Be sure not to miss it! Tickets: FREE Where: 3rd Ave, Athlone
International Day of Yoga If you are more into giving back and being part of something bigger, keep reading. The event brings together new yoga teachers to teach in underprivileged schools. Where: 14 Hope Street, Gardens
The Great South African Gin Festival The gin train is still running smoothly with 100 of the best gin brands hosting live cocktail demos, talks and much more in Cape Town for the first time in SA Tickets available on fatsoma.com. Where: The Castle Of Good Hope
Publik Wine Fair Meet acclaimed winemakers and introduce your palate to delectable tastes. Tickets are R200 per person and only available before the event via quicket.co.za. Where: Just Like Papa, 73 Harrington Street, Cape Town
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LIFESTYLE & FITNESS
Alistair Nyamuda firstname.lastname@example.org
The Benefits of Beer Yoga By Tiyani Rikhotso
ust when we thought millennials had done it all, then emerged the new fitness trend that merges the calming properties of yoga and the comfort of a good bottle of beer. Started in Germany, beer yoga is catching on in many fitness (and hipster) communities. Some beer yoga classes offer you the beverage after a session of stretching it out, while others incorporate an ice-cold bottle into the practice and have you taking sips as you go through the various poses. As unbelievable as this form of yoga may seem, there are some benefits associated with the practice which combine the health benefits of yoga and beer: 1. Hosting yoga classes in more laid-back locations such as breweries, taprooms or festivals may make it more accessible to those who are intimidated by the traditional yoga classroom. Over and above making yoga more inviting to those who aren’t pros at headstands or used to keeping up with classes, the more casual environment often makes for a more affordable class as well. 2. A consistent yoga practice tones and strengthens the body while increasing flexibility. 3. Breathwork emphasized during yoga helps calm the mind and body by reducing our stress responses. As most of our days are filled with shallow and tense breaths, taking time to focus on deep breaths detoxes the body, relieves pain and reduces inflammation. This takes place as the deep breaths drive more oxygen into your body in turn cleansing your blood. 4. Beer has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. A Harvard study showed that beer drinkers had a lower blood pressure than their wine or hard liquor drinking peers.
Stroke risk is reduced as beer thins the blood preventing blood clots from traveling to the brain. Through this trend, nourishing your mind and body through yoga can now be paired with the indulgence of beer. Beer offers many health benefits while bringing ease and comfort with its familiar and crisp taste. This can heighten the beer lover’s yoga experience as they feel more at ease engaging with the various poses. Beer yoga is the new talk of the town in the fitness community and its growing popularity could see a class popping up near you. Give it a try if the sound of working your body while sipping on a cold one sounds good to you. It could also be a great way to meet friends who share your love of yoga or beer (or both).
Juice Cleansing: An effective and healthy way to cleanse the body By Alistair Nyamuda
juice cleansing or juice fast involves the consumption of juiced vegetables and/or fruit (or smoothies), for a period of two to ten days. Dr. Max Gerson first put forward the idea of a juice cleansing diet being used for cancer therapy. Today, juice cleansing is popularly used to detoxify the body and lose weight. Only consuming liquids for up to ten days could be a serious health risk, but it has also proven to give numerous health benefits. Here are the various health benefits and risks provided by the juice fast. Benefits 1. A juice cleanse immediately gets rid of all the bad elements in your diet such as alcohol, sugar and caffeine. Eliminating such things from one’s diet, can help one’s bodily health as they have been shown to cause harm especially when consumed in excess. 2. Due to the high intake of fruits and vegetables, which contain numerous vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, your overall health will improve, and you will see an increase in energy and immunity to sickness. 3. Juice cleansing is believed to remove toxins from the body.
4. The enzymes in the raw juice could improve digestion. A juice-based diet has even been proven to alter the intestinal microbiota and boost weight loss in as little as three days. Risks 1. A diet high in fruits and vegetables can however put the individual at risk, as both food groups are high in oxalate, a chemical compound known to promote kidney stones. 2. Low blood sugar can occur due to this diet being low in calories, leading to faintness, headaches and shakiness. 3. The weight loss one may achieve is ultimately water weight, and after cleansing, could be gained back. Despite the risks that a solely juice based diet may pose, it also provides numerous health benefits that would greatly benefit one’s body. A few days of cleansing might just be what you need to lose a little weight, feel healthier and more energetic. Why not give it a try?
