22 May 2019| Volume 78 | Edition 4
UCT Adopts of the Global Code of Conduct for Research By Ntombi Khulu UCT has recently adopted the Global Code of Conduct for Research in Resource-Poor Settings in an effort to counter ethics dumping.
n the 18th of April this year it was announced that UCT has implemented the Global Code of Conduct for Research in Resource-Poor Settings (GCC) as a means to set out important guidelines and ethical principles with regards to how researchers collaborate on their research. The Global Code of Conduct is a short and accessible ethics code that aims at combating ethics dumping and was written and compiled by a number of authors from the Global South. Many of these authors are womxn leaders, including Professor Doris Schroeder, lead author of the Code and director of the Centre for Professional Ethics at the University of Central Lancashire School of Health Sciences, and UCT’s South Africa Research Chair and Associate Professor Rachel Wynberg.
“Ethics dumping is about exploiting vulnerable populations” The practice of ethics dumping can be described as the practice of moving research from a place where it is restricted to a place where there may be fewer laws or restrictions in place. Typically, this involves moving research from the Global North to the Global South. However, ethics dumping is also about the principle of how higher-income researchers conduct themselves in low-income areas. Common practices of ethics dumping are animal experimentation and genetically modiﬁed crops where, according to Professor Wynberg, experiments on monkeys or crops “might be prohibited in European countries but less strictly regulated in a resource-poor context where there is less capacity or public awareness.” Furthermore, ethics dumping often includes exploiting the vulnerable populations of those in the Global South- such as research on indigenous groups of people like the San in southern Africa. This type of project beneﬁts the researchers, but the San don’t receive anything in return for the knowledge and blood samples they provide. The Global Code of Conduct was written as a tool to provide researchers with an easily accessible set of values and principles to follow when researching in an eﬀort to “do the right thing”, as Professor Wynberg puts it. The GCC is a four-page long document that encourages four main values of the code which includes: Fairness, Respect, Care, and Honesty. It is encouraged for not only researchers to familiarise themselves with the GCC, but also for people who are at risk of exploitation, so that they know their rights and can better combat
“The code hopes to bring about more transformation in the way research is conducted in resource-poor areas” The GCC has been adopted by the European Commission and UCT managed to get involved with the formation of the Code through Professor Wynberg as she is one of the partners on the TRUST project which developed the Code. South Africa has played a large role in the development of the GCC, with ﬁve partners in the country taking part, namely: UCT, Wits, the South African San Institute, the African arms of the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership, and the Council for Health Research on Development. UCT has become the ﬁrst university in the world to adopt the GCC and the ﬁrst institution in the Global South to do so as well. The adoption of the GCC by UCT hopes to bring about more transformation in the way research is conducted in resource-poor areas. The Code is further shown to match the values of ongoing commitments to transforming and promoting ethical, engaging and relevant research practices that UCT aims to uphold. The UCT Senate further welcomed the Code by stating how “the Global Code complements the policies already adopted by Senate to ensure that UCT researchers maintain the highest ethical standards”. As UCT becomes the third adopter of the Code behind the European Commission and the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership, there are moves afoot to implement the GCC at other African universities and institutions worldwide.
Source: Flickrlan Barbour
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Gabriel Vieira & Sophie Fischer email@example.com
UCT’s Admission policy focuses on transformation By Mantwa Mehlape
UCT has put in place a number of mechanisms aimed at accomplishing the goals of transformation in the admissions process.
he notion of transformation has become such an necessity at the University of Cape Town that the admission process at UCT now aims to more strictly redress any disadvantage that students may face due to the eﬀects of the apartheid era.
The university has set up target marks for each population in each faculty and programme. The aim of transformation that the university has directed its focus on is the inclusion of black students who are disadvantaged. The university places black students in a diﬀerent admission pool to other students - a matter over which there has been conﬂict. Certain students that are placed in the ordinary competitive pool of administration ﬁnd it problematic that students
get accepted at UCT because of their race. Black students themselves mention that it is upsetting that they do not make it into the university solely based on their good grades, but often because of their skin colour. Carl Herman from the admission oﬃce of UCT stated that, “Our system is over ten years old and has been redeveloped and amended to receive diﬀerent information from applicants. Our admission policy is another matter, that has been there for 3-4 years, since 2016 admission and that’s been relatively stable for all those years but it is relatively new”.
implemented in 2016 illustrates how the notion of transformation has been a work-in-progress and continues to be a necessity for new applicants that willl be studying at UCT in the coming years.
The reason for transformation is that the university wants to create fairness and social justice, and to attract the most forwardthinking individuals. They want to produce a new generation of professionals and aim to achieve this hand-in-hand with correcting the social injustice that certain students have had Herman clearly highlights the fact that the admission policy to face. is responsible for dealing with the redress of disadvantaged Achieving fairness and social justice is directly students. The fact that it was linked to making concessions for below
average NSC marks that each university
uses to measure students’ academic abilities. Certain students come from secondary schools that do not have enough resources compared to those of model C and private high schools, which puts them at a disadvantage. Hence, the university has decided to use not only the NSC marks because it is not fair to those students who come from underprivileged backgrounds. These are some measures by which the university aims at correcting the injustices of the past, and there is only room for improvement in the future.
UCT’s Surgical Society kicks oﬀ new project Reclaiming Global Health and solving Africa’s problems from within Africa are visionary aims that the Futures in Health project hope to achieve. By Sophie Fischer
he Futures in Health (FIH) project took its ofﬁcial start, connecting their eight teams out of 38 participants from various faculties like the Health Sciences, Engineering and the Built Environment, Commerce, and Science Faculty with each other. The project leaders Liam Devenish, Sipho Ndereya, and Matthew Potter state that, “each team has at least one health science student and/ or one non-health science student, because we want the project to be a platform for interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral collaboration.” Further, each team will participate in the FIH up-skilling programme for three months; they will identify a problem in healthcare and work to develop a product, digital platform, prototype, pilot study, and system optimisation that will be a solution to the identiﬁed problem. The project launch was successful and aimed to bring the project, participants and guests together and “it was an opportunity to talk about the background, rationale, introduce core themes and discuss goals of the project”, according to the project leaders. Professor Graham Fieggan, Head of the Department of Surgery at Groote Schuur Hospital (GSH) spoke about the Global Health Agenda, a health innovation from a global and South African perspective regarding equity, access and sustainable development.
Siraaj Adams from Digital Health Cape Town (an accelerator which supports small businesses and start-ups within the space) oﬀered some inspiration by showingexamplesofsuccessfulSouthAfricanstart-upsby undergraduate students and young professionals which encouraged participants to seek support in developing ideas from each other and from the industry.
