The parking story that won’t end …

Witsies took to Twitter this week to voice their ongoing struggles with a lack of parking on campus. Their comments were made in response to a @WitsVuvuzela request for their experiences. Below is a collection of some of the responses we received.

Storified by · Fri, Feb 22 2013 05:02:23

Wits parking… Bane of my existence! Pay over R750, and they refuse to fix the fact that I have no access to the boomed areas I paid for!AshW
thank goodness it’s Friday. I need a break from all the stress wits parking has been giving me Thulisile Madi
@WitsVuvuzela @Zwelihle @wits #WitsParking it’s called parking tickets and a culture of telling ppl to voets off to Sturrock Park parking.Joel Block
@WitsVuvuzela if your lecture isn’t at 8am. You can forget about getting parking at Wits. I’ve parked on the braam streets frequently!Zweli Mbhele
@WitsVuvuzela @WitsUniversity I don’t remember ever having to stalk people to their cars to get parking… This is ridiculous #WitsParkingSeshree Govender
Ok seriously. Can you kids start dropping out now please? This parking is a sitch outchea… #WitsJessica Lock
Having to go to campus 4 hours before your lecture so that you can get parking #WitsShreeya Patel
“@intelegensia: still writting about parking?????? This will be my fifth year at Wits. Yeah maybe their ears are deaf” #WitsParkingWits Vuvuzela
@WitsVuvuzela @WitsUniversity I don’t remember ever having to stalk people to their cars to get parking… This is ridiculous #WitsParkingSeshree Govender
@WitsSRC @WitsVuvuzela wits needs to lower the booms TODAY, I’m tired of seeing pink stickers in the 2nd-4th year parkingNatasha Mashego
@WitsVuvuzela parking is a disaster at Wits, I must agree.Candace De Agrella
Oh this is interesting… There’s literally no parking at Wits ryt now. WtfPhillipus Nthai VI
@WitsVuvuzela still writting about parking?????? This will be my fifth year at Wits. Yeah maybe their ears are deafNoluthando
Ja that’s totally the parking ticket I got today at wits #varsity http://pic.twitter.com/8H8nVd2SNick Blakes Blakeway
The way Wits is handing out parking tickets as if there are enough parking spaces..Αγγελική أنجيليكي
Its worth getting to WITS two hours before class for parking.Nadia Omar
@WitsVuvuzela.. Parking its a nightmare @wits..management shuld find a logic solution regarding thisSimphiwe.Zwelz
@MissFirdausKhan Parking Office: Cut-off date for renewal of parking permits is 13 March 2013.Wits University
You know what they say about the early bird? They get the good parking at Wits :PCrap_It’s_Lauren
There is enough parking space at Wits.Joel Block
Parking booms at Wits are only going to start being used from the 15th of MarchJustin Cohen
Might as well have walked to wits today. Parking beyond first year will be the death of meMark Bishop
R700 all wits parking, R750 res parking(covered) all in all R1450? For parking?McCoy
Wits parking.. The struggle continues.Nqobile Dlamini
Other members of the Wits community, including International Relations lecturer Dr David Hornsby, offered solutions to the crisis.
Parking and Bus schedule complaints have been noted. We will be looking into these issues. Students Remain Central. Asijiki!!WitsSRC
We will do everything in our power to ensure that there’s enough parking on campus. We are looking into these issues. Asijiki!!WitsSRC
@WitsVuvuzela Wits needs to construct a multi-story car park! #witsparkingTom Wyszkowski
@WitsVuvuzela – any evidence of students adapting to #WitsParking probs? carpooling? Rea Veya? Gautrain? Minicabs? Bikes? Walking?David J Hornsby
My solution to the parking situation at wits! The old days are baaaaack #drivenbymom #bestmomever @MChavkin http://pic.twitter.com/AiWCfkpYmegan chavkin
Try walking to school RT"@Mbali_Ndlovu: Parking at Wits is a nightmare…."TLS Nkosi™ GabaDier
Think I’m going to start walking to wits now , this parking situation is ridiculousmatthew kempe
Last week, Wits Vuvuzela Online published an opinion piece by a student complaining about the parking issues on campus. Seh suggests that the parking issue plays a significant factor between passing and failing at Wits.

OPINION: Parking at Wits is chaotic | Wits VuvuzelaFeb 12, 2013 … The fees that I pay for my parking permit at Wits is R735.00 per annum. While it may seem like alot to many people, to…

OPINION: Being blonde isn’t just a genetic trait – it’s a state of mind

Without a doubt, the number of blonde coloured braids and extensions has increased this semester at Wits.

So with such an ostentatious trend, it’s hard not to take note or have an opinion on the matter. I don’t have a problem with people voicing their views but I can’t help but get frustrated when I hear this-“it is sad how many black girls are trying to be white with their blonde hair”. I find this such an archaic and banal way of thinking especially when thrown around by students.

When I see blonde on an African girl, I see confidence and courage, because I think it’s safe to admit, dyeing African hair blonde or having blonde extensions is a risky move that has the potential to go horrifically wrong. So when a select few view blonde extensions as “conformity to western ideals” and a “loss of culture”, I am completely dumbfounded. [pullquote align=”right”]”Breaking free from the shackles of generic racial constructs and stereotypes”[/pullquote]

Everyone should be allowed the freedom to express themselves and not have to be subjected to other people’s insecurities of their ethnicity. I treat my hair as an extension of my character and personality and NOT as a tribute to my heritage. One day I might be rocking long Caribbean style braids (even tho I do not come from a line of Caribbean descendants) and the next day I might be showing off an untamed (but racially appropriate) afro.

