FIRST years at the Men’s Hall of Residence feel “lost” and “confused” without the mentorship of their residence house committee which is currently suspended.
All nine members of the committee were evicted from men’s res two weeks ago after they were suspended.
They are accused of misconduct after they allegedly arrived intoxicated and disrupted an inter-residence talent show during orientation week.
Whilst suspended, the committee has been forbidden by Wits management from any form of communication with first years whom they had been orientating and mentoring during their first days at Wits.
Pius Chilonda, a 1st year BCom student, does not understand the “so-called misconduct” for which the men’s res committee is suspended.
“I find it hard coping without their [men’s res committee] leadership.
We are missing out on the opportunity to learn from them and this is ruining our first year experience,” he said.
Chilonda was backed by his colleague, Sbonga Mthalane, who said: “O-week was the best time of my life.
Activities we did with the house comm were fun and they didn’t force us into anything.”
Last week Dean of Students, Prem Coopoo, said the house committee had been warned against engaging in initiation practices and that humiliation of first years would not be tolerated.
A first year law student, Anathi Jakuju, said during the initiation activities he “felt built up rather than broken down.
“The real humiliation is that we are currently suffering without our leaders and we are missing out on things such as ‘Brotherhood’ which they [house committee] designed to help us,” he said.
Brotherhood is a programme in which senior students, including some from the house committee at Men’s Residence, tutor first years and give them advice on how to cope with academic issues.
First year bachelor of accounting sciences student, Tondy Gubba, believes “students from men’s residence are friendly towards each other and work as a team because of the efforts put in by the house committee.
“Even if we took a vote right now I’m pretty sure that 95% of the people at men’s res want the committee to come back,” he said.
The house committee said they still have not been formally charged and for now they will continue to comply with their suspension.