“By encompassing... providing the academic and ﬁnancial support for the groups to develop solutions, twe hope to give agency in re-imagining what healthcare might look like. ” Rob Kellas from the Hasso Platner School of Design Thinking at UCT introduced Design Thinking, one part of the programme next to Biotechnology, Health Economics and Social Entrepreneurship and is one of the conﬁrmed partners on the project. Other conﬁrmed partners are the Boston Consulting Group, the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship and MRC SA. “By encompassing up-skilling in diﬀerent concepts and providing the academic and ﬁnancial support for the groups to develop solutions, twe hope to give agency in re-imagining what healthcare might look like. ” said project leaders Liam Devenish, Sipho
Ndereya and Matthew Potter. At the ﬁnal event in October the teams pitch their work to healthcare academics from UCT, policymakers from the Western Cape Department of Health and would-be investors from larger Cape Town-based incubators. The project collaborate also with other societies like the UCT Consulting Club and InvestSoc. Outside academia it includes industry bodies and the public sector, including The Graduate School of Business’ Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the D-School, The Department of Surgery at UCT, Groote Schuur Hospital Executive, The Boston Consulting Group, Digital Health Cape Town, The Western Cape Department of Health. The project intends to happen yearly. The FIH hopes it “will be sustainable and gain traction as a bona ﬁde accelerator of health solutions, is recognised to generate problem-/solution-based teams with vested interests from investors, academics, and the public sector with opportunity to scale, market and roll-out interventions yielding calculable health improvements.” The project leaders would like to see the programme gain momentum in its own right and be one manifestation of the FIH’s agenda espoused by the Vice Chancellor.
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A Managing Masterclass – UCT EMBA Shines By Gabriel Vieira
CT’s Executive MBA programme, offered by the UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB), has been ranked 46th globally by the prestigious QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) MBA rankings, and first in Africa. The Director of the GSB, Associate Professor Kosheek Sewchurran, had much enthusiasm about the ranking and believed it to be most deserved. QS acknowledged in their bio of the programme the emphasis placed by the programme on bridging the gap between the theoretical side of management and actual practice. Professor Sewchurran concurred with this analysis and even singled it out as one of the most important reasons for the effectiveness of the programme, emphasizing how academics and practitioners were brought together to increase the quality of the programme; “…we have effectively been the pedagogical equivalent of a venture capitalist, investing our own ideas to make a truly distinctive degree.”
is adamant that occupying a managerial position requires more than just theory, no matter how good, as only practice can build the “wisdom” needed to adapt to each unique situation that may arise and require remedy in the real world.
“The programme is aimed at equipping individuals with more attractive executive and managerial positions”
The EMBA programme is aimed at students with significant work experience already under their belts and aims to make them more attractive for executive and managerial positions. The average age of the programme is, according to QS, forty years old with a quite small class size of only seventy-five students, a fifth of whom are international. QS also claims that the average salary of UCT EMBA graduates after three months is the, not at all quaint, figure of 190 000USD.
Apart from the mental development that the programme certainly equips its graduates with to the highest level, the programme also emphasises building character traits that are indispensable for a managerial position, such as boldness and reflection, in a complex and imperfect world, Professor Sewchurran asserts. In building those qualities, the programme truly sets itself apart. His statement that, “We have focused on disclosing new worlds and open strategy as opposed to trying “We must dare to invent the future” to simplify the world into theory,” evokes very similar feelings as Sankara’s quote; “We must dare In terms of the continent of Africa, to invent the future,” uttered so long ago, speaking Sewchurran is clear that he sees the programme of the new leaders of the Global South. Decades as truly unique; “we can lay claim to being the onward, the UCT GSB is doing their best to live only true practice degree on the continent.” He up to and lead the way towards that mandate.
Source: UCT News
By Phophi Tshikovi
hursday evening the 10th of May, witnessed 8 ingenious student entrepreneurs presenting their business ideas to a panel of 5 judges at The Pitch competition. The panel of judges were made up of esteemed entrepreneurs in their own right. The Pitch is an annual entrepreneurship competition that was initiated in 2016 by the Academic Representatives Council (ARC), a council that consists of academic representatives from each residence House Committee. Initially, it was intended to showcase residence student’s business ideas. Since then, the Pitch has grown into a university wide event accessible to both day and residence students. “We don’t see entrepreneurship as plan B for employment, we see entrepreneurship as something that can be plan A”. Vice Chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng
The Pitch Residence’s annual student entrepreneurship competition asserted, also emphasizing that entrepreneurial mindsets are desirable traits for all students. “We see entrepreneurship as plan A and not plan B” The competition had eight finalists from over one hundred competitors. Applications were split into two, the Ideation phase and the Testing phase. In the Ideation Phase the winning idea, 41R Mobile Clinic, is a mobile clinic that is aimed at addressing poor access to healthcare facilities’ consultations. Jasantha Singh came in first place in the Testing phase for her product Aurora Rose, a range of skin
products that are not harsh on one’s skin. Both first place winners walked away with R25 000 and a six-month mentorship with the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation and second place winners walked support”. away with R15 000. Applicants were also exposed to workshops that According to Nicholas would assist them in refining Forster, a member of the their pitches. “It was a lot of Academic Representative’s work but I think the passion Council, a lot of preparation we had for wanting this went into ensuring the event to be a high quality success of the event. “Our two major sponsors, the event pushed us through Vice-Chancellor and in the end,” said Nicholas. the Allan Gray Orbis One of the winners, Robin Foundation were on board Mahlangu and founder of from the end of last year. In MyDoc App, said, “I have terms of other partners such learnt so much through the as the MTN Solution Space process. We are not in this and the Graduate School merely for the sake of winning of Business, we contacted competitions but to help the them and asked for their people of Zimbabwe”.
Source: Je’nine May
Esteemed guests that were in attendance included the Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Loretta Feris. “Start where you are and with what you are passionate about”, said Nneile Nkholise, one of the judges when asked what advice they would give to anyone who doesn’t know where to begin but has a business idea.
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Keeping Calm Through the Storm
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he consolidation and exam seasons are upon us and while stress levels rise, tempers flare and tears are dried, I have come to treasure the little things in life that keep me sane, and UCT seems to be doing the same. While the excitement of election time has come to a close as economic and social issues in the country still run strife with a recorded 55.2% of youth unemployment, UCT has still provided us with a few beacons of hope for the future. UCT’s adoption of the Global Code of Conduct for Research in Resource-poor Settings (more info on that on our front page) and their continued efforts in transforming their admissions process has proven slowly but surely how we are moving in the right direction when it comes to putting what is most important first: the students.
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of the hardships we experience, be it in our school, work, or personal lives. With more time sectioned off for Consolidation for us to get all our ducks in a row, reflection on the past, the present, what we’ve done right, and what we’ve done wrong is necessary. That is the only way one can push through and persevere through this exam season and through the next and final edition of the paper for the semester. All of us at VARSITY Newspaper have felt the paper become a fully immersed aspect of our lives for us as we put every effort into producing and exploring interesting and interactive content. Content that highlights the beautiful spaces on our campus while not shying away from analysing and critiquing the systems in place that govern our community.