Source: Harvard University TH Chan School of Public Health
THE BACK PAGE
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In this Issue Massimilano Allegri has officially
Choosing the new Chancellor
left the building
An eye on the transformations of the new Employment Equity Plan
Sports Centre- The duality of space
Ways to de-stress
Do students owe their lecturers anything beyond fees?
Embracing trans in transforming schools
Debunking the myths surrounding the Alabama Abortion Bill
By Nolitha Ngamlana
n May 18, Massimiliano Allegri announced his resignation from the football club Juventus. He officially left on May 26 after there were rumors circulating for the last two months that he was leaving Juventus due to the 2-0 loss against Atletico Madrid in the round of 16 Champions League. This rumour was further circulated when reports came out stating Allegri had deleted his social media account after the NapoliJuventus match.
“Pep Guardiola is one of the people said to replace Allegri” Allegri and the Juventus board met on several occasions to discuss his future and it was decided that it was best if he left. At a press conference on the same day, Allegri stated, “I thank the president and his kind words and the lads. We talked, we discussed, and we shared our ideas. I expressed my thoughts about Juventus’ future, and what would be good for Juventus. Then the club rightfully decided that I wouldn’t be the coach next season.” Pep Guardiola is one of the people said to replace Allegri, however this remains speculation. Many reporters are stating he might take a short break and, “recharge his batteries” according to ESPN FC’s Gab Marcotti before making a rash decision as to
where he will go next. Questions are being asked about Juventus’ future. Will Juventus’ philosophy change? What will they do to implement changes in the club and ensure high performance, optimum productivity and wins? “I don’t know what’s next,” said Allegri when asked about his future endeavours, “I only know tomorrow we need to go out on the pitch and celebrate, then we’ll see what the future holds. Maybe a break will do.” Allegri concluded the conference by saying, “I will evaluate the proposals. Otherwise I will do a long year where I will have a chance to dedicate a little more [time] to myself and to those close to me even to that gang of nefarious friends that every now and then need to be guided.”
Apps that can help you drink more water
’m terrible at remembering to drink water. I sometimes find myself going through the whole day without any liquid, only to realise my mistake when I start to feel terrible later that day for not driniking any water . Late February, I decided to try and be more conscious of my water intake. So, I started to look for ways to remind myself to drink more water. Technology came to the rescue as there are many apps that can help you track and maintain health goals such as drinking more water.
Let’s start off with my favourite: Plant nanny The app turns you into a virtual plant that needs to be watered, which you achieve by drinking water throughout the day. Plant Nanny is one of the few water drinking apps that punishes you if you don’t make your daily water quota, which is perfect for someone like me that needs a stricter reminder. But don’t worry, the app sends you push notifications when your plant is thirsty to remind you to drink something.
You’ve probably heard the age old saying: “You’re supposed to drink eight glasses a day”. But according to research, that’s not actually true. So, though these apps have their own “here’s how much you should drink” presets, it is recommended to check in with a healthcare professional before you start drastically increasing your water intake.
Aloe Bud Similar to Plant Nanny, Aloe Bud features adorable art and interactive plants. Aloe Bud isn’t just a water drinking app, but a self-care app that encourages you to practice mindfulness techniques. A useful feature of this app is that you can customise the notifications it sends you.
By Arin Barry Waterlogged The app allows you to set reminders for yourself at random intervals or on a set schedule, depending on your preference, to get something to drink and keeps track of how well you are meeting your daily water drinking goals. Water Time Similar to Plant Nanny, “Water Time “rewards you with new creatures as you level up. You start out with the default water droplet creature, but you quickly progress on to the next creature. What I really like about “Water Time” is it gives you the option to add different drinks so you can track your liquid intake as a whole. Drinking water can be easy to forget and is rarely at the top of your to-do list, so apps like these exist to make your life a bit easier.
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