A person’s hair choice should not be turned into a heated cultural debate, it’s just hair. To me blonde on an African girl is not an “adoption” of a biological trait but an acceptance of ones individuality; It takes courage to break the mould of what is accepted and to be free. Being “Blonde” isn’t just genetic; It’s a state of mind … it’s breaking free from the shackles of generic racial constructs and stereotypes.

Barker brings change

LEGENDARY former Bafana Bafana coach Clive “The Dog” Barker is looking to improve the fortunes of the Clever Boys this season as their new head coach.

Barker officially replaced Anthony Lopez as head coach of Bidvest Wits in January 2013.

Lopez’ contract was terminated at the end of last season by a “mutual agreement”. During his 5 month tenure Lopez guided the team to four wins, seven draws and five losses, with his last match in a 1-1 draw with Free State Stars in December 2012.

With two wins after three matches, Barker has led Wits to climb two positions on the Premiership log from 9th place to 7th place. The second win was over Chippa United on Wednesday night at the Bidvest Stadium on east campus.

Goals by Matthew Pattison and Ryan Chapman secured a 2-1 the victory in a game that saw the opposition team make it to the scoreboard first.

Barker guided Bafana Bafana to their only African Nations Cup title in 1996, eventually leaving Bafana Bafana after a string of losses.

After a three year absence from coaching, the 68-year-old is happy to have returned to PSL after his last coaching job at with Amazulu.

Speaking to IOL.com Barker said: “This is a club with great infrastructure and lots of quality players. It’s the first time I have taken a coaching position in Joburg. I’m here to try and improve the team.”

Wits goalkeeper Steven Hoffman told Wits Vuvuzela that Barker is a good coach because he instills positivity in the players.

“His aim is to win the league and he just makes sure he gives us that motivation. He lets the players play their own game but still finds a way to make us come together so we can play like a team,” Hoffman said.

The Clever Boys next match will be against top-ranked Kaizer Chiefs on March 2 at FNB Stadium.

No race criteria at med school- Wits

Medical school applicants are now accepted partly on the basis of how underprivileged they are, and not on the basis of race, according to Dean of the Health Sciences Faculty Professor Ahmed Wadee.

Wadee was responding to claims from rejected students who said they were not accepted because they were “not the right colour”.

One applicant, who asked to remain anonymous, said she was rejected because the faculty was not allowing any more Indian people having reached their “quota”.

However, Wadee denies race plays a role in the selection on students.

Selection is based on a combination of academic and non-academic scores which determines who is offered a place at the health faculty. However, as some students point out, having “straight A’s” is not a guarantee of getting into medicine.

“The ‘straight A student’ story isn’t always true. There are other things that they consider, like compassion and charity,” said fourth year medical student Creaghan Eddey.

Wadee said the academic criteria only accounts for 80% of the total percentage of the entrance criteria.

He said the downfall of most applicants is the National Benchmark Test (NBT) which counts for 40% of the score.

The other 20% comes from non-academic criteria and uses a questionnaire that determines whether a person comes from a rich or poor background.

“Now, you could be yellow, you could be white, you could be coloured, you could be Indian,  [but] if you have no water and no lights you have an under-resourced environment,” Wadee said.

According to Wadee, the Wits Medical School had previously used a racial quota system that was abandoned so that socio-economic conditions could be given priority.

“We acknowledged that system of accepting [race quotas] was incorrect then we changed it,” said Wadee.

Some schools, such as the University of Cape Town, still makes use of the racial quota system.

Wadee said his faculty receives complaints from applicants who feel they were unfairly rejected.  “If someone says ‘so-and-so got in and I didn’t’ I say ‘give me the person’s name’, we look it up and show the complainant why they didn’t get in while the other one did.”

“Personal appeals to the Dean or anybody in the faculty do not work,” said Wadee.  “In reality, we have 6 000 applicants and in medicine only 250 get in,” said Wadee.

Another fourth year Medical student said: “The faculty has to redress the past. We have to acknowledge our past.” But she added that promoting underprivileged applicants should not trump academic knowledge.

“I think our school gets flack because the process isn’t transparent, no one ever explains this selection criteria to us. That’s why people target [medical school] about acceptance more than others,” Eddey said.

“But If I didn’t get in I would have bitched too,” he added.

Cool Kid on campus Caryn Upton

Cool Kid Caryn Upton is a 6th year Medical student who has been running a successful business for 4 years

Cool Kid Caryn Upton is a 6th year Medical student who has been running a successful business for 4 years

Story and Caption by Jay Caboz

Cool Kid
Caryn Upton spent four years of her varsity career tutoring and trying to make a little cash. She would earn, on average, R100 per hour and at the time she thought she was lucky to be paid that. Then she says she had a brainwave and “Study Doctor” tutoring was born.

What makes you a cool kid?
Well I am a sixth year med student who has been running a successful business for four years. I work hard and I play hard.

Why study medicine?
Initially, I was studying another degree, but then I found it was too easy and I wanted a challenge. I found working with people rewarding and then I knew that medicine was the right place for me.

Why open your own tutoring company?
One day, I was talking with my friend Claire Keene (now her business partner) who had also been a tutor and we said: “Hey, how come we work so hard and yet the company’s take a R300 profit? We could do a better job of this and make sure students get paid properly.” We were both med students and wanted to help people. We knew what it was like to be a tutor and were tired of getting screwed over by tutoring companies. So we thought “why not?”.

What makes your business cool?
It was started by two students who created something from nothing. We wanted to pay people for what they were worth.

How many tutors are you involved with?
At the moment we have about 70 to 80 tutors in our company.

How do you study and run a business?
Initially we were a lot smaller and I managed to fit it all in. But now we have grown so large, we have been able to hire someone and are currently looking to expand even further.

What achievements has Study Doctor made?
In 2012 we were voted as 94.7 FM’s business of the week. This year we are looking to pay back even further to the community and are trying to organise a charity that will give free tutoring for matrics.