As an Honours student also juggling the job of being From all of us at the Copy Editor, taking time VARSITY Newspaper away to refresh your mind we wish you the best of on an eye-opening hike or luck with your exams! an easy brunch in town has become musts that should be implemented in everyone’s schedule – including my own. However, it’s also important to look at all the good that comes out
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In Print Edition 4, published on 2 May 2019: Article on page 7 “The Party Line on Sex Work” was written by Ronel Koekemoer and not Alfredo Guillermo
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STELLENBOSCH STUDY PINS RACIST RESEARCH AS GROUNDED IN SCIENTIFIC FACT By Amber Williams functioning due to low education levels and and unhealthy lifestyle habits, thereby inferring that the study is applicable to all “Coloured South African women.”
n article published by the Department of Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University has caused a nationwide debate over the continuing legacy of racism within the South African scientific community. The article, entitled “Age and Education Related Effects on Cognitive Functioning in Coloured South African Women” interviewed a sample of 61 coloured women across the Western Cape and mapped their results against the Montreal Cognitive Assessment.
The result was that coloured women have lower levels of cognitive
study shows no understanding of the layered and complex history that comprises the idea of Colouredness Deidre Kusevitsky, Advocate of the High Court of South Africa, and acting judge of the Western Cape High Court, contests the rationale behind the study and believes it should strongly be questioned and challenged. Why is it, she asks, that only sixty one ‘Coloured’ woman were interviewed from one geographical area alone, to the exclusion of other influential professional Coloured woman across the Western Cape? By incorrectly suggesting that the ‘Coloured’ community is a homogenous class, the authors ignore post- colonial and race theory. They present the findings as representative
of the larger ‘Coloured’ population of South Africa, ignoring the disparate socioeconomic factors. Many of the people I spoke to, when hearing about the premise of the article, saw it as replicating an outdated method, similar to those perpetuated by the National Party during apartheid. Others went further, suggesting that the study is similar to the classification of Aryans as superior to all other groups during Nazi Germany. Does this article not follow a similar logic to Eugenics, if not the exact same? Both share a severely flawed method of categorising humans based off of the colour of their skin, and then associating them with attributes such as ‘lower cognitive dissonance’.
“It is in the space between ambiguity and assumption that coloured people seem to exist.”
that needs to take place beyond the walls of university spaces. The very idea of ‘Colouredness’ needs to be contested. It is an outdated categorisation of race: Verwoedian in its thinking. It fails to accept the fluidity and ambiguity that comes with being a person of mixed race heritage The study shows no understanding of the layered and complex history that comprises the idea of Colouredness. In my discussions with my coloured counterparts, they often express a sense of ambiguity in being coloured, whilst simultaneously dealing with assumptions of being “coloured”. It is in the space between ambiguity and assumption that coloured people seem to exist. Our voice is not our own, nor do we even know if there is a collective voice to own. All we know is that studies like this do not help us to come to terms with race in a supposedly “post-racial” society.
Racial profiling and the associated ‘character traits’ expected of each group is symptomatic of a larger discussion
UCT Spaces Explored:
Leslie Social By Amber Williams
The Leslie building was designed by Julian Arnold Elliott, an architect responsible for the cluster of Middle Campus buildings which includes Woolsack, African House and Kramer. Leslie today works as a network of interweaving functions: a place for social play, academic discussions, and as an expo space for those outsiders to the university- campaigning companies, job-hunters, workshops, and so on. It’s easy to see why most people would describe it as a ‘mess’, a ‘maze’, and even a confusing space where there’s too much happening all at once to make sense of: this is the beauty of Leslie. Leslie is mostly a space where people come to congregate. We’ve all landed up in Leslie during meridian where the mass of bodies congregating is enough to suffocate our very humanity. But this is also where the beauty of the space is revealed. By being host to such an intricate function of human activity, the human is revealed in the building itself. It doesn’t just exist as an objective building, which most spaces in UCT tend to feel like, with little chance to linger or appropriate nooks and crannies for sitting and gathering. In Leslie you can do that. The space is a playground, a safe haven, a meeting point, a place of both work and study, and of seriousness and play. Its rare that any space can achieve that, a combination of so many aspects to confront our most basic needs and wants, which unknown to us, is not always fulfilled everyday.
The space is interlocked where the one functions with the other, just like the human body. The building reflects its name so well: a social space that forces people to confront each other, or at the very least to make some level of eye contact. Ever recognised a Tinder match at Leslie? Awkward to say the least, but that’s just the type of space it is. It will confront some relic of your past, or it will be the place where, if you sit down for long enough, someone will talk to you. Or at the very least, ask you for a cigarette.
The building is always occupied, at any time of day or night. There will never be a time when you will find it empty. There’s a reason why it’s called Leslie Social. There is also a reason why you will most likely get lost in this space. Leslie Social, Leslie Commerce, where does the difference between the two lie?
Images illustrated by Tankiso Hantsi
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STUDY SMARTER AND NOT HARDER
Ramadhan the Phenomenon
By Luphiwo Tanda
amadhan is easier to think of as a human phenomenon rather than a month in the Islamic Calender. Yes, it is true that Ramadhan is a month when practicing Muslims across the globe abstain from food, water and intimate relations with their spouses from the time of sunrise to sunset, but that’s just the material reality of the occasion. In the same way that a seed needs sunlight, water, and soil nutrients in order to realize its potential to be a plant, in Ramadhan the Muslim abstains from the most basic needs of sustenance in order to become aware of other potentialities to being human. In other words, Ramadhan is a reminder of a possible alternative relationship with reality. Ramadhan is a project of collective endurance for Muslims. History has shown that from the act of collective endurance, differences between peoples and communities can become subdued in order to realize a common purpose. The mechanism for realizing such a purpose can be intimated through the isiXhosa Proverb: “umntu ngumntu ngabantu” which intimates that “a person is only a person through other people”. To realize this purpose, the fasting Muslim is encouraged to subdue his or her anger, resentment and humiliation towards his or her material situation and instead reflect on the interconnectedness of the human condition in order to develop compassion and empathy.
