Students left waiting after SRC arrived over an hour late to a meeting it had called.
Students were left frustrated after waiting nearly an hour for the Wits SRC (Student Representative Council) town hall meeting to begin last Thursday, Apri 19, only to be told it was cancelled.
The meeting, intended as a way for the SRC to engage with the student community, was scheduled to begin at 12:30 on the Great Hall piazza. The event was eventually cancelled by the council due to logistical issues, according to SRC President Orediretse Masebe.
“There had been severe miscommunications between the office of the SRC and student governance, that resulted in a lot of things not being booked on time, and we thought it would not be worth it for our students to attend,” Masebe said.
SRC member Palomino Jama says that she had only found out about the town hall meeting from a Facebook post. She said that not being informed of the meeting beforehand had a negative impact on her ability to do her job as the SRC campus wellness officer.
“[At town hall] there may be issues of campus health raised which I am responsible for, and if I’m not told about a town hall meeting there’s no way that I’m prepared to answer those questions, and if I don’t show up there’s no way I’ll know those student grievances,” Jama said.
Masebe says that, to his knowledge, all council members were informed of the scheduled meeting.
However, third-year BA Film and Television student, Hyacinth Nhlumayo, said that when she arrived nearly an hour late there was still no one there.
Nhlumayo had also attended the town hall meeting on Education campus earlier in the week on Tuesday, April 17, and said that it was a similar experience . “I got there at 13:30 and they had just arrived. They only started at 13:50 because they were singing.”
“They were problematic and some were very rude and dismissive towards questions asked,” she said, of the townhall at Education campus.
Masebe says that the SRC is not prepared to respond to some of the questions and criticisms raised by students at the townhalls. “Not all people will attend these gatherings in good faith. We won’t apologise for recognising those elements that seek to nullify our efforts out of political desperation. They deserve the gutter,” he said. According to Masebe, the SRC plans to schedule a make-up meeting which will be announced at a later date.
The SRC is constitutionally mandated to hold at least one mass meeting per block.
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