Palesa Radebe and Liesl Frankson

FOLLOWING recent complaints, the SRC Academic Office is conducting a survey to find out if students are happy with the way exams are conducted at Wits.

The exam survey has been circulated to students following the recent June exams. The main focus of the survey is to establish if students are happy with the current starting times for exams, as well as the way in which they receive their results.

The survey stems from student complaints about not having enough time to finish their exams because traffic congestion and unreliable public transport cause them to arrive.

Shafee Verachia of the SRC Academic Office said it was important for students to be in the right frame of mind when they write. Arriving at 8.45 for an 8.30 exam did not help.

“It’s been very difficult for our students to be here at 8.30. During the June exams quite a few were complaining, or rather, saying they only had 30 minutes to write a two hour exam.”

Peak hour traffic on Empire Road made it difficult to get exam venues on time, both for students who commuted and those who drove themselves, he said.

“Eight to 8.30 is usually peak of traffic. If you look at Braamfontein, you have your companies like Liberty and KPMG just across the road, so all these people are trying to get here at that time. It’s very difficult for our students to get here at 8.30.”

The SRC is not only focusing its survey on day students, but is also seeking the opinion of students in residences, on and off campus.  “As the SRC, we recognise that we represent all students,” said Verachia.

To include all students, the SRC started conducting their surveys at residences. Last week they handed out surveys on the lawns and in tutorial venues. School councils have also agreed to distribute surveys at lecture venues.

One of the other important questions the survey asks is: “Are you satisfied with the availability of exam results at Wits University?” If students answer no, they need to elaborate on how they would prefer to get their results.

Bilal Cassim, 1st year Urban Planning, said: “The notice board system doesn’t work, because a lot of people come to the notice board and it becomes chaotic.  Getting your marks can be an emotional experience …”

Other issues that have emerged from the survey include clocks not being visible in the venues and disruptive invigilators.

The SRC has received close to 2000 surveys, but they are hoping to reach 6000 to have an adequate representation of what students want. The results of the survey will be presented to management to let them know if they have been doing a good job or if changes need to be implemented.