“Ramadhan is the mechanism that facilitates an internal transformation of the self.” Compassion and empathy are paramount to social cohesion and to any form of progress. Once compassion and empathy are developed,
people find that they have more in common with each other then they have differences. In this way, Ramadhan constrains those internal human survivalist forces which give rise to socio-economic barriers- barriers which often become the foundations of moral superiority- of understanding the other. Instead, by subduing animalist appetites, moral superiority is substituted by a kindness and understanding of the other. Ramadhan is therefore the mechanism that facilitates an internal transformation of the self. During Ramadhan, Muslims are encouraged to give a mandatory form of charity from their accumulated wealth in order to help reduce inequality and contribute to the sustainable development of the community. In this way, Muslims participate in a community struggle, which renders them a positive actor in the many complex and nuanced issues often responded to by reactionary temperaments. Instead, through the act of giving, the Muslim has the opportunity to realize that focusing on the other as a source of one’s problems is to disempower oneself. Ramadhan therefore presents an opportunity to interrogate one’s mistakes and to forgo notions of moral purity; rather looking within oneself and within others for the commitment to strive to be better. Ramadhan is an internal quiet period of honest, critical reflection and contemplation that allows one to understand themselves as a means to understanding others, to the end that they may realize that people are actually not that different: in truth, we are painfully quite ordinary. The root cause of our actions is driven by a search for security, belonging and acceptance. Ramadhan is therefore a phenomenon that aims to awaken in the practicing Muslim the fundamental thingness to being human.
Two Weeks Tonight
24 May - 17 July “Implement” Exhibition
Test your mettle and view blacksmith Conrad Hicks’ latest exhibition of his works. Where: Silo 5, V&A Waterfront
‘til 7 June
Watch the Big Boys Don’t Dance production
Experience the 10-year anniversary of this witty dancing production featuring Ash and Brad Searle. Where: Kalk Bay Theatre When: 20:30
By Chandré Cupido
fter a long and draining first semester I’m sure EVERYONE is as excited as I am that this semester is finally coming to an end. We should now all be preparing for exams and getting into a study routine… and sticking to it! But finding the most effective study tools for you can be rather challenging. So here are a few exam study tips I thought would help: Create a flexible study timetable Now more than ever, managing your time is very important. Creating a study timetable that will structure your study sessions and give you a break to catchup on an episode of GoT is essential. Sticking this timetable up on your wall so you can see what you need to do with your time will keep you consistent throughout your studying. Quiet and organized spaces are your best friend Isn’t it frustrating when you’re studying in a space that is cluttered and noisy? Or having a noisy neighbour? Having an organized and quiet space to study is important as it encourages you to focus. The library is a great space to study because it’s quiet, neat and organized. However, most people thrive in noisy spaces and even enjoy listening to music while studying. In this case, some find music to be soothing, and calming, so find a study method that works for you. Let your artistic side shine
Kirstenbosch Craft and Food Market Treat your palate to a selection of food, wine and craft beer while grooving to the live entertainment on offer. Best of all: bring your dogs Where: Kirstenbosch When: 09:00-15:00
Food Truck Fridays
Turn your notes into diagrams
and make your work more interesting, exciting and artistic. Using colours, highlighters and diagrams are helpful when revising your notes because its quick, easy to do and fun at the same time. Visual aids tend to help when studying, which stimulates and exercises your brain. Explain your work Aint nobody got YOU like YOU. So, turn to your mirror and explain your work to yourself or to your siblings or mom. This will help you understand your work better if you explain to someoneeven if they have no clue what you’re talking about Stay hydrated You should be drinking water everyday, so this is a given. DRINK WATER. Drinking plenty of water is important throughout your study sessions and during the exam. You’ve made it thus far, so just hang in there for a little while. If you follow these simple steps I guarantee you, exams will be a breeze and you’ll pass with flying colours.
Grab some tasty chow and wash it down with a selection of craft beers from a local brewery. Live musc is provided and entrance is free. Where: Jack Black’s Brewing Company, Diepriver When: 16:00
Cape Town Big Band Jazz Festival
Come see community bands, schools and universities showcasing their talent with local and international musicians. Students get discounts. Where: Baxter Concert Hall When: 19:30
Features Editor Sebastian Moronell
Opinions Editor Kelsey Maggot
Opinions Deputy Editor Zahirah Benjamin
Online Features Editor Refentse Malatji
Online Features Deputy Editor Anna Cocks
Online Opinions Editor Ruhi Ghazi
News Editor Gabriel Vieira
News Deputy Editor Sophie Fischer
Online News Editor Lew Blank
Online Opinions Deputy Editor Salma Noor Mahomed
Online Sports Editor Tiyani Rikhotso
Online Sport Deputy Editor Alistair Nyamuda
ditorial Ntombi Khulu Arin Barry Soligah Solomons Akhona Matshoba Tasneem Jacobs Aidan Croy
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What the Pigeon Heard By The Anonymous Pigeon
Why a bird should get the Throne in GoT
ust yesterday, I was perched on the UCT library roof when I spotted two females operating a camera and a mic on Jammie stairs. They were filming for their YouTube channel— trying to gather opinions on the latest and greatest TV series that’s causing every second student to salivate in anticipation of who will take the throne in the season finale of Game of Thrones (GoT). After being rejected by camera-shy students or non-watchers of the series – heathens, as I believe the internet terms them – the pair of interviewers came across someone who, when asked who they believed would get the throne, confidently named ‘The Three-Eyed Raven’ as the potential successor. Being a pigeon, I am well aware of the nature of most bird species, and suffice to say that the raven is not a bad choice for a ruler—especially if it has a third eye. Perhaps this is what George R.R. Martin, the writer of the series, was plotting for all along—to make the unlikeliest of characters become the ruler on the iron throne. I have been doing some digging into why this ending may be apt, and it all starts and ends with what the Three-Eyed Raven represents. From listening to the Tweets of my fellow pigeons, I gather that ravens are known to carry the omen of death, and human beings often get anxious when black birds sit outside their windows. Is this what incorporating the ThreeEyed Raven into the series was meant for—a note to the audience that death was to follow? That would be kind of obvious; given the level of bloodshed per season, it’s no secret that death is behind every corner in every castle and city on set. As stated in a web article titled “The Magic of Crows and Ravens” by Patti Wigington, the notion of the raven foreshadowing death is derived from Welsh myth. However, there is also a Greek interpretation: Apollo was the god of truth and prophecy, among other things, and the raven is known to be the physical manifestation of this divination. The
Greek symbolisation is definitely more apt than the Welsh for the character of Bran AKA The Three-Eyed Raven, who becomes the all-seeing and all-knowing embodiment of time and history itself. Not only is he able to see the past but also— to an unknown degree—predict the future. The extent to which this would be helpful in preventing disaster to his people if he held power would be widespread, as it gives him an immeasurable advantage over any other potential ruler in the show.
“So why would the Three-Eyed Raven be good at sitting on the throne?” the Youtuber female asked. “Because he is really good at sitting” the interviewee replies, and everyone chuckles. Many fans may be horribly disappointed to find that such a seemingly inoccuous character end up on the throne, but look at what having an ego and agenda has done to Daenerys.
What the seven kingdoms really need is someone who rules objectively for the greater good, and who has no personal schemes interfering with Bran was not concerned with who will get the their moral duty. By shedding his human self—his throne because he was the only character who ego—he becomes the perfect receptacle for true and fair leadership. I may be biased but I back birds knew the ending to the story to rule over human beings any day. Either way, we know one thing: Bran is not concerned with who The third eye on the raven is also not to be will get the throne because he was the only characignored (well, you can ignore it but it won’t ignore ter who already knew the ending to the story. you), and plays a major role in the possible relevance of the avian species on the throne. This extra lens, also known as the ‘all-seeing eye’ or the ‘sixth sense’, is believed to be located in the pineal gland (as stated by ‘Personal Tao’). Many human yoga instructors and meditators aim to awaken the third eye as it is traditionally believed to be associated with psychic awareness, outer-body experiences and wisdom. The particular practice of opening the third eye requires the meditator to focus on DISCLAIMER their physical being and be present in the moment, leaving behind the ego or ‘self’ to which humans This section of the VARSITY is a vehicle for become so attached. This is exactly what we find expression on any topic by the columnist. The with Bran in the pivotal moment where he tran- opinions within this section are not necessarily those sitions from being a Stark son to the Three-Eyed of the VARSITY collective or its advertisers. Raven—“I’m not [Bran], not really. I remember Letters to the Editor can be sent to:editorial@ what it felt like to be Brandon Stark, but I rememvarsitynewspaper.co.za ber so much else now”. This is him shedding his ‘ego’ to become the all-knowing vessel of wisdom and vision to aid in the plot by verifying the lineage of the true Targaryens. It would only be fitting if the same characteristics were to aid him in ruling the 7 kingdoms of Westeros in the season finale.
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Kelsey Maggott & Zahirah Benjamin email@example.com
TRAILBLAZER My Bipolar story… ”It’s time for a breakthrough” By Machelle Peters Facebook page: The Manic Goddess Twitter: @GoddessManic
was 36-years old when everything I ever knew changed forever. It was October 2014 and after being evaluated by a psychiatrist following a year of major depression, I was finally diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. It happened so quickly and yet, things immediately started making more sense. I was so tired at this point: mentally fatigued and physically defeated. I could handle just about anything that life had thrown at me up until that point, but I soon realised I couldn’t take it anymore.
“I was overcome with depression so dark I didn’t want to live but I knew that I didn’t really want to die” For the most part no one in my family or at work could understand what I was going through, so I felt alone, isolated and misunderstood. I behaved like a mute and avoided talking to anyone about my diagnosis besides my psychiatrist. For years I was walking around reliving traumatic events from my past that I hadn’t really dealt with. I was raised by a single mother and was still dealing with my non-existent relationship with my dad. I am a rape survivor and at the point of diagnosis I had endured years of physical,
Religious autonomy should not exceed human rights By Tasneeem Jacobs
midst international outrage, the Sultan of Brunei has chosen to implement a moratorium on the extension of death by stoning for anyone convicted of engaging in homosexual sex acts, adultery and rape. The law brought about highly publicised, celebrity -endorsed boycotts lead by various LGBTQI+ rights organisations of hotels and businesses owned by the Sultan. Previous implementation of the death penalty was sanctioned by the Sultan under the order of Sharia law. He asserted Brunei’s right as a sovereign nation to
mental, and emotional abuse - all of which happened in my early to late twenties. I was overcome with depression so dark I didn’t want to live, but I knew that I didn’t really want to die. Bipolar Disorder had stripped everything from me and reshaped me into someone I was barely able to recognise. It affected my marriage, my career, my kids, family and many friendships. I only had my kids to live for. For the next few years I had to adjust to having Bipolar Disorder, trialling various medications to get the right combination, identifying my triggers and adjusting to the stigma associated with having a Mental Disorder. I experienced a lot of side effects with the medications, but I did not give up, and after 2 years of going back and forth I had finally found what worked for me. I had accepted my fate at this point and came to realise more and more that mental illness is a very well-kept secret. It’s not something “we” talk about as a family or as a community. There is so much stigma associated around the word ‘Bipolar’. People tend to use it so lightly i.e. “that person is acting very Bipolar” without knowing if they have a mental condition. They don’t understand various nuances and intensity of living with Bipolar Disorder. I have learned over the years that there are a lot of ignorant and indifferent individuals out there who require serious education. In August 2018 I started blogging about my experience of having Bipolar Disorder - I went straight to Facebook. My goal was to encourage those who wanted to learn more about Bipolar Disorder and to have a go-to place for people living with it.
I feel extremely passionate about speaking out and being a voice for Bipolar Awareness. I want to make as much noise as I possibly can about this illness, and I will start with being as transparent as I can by documenting on my page regardless if I am depressed or manic. I want to have a positive impact out there and make a difference in aid of breaking the STIGMA on BIPOLAR DISORDER. Since being diagnosed I can say without a doubt that I have NOT been able to master this illness, but I am able to recognise what my triggers are and I am consistent in taking my medication. That does help to lead some sort of stability in life with minimal episodes of Mania or Depression.
“Don’t be afraid to speak up & be the voice for those who can’t find the strength to deal with Bipolar.” In conclusion, Bipolar can’t be cured but there are various measures that can help make life a little more bearable. I would encourage anyone who has just been diagnosed to keep on trying to find the right medication, to go to regular appointments with your psychiatrist and to talk to a psychologist or social worker. Also, to not let anyone’s ignorance get to you. People don’t deal well with the unfamiliar and uncomfortable, and unfortunately Bipolar is one of those things that doesn’t get talked about, but rather swept under the rug and avoided. Don’t be afraid to speak up and be the voice for those who can’t find the strength to deal with Bipolar.
“ I want to make as much noise as I possibly can about this illness, and I will start with being as transparent as I can... regardless if I am depressed or manic.” criminalise acts deemed to be in contravention of Islamic principles. “Apart from criminalizing and deterring acts that are against the teachings of Islam, [the penal code] also aims to educate, respect and protect the legitimate rights of all individuals, society or nationality of any faiths and race”, the Sultan stated.
so-called religious values and dehumanising an entire sector of the population by subjecting them to draconian punishment. Brunei has chosen the latter approach, and this makes the country and its rulers guilty of human rights abuses unfounded in Islam, or any other religion for that matter.
“No country should be within its rights to enshrine laws which infringe on the human rights of its citizens.” Though the decision to temporarily lift this law is a positive one, the LGBT population in Brunei lives in constant fear of it still. The moratorium is only temporary and the death penalty could be reinstated at any point the Sultan chooses. No country should be within its rights to enshrine laws which infringe on the human rights of its citizens. Criminalising an individual’s sexuality is widely regarded as an expression of bigotry and injustice; homophobia cannot be excused in the name of religion. Brunei may be a Muslim-majority country, but there is a vast difference between promoting
Source: ABC News Graphic by Jarrod Frankhauser
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“The Pill” for boys By Brad Brinkley
It’s about time.
Cancellation of all-female spacewalk: not as simple as STEM sexism
Source: Mother Nature Network
By Julia Rowley
Despite popular feminist protest, the cancellation of NASA’s first all-female spacewalk is due to issues more complex than gender inequality.
s a feminist, I can argue that women are seriously underrepresented in STEM careers (i.e. jobs in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and I would be correct. Research has shown that the sexist stereotypes of women, not being inclined towards maths and science, has caused low female participation and interest in these career paths. To contribute to this, the women that are brave enough to enter these fields are often underestimated and looked down upon by their male counterparts. Although at first glance the cancellation of NASA’s first all-female spacewalk may seem like an example of STEM sexism, it is rather a matter of bureaucracy and old technology.
“Many feminist critics asked why NASA couldn’t simply ship up another medium, especially for such a historic event?” A spacewalk is any event where an astronaut leaves a spacecraft and is suspended in space in order to perform a mission. In March, Christina Koch and Anne McClain were supposed to participate in the first all-female
spacewalk when a male colleague had to replace McClain because the space station only had one medium-sized space suit on board. These suits are not made for females and males - seven parts fit together in order to create a suit that best fits the astronaut. McClain was previously a size large in the upper torso piece, but discovered while in space that the medium fit her better. Many feminist critics asked why NASA couldn’t simply ship up another medium, especially for such a historic event?
“NASA has a mere eleven suits - of which only four are in space” The answer to this lies in bureaucratic red tape. The suits are old - they were designed in the 1970s and have not been upgraded since. NASA has a mere eleven suits of which only four are in space -the other seven are on Earth in refurbishment and cannot be used. Parts are configured and put together to create a suit that is ready for extravehicular missions. Although Nasa has tried to upgrade the suits, being a government organisation means that each presidency brings a shift in priorities. Creating new suits with better
technology takes a long time. With each change of president, they are forced to stop designing and begin anew to meet the President’s wishes for what they want NASA to focus on.
“it’s not that NASA doesn’t accomodate for female astronauts it’s that they simply do not have the funding or time to create more space suits” Furthermore, McClain only knew that she would require a different size, shortly before the mission was to begin. It takes over twelve hours for a suit to be reconfigured, which would have delayed the mission and, according to NASA, “caused difficulty with the station’s schedule for cargo vehicles and [would have added] additional stress to the crew’s schedule.” In fact, McClain was the one who recommended she be removed from the spacewalk, for her own safety and for the efficiency of the mission. Hence, it’s not that NASA doesn’t accommodate for female astronauts - it’s that they simply do not have the funding or time to create more space suits.
n the USA, researchers at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine and Los Angeles’ Biomed Research Institute are attempting to produce a successful male contraceptive. The new pill has passed health and safety tests within the sample group used to test the drug.
“The need for the ‘male pill’ is made clear by looking at the disproportionate number of contraceptive devices aimed exclusively at females” Simply put, the pill is a mixture of artificially manufactured forms of progesterone and testosterone. The function of the progesterone is to reduce the amount of sperm produced inside the testes, while the testosterone works to negate side effects such as diminished libido and muscle loss.
“Between pills, patches, injections, vaginal rings and intrauterine devices, [women] are spoilt for choice” The need for the ‘male pill’ is made clear by looking at the disproportionate number of contraceptive devices aimed exclusively at females. Between pills,
patches, injections, vaginal rings and intrauterine devices, they’re spoilt for choice. Men, on the other hand can either use condoms (available for both sexes) or get a vasectomy. This could be used to explain why the burden of contraception often falls upon females, other than the popular opinion that #menaretrash. I think it has taken so long for a male contraceptive to be developed due to failed past attempts with exaggerated negative side effects, which has induced fear within the male population. As a man with a brief run at acting heterosexually, I approve this message. I’d like nothing more than to see my fellow boytjies empowered with the peace of mind that comes with knowing that they are protecting themselves from possible surprises. If I were courting a woman or “chysing bettys,” I would use the pill so that bae wouldn’t have to worry if she forgot to take the pill that day. It would also allow her to stop taking her contraceptive if it was negatively affecting her health, or if she no longer wanted to. If you remain ambivalent toward the pill for men, you still have the most effective form of contraceptive available to you: abstinence.
Source: The Telegraph
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asked about anal sex, our bio teacher advised against it. As a follow-up, one brave soul said, “but what about sex between two men?” Our bio teacher’s answer: “That’s a shame.” That was it. My only encounter with relevant sex education as a young queer boy was that it was a shame.
Let’s talk about (queer) sex By Murray Hines queer issues, especially in the biology classroom left me feeling lost and unsure of who I was. I remember attending compulsory sex education in grade nine – the boys and girls were split, with no thought given to the fact that there might be people who identified differently from the way they looked. Being in a classroom full of cisgender heterosexual boys was never something I enjoyed, but finally, I thought, we would get some answers about the mysteries of sex.
or so many young queer people, the isolation of being different in a system that wants everyone to be the same makes it incredibly difficult to feel at home in your identity. Never recognising yourself in mainstream media, the lack of policy with regards to queer rights and the silence from all political parties on the matter of your life makes you feel othered, inferior and very unsafe. There are so many ways this needs to change, but one of the biggest lifelines that I could have used was a comprehensive queer sex education at school. My high school experience was great – I went to a very progressive and open school that encouraged diversity and individuality within a larger community. However, their silence on
“My only encounter with relevant sex education as a young queer boy was that it was a shame.” I was wrong. All of the sex education preached safe sex in heterosexual relationships and warned us against the dangers of getting a girl pregnant. There was no mention of queer sex and certainly no advice for how to avoid risks in queer relationships, despite the fact that statistics show that men and trans womxn who have sex with men have a far higher risk of contracting HIV. When the class clown jokingly
“Often young queer people whom are still in the closet are afraid of asking important questions for fear of being outed.” We need to get better at teaching young queer people about sex. If you consider yourself an ally, you must help make sex education more friendly to queer people. Often young queer people whom are still in the closet are afraid of asking important questions for fear of being outed. And often this has terrible consequences; too many young queer people have had to survive sexual abuse because they did not know about consent or the mechanics of queer sex. Not only will a more inclusive sex education curriculum help young queer people get the important information they need, it goes a long way to feeling heard and seen in a society that deliberately excludes you.
How Instagram is affecting mental health By Prina Dayal
nstagram is often said by most to be a platform that is worse than drugs in that it keeps users scrolling for hours on end. This addiction occurs due to a term known as insta “fomo”, which is the fear of missing out. Many people want to show the best pictures of themselves at glamorous events or places in attempts to to let people know that their living their ‘best life.’ Teenagers, influencers, foodies as well as many other users strive for that perfect Instagram photo, creating unbearable pressure for most. In efforts to remedy the phenomenon, Instagram plans on removing likes from photos so that people aren’t affected by the amount of likes they receive on a photo, this would also prevent users from comparing themselves to others on their feed.
“It has become so much about people knowing exactly how they need to pose in their pictures in order to get those likes”
My personal view on Instagram currently is that it is a platform that is making people feel bad about themselves, in what they should be wearing, doing and how they should look. Instagrammers are constantly being bombarded with places they should go, activities that they should do, just to fit into society or rather the Instagram algorithm. Not many people can afford those Forever New clothes, that Michael Kors watch or even that glamorous luxury holiday. However, in their minds they feel that they should be doing those things, even if it’s out of reach. This can make one feel left out or make them feel bad about what they do not have. It has become so much about people knowing exactly how they need to pose in their pictures in order to get those likes on their pictures from their followers. The Instagram team is trying something different and are attempting in removing likes from photos to try and reduce the pressure of getting likes which may reduce the
perfection people strive for in their images.
“There is always this need to get that perfect photo.” I still feel that the perfectionism of Instagram will not change because people who have a lot of followers are posting most of the time for their followers. There is always this need to get that perfect photo. Instagram can try taking out the likes on photos but I do not think that it will work.
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Bigotry in the beautiful game By Jama Mchunu
The combat of racism in football needs more than campaigns.
ootball is undoubtedly one of the greatest sports in the world. It is full of exciting nights, thrilling shows of exquisite skill, magical moments from individuals that determine titles, and, most importantly, creates a special bond that players, fans, commentators and even bystanders come to share for at least 90 minutes at a time. There is no doubt that team sports bring a sense of togetherness to those who play and enjoy watching. There is a feeling of unity and equality when teams clash and yet, much like many great things in the world, it is ruined by the presence of racism.
in. Racism is an ongoing issue in the world of football. Besides Alves, there has been no shortage of racist incidents in Europe despite there being anti-racism campaigns, such as the Professional Footballers Association’s (PFA) “Enough” and UEFAs “No to Racism”.
earlier this month, yet racial incidents are given a slap on the wrist. This is not to downplay the incident, but racial incidents should also be taken as seriously if there is to be a substantial change in fan behaviour. It shouldn’t take a player storming off the field, like Eto’o, or someone being reduced to tears on the bench, like Balotelli, or These campaigns target social media even a player picking up a banana thrown at him platforms in order to spread the anti-racism and later scoring against you, for you to realise campaign and have had ads involving some of the seriousness of racial abuse in football. the most recognisable names in football, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr, and many others. One of these ads even includes a famous referee, Howard Webb, saying “Referees should stop, suspend or even abandon a match if racist incidents occur”. In “players should try not to allow these incidents most instances, the federations usually fine the DISCLAIMER club whose fans were involved, and it’s usually This section of the VARSITY is a vehicle for expression, on to affect them.” left to the club to punish individuals. This is any topic by members of the UCT community. The opinions usually in the form of a stadium ban to the within this section are not necessarily those of the VARSITY collective or its advertisers. Letters to the Editor need to Ex-FC Barcelona defender, Dani Alves, individuals who are caught, but they should be kept at a minimum of 300 words and can be sent to: extend these sanctions to a full stadium ban for was involved in an incident during a game firstname.lastname@example.org against Villareal in 2014. The Brazilian was all supporters in order to set a precedent. getting ready to take a corner when a Villareal fan threw a banana onto the field. He then “Referees should stop,suspend or even abandon proceeded to pick it up and eat some of it before a match if racist incidents occur” taking the corner. He later scored and in the post-match interview thanked whoever threw it at him, so as to show that players should UEFA swiftly imposed a stadium ban on try not to allow these incidents to affect them. This is not the first incident he was involved Lyon fans after violent scenes before a game
Gender Neutral Bathrooms Removing an Important Safety Net? By Stephanie Wild
n recent years we have seen gender neutral bathrooms gaining in popularity, even at UCT. The cis-community has been woken up to the alienation and sense of disassociation associated with the lived Source: National Safety Signs experience of the transgender community and gender nonconformists where Africa the title of ‘rape capital of the world’, directed at all men, but simply acknowlthe simple act of choosing a bathroom be- we need to give serious thought to the safety edging the rotten apples in the cart. Bar and club bathrooms are also the site risks associated with gender neutral bathrooms comes filled with existential questions. of heightened vulnerability- it is where we go in places such as bars, pubs, and clubs. after a few too many drinks, or when looking Women are particularly vulnerable for lost friends. Those that prey on women “These high figures having granted South in these environments when drinking is would be able to exploit these moments of Africa the title of “rape capital of the world’” involved, and even more so when at risk of increased vulnerability, thereby placing all being drugged. Any girl can tell you that men women, including transwomen, in danger. As important as advancing gender equality These questions of identity being so import- become especially entitled and pushy in these and neutrality is, we cannot employ methods places. The girls’ bathroom can sometimes ant, they seem to have outweighed the relevance that further endanger women. If these gender of any safety concerns. Using STATS SA’s serve as an oasis: a place where this unwel- neutral bathrooms are to be adopted in clubs 2016/2017 figures, we are confronted with the comed attention can be avoided. Gender and bars, protective measures, such as employharsh reality that of 100 000 women, 138 are neutral bathrooms would remove this hiding ing monitors, must be adjacently taken. raped. These high figures having granted South place by allowing men into these spacesplease note that this is not an accusation
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LIFESTYLE & FITNESS
Alistair Nyamuda email@example.com
Cold Showers: more than just an icy discomfort By Alistair Nyamuda to help with weight loss. They stimulate the ‘brown fat’ in our body, otherwise known as brown adipose tissue. When brown fat is stimulated, it generates heat. Brown fat is considered to be good fat, and when these cells are stimulated in our bodies they burn calories. Cold showers promote brown fat activity by 15 percent as the cells try to keep our bodies warm. Source: Herb En Eden
niversity demands a lot from us. The constant influx of assignments and deadlines is a challenge that needs us to be at our best, mentally and physically. Thus, a solid morning routine is essential to ensure a good start to the day. Many of us start our mornings with a hot shower, to wake ourselves up and invigorate our bodies. Few of us can imagine waking up in the morning and having to endure a cold shower. However, studies have shown that there are numerous health benefits that come with regular cold showers. Weight loss: Cold showers have been proven
Improved immune system: Regular cold showers raise the metabolic speed rate and so increases the amount of white blood cells in the body, which helps fight against disease. Improved circulation: Cold showers improve blood flow which leads to better cardiovascular health. Promotes emotional resilience: Studies show that cold showers help you develop a more resilient nervous system. Cold showers cause your nerves to experience slight levels of stress, and so if done regularly, cold showers train your body to handle stress better. They reduce uric acid levels and boost glutathione levels in the blood, which also helps decrease stress
Coffee alternatives By Tiyani Rikhotso
levels. Lower depression levels: Cold showers stimulate the “blue spot” , a small region of the brain which produces neurotransmitters. Cold showers have been found to help release noradrenaline from this area, a chemical that helps reduce the feeling of depression. Improved skin and hair: Hot showers strip away the natural oils in our skin and hair. Contrastingly, cold showers reduce this, which helps promote stronger and shinier hair. Aids with sleep: Cold showers can help you have a good night’s sleep. So, the next time you take a shower, why not decide to turn the tap to cold and reap those health benefits?
s exams draw nearer, many of us will be reaching for a cup of coffee (or several) to get us through long nights of studying, or to keep us from falling asleep during the exam. However, our much-loved energy fix comes with a few negative side effects that can take a toll on our bodies, especially if you’re having a few cups a day. Caffeine stimulates the adrenal system which will boost your energy for a short time and then lead to a crash later on. There is also a risk of sleep disturbance as the caffeine stays in your nervous system for 4-6 hours and can disrupt your sleep, even if you go to bed fatigued. Sleep is a precious commodity during exams so one can’t afford to miss out on any more than they need to. In addition, coffee dehydrates the body and can interfere with mineral absorption in the gut. Luckily, there are healthy alternatives to coffee that are lower in or without caffeine and will boost your energy without negative side effects. These alternatives also have added health benefits that can support your body during this stressful time.
1. Matcha tea: With only 1/5th of the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee, matcha is a great swap if you’re looking for a healthy caffeine boost as it delivers caffeine to your body slowly, leaving you without jitters or crashes. Matcha also contains antioxidants and high amounts of L-theanine, an amino acid that boosts concentration and memory. Matcha is pure
green tea leaves ground up into a powder and is best served as a latte, made with hot water and warm milk. Normal green tea also works well and provides similar effects and benefits. 2. Kombucha: Made from fermenting green or black tea, sugar and a special mix of bacteria and yeast, kombucha offers a great energy boost and the added benefits of probiotics. The caffeine from the tea will give you the pick-me-up you need, and the probiotics will help balance your gut flora, aiding in digestion and boosting mental clarity and focus. 3. Protein smoothie: Protein is essential in providing sustained energy to your body and it helps boost alertness and concentration. Having a protein smoothie is a great way to set your body up for a successful and productive day. If you have access to a blender or Nutribullet, you can add protein powder, chia seeds or spinach to a smoothie for added protein. You can also mix up some protein powder with water or milk and drink this with your breakfast.
THE BACK PAGE
@VarsityNews | 22 May 2019 | V78 E4 | Page 16
In this Issue
UCT’s Surgical Society kicks off new project
UCT, EMBA Shines!
Stellenbosch Study on Coloured Women
Why a bird should get the throne in GoT
The Pill for boys
14 Bigotry in the beautiful game
Semenya’s Trial: What does this mean for the future of women’s sport?
By Brad Brinkley
n Wednesday the 1st of May, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled against Caster Semenya and Athletics South Africa’s attempt at overturning the new rules implemented by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The effect of these new regulations is that female athletes with high levels of testosterone have to undergo treatment to suppress these levels. “The IAAF have stated that this is a “necessary discrimination” to protect the fairness of women’s sport”
If this ruling holds, it will be difficult to maintain due to the fact that the World Medical Association has warned doctors against its enforcement, viewing it as unethical. The IAAF has stated however that this is a “necessary discrimination” to protect the fairness of women’s sport, as society acknowledges the need for sex classification. The normal testosterone level for women is below 2 nanomoles per litre (nmol/L). The new rules dictate that athletes with high natural testosterone levels competing in the women’s category for events from 400m to a mile must suppress those levels to less than 5 nmol/L. “Head of the IAAF’s health and science department alludes to the introduction of a third sporting category as a possible solution”
The controversial nature of this case has brought to light the flaws in the binary system used to classify sex in sport. The implication of this is that more attention has been given to the Universal Declaration of Player Rights which
states that people’s rights to partake
Source: The Drum in sports should not be infringed upon by gender or sex. In an attempt to address this, the IAAF has stated that people like Semenya may participate in men’s events, if they are unwilling to undergo the hormone suppressing treatment. The head of the IAAF’s health and science department, Dr Stéphane Bermon, has alluded to the introduction of a third sporting category as a possible solution. Unfortunately, her timeline stipulated that this may only happen in five to ten years. Various further debates have been sparked in the meantime, concerning the subcategorization of sport into separate high and low testosterone events. It has also been suggested that classifications make use of characteristics other than sex such as height or weight. Semenya is in the process of waiting 30 days to file an appeal at the Swiss Federal Tribunal. In a statement, she said “To be honest, this is no longer about me.” In pursuing this case, she hopes to transform the sporting world into a more inclusive space for intersex and transgender athletes.
Barcelona – End of an era?
By Langa Twala
fter Barca’s crushing 4-0 defeat in the Champions League at Anfield, it is difficult to see a way for the La Liga champions to attain the glory days of yesteryear. Mes Que Un Club – The semi-final played at Anfield hardly showed characteristics of a team that are more than a club, as Barcelona’s team motto suggests. Barcelona threw away a 3-0 lead gained at the Camp Nou in a way that would have reminded fans of a similar defeat to AS Roma in last year’s installment of the Champions League. It was that defeat that moved Barca captain, Lionel Messi, to promise the fans at the beginning of this season that they would “do everything possible so that this beautiful cup returns to the Camp Nou again.” Many would argue, following their “terrible” loss at Anfield, that this incredible team did not make good on their promise.
Many, however, have forgotten the fact that Barca went undefeated in the so-called ‘group of death’ and topped it effortlessly. They even went on to defeat Lyon and Manchester United with an emphatic 4 goal difference in each tie. Lest us not forget, they started the Liverpool game with an impressive 3-goal lead in the first leg. These were all hallmarks of an impressive campaign which saw Barca reach 500 goals scored in the European tournament to date – a feat only ever reached by Real Madrid before them.
“Barca have displayed impeccable class this season” Therefore, while it was a tragedy that Barca did not bring the coveted Champions League trophy home, they ultimately do deserve to hold their heads up
Source: FC Barcelona high. They have displayed impeccable class this season. Having retained the La Liga title and being on their way to fight for the Copa Del Rey cup in the final on the 25th of May, Barcelona have managed to remain at the top of football’s elite. Much of their success is owed to their philosophy of being a family. Players, coaches, supporting staff, and fans are all loyal to the vision of a team that is far more than a collection of stars and cups. Rather, Barca is a team that is, well and truly, more than just a football club.
VARSITY is the official student newspaper of the University of Cape Town,since 1942