Students campaigning against the SRC (Student Representatives Council) elections today were seen handing out #WhyShouldWeVote flyers next to voting stations on the Wits Education campus.
A number of students from the campus have acted on their promise to boycott the elections this week as they feel their grievances are not being satisfactorily addressed by the SRC.
Some Wits Education Student Council (ESC) leaders have voiced their support for the campaign.
“We’re handing these flyers out to ensure people don’t vote carelessly, if they are not conscious of their vote, then why are they voting?” said third year student Bedney Morole. He explained that it was more of an awareness campaign for conscious voting or no voting at all.
Morole said that he would not be voting in this year’s SRC elections.
The flyers read “future teachers’ united #WhyShouldWeVote, we are sick of empty promises. Can we be taken serious [sic]?”
“I believe these flyers are a result of grievances from the students”, said Mokolwane Masweneng, Wits ESC Academic officer.
He said the ESC received grievances from the students and took them to the head of school, but they are still waiting for a response from the dean of student’s office.
“We are not against the parties that are running, but just bringing awareness to students,” said third year student Philip Hlatshwayo, who was handing out the flyers and abstaining from voting.
Manqoba Chungwane, second year Education student said: “We don’t even have options for food here, we can only buy from Olives and Plates which is very expensive, so we have to travel to main campus every day for lunch.
Third year Education student Themba Sibeko said ever since he was in first year, there has only been one Kudu terminal for printing. “We have asked for it to be removed from inside the library so that we can access it when the library closes, as it closes so early, but nothing was done. They don’t care about us,” he said in reference to the SRC.
“How can you have one Kudu Bucks machine for about 2000 students? And one ATM that never works! How can we ever vote when our voices are not heard?” said Thabiso Dlamini, another third year Education student.
“The students have the right to state their grievances and I support this campaign,” said Masweneng. “I am also not voting, I am representing the students” he said.
Wits ESC Grievances officer Xolani Khoza said the issue is about representation, “It doesn’t say we are not going to vote, but we want to know why we should,” he said.
Khoza would not say whether he would be voting or not, but said that he was in full support of the students.
“I am a student before I am a leader, and tomorrow we will go on for a full day of campaigning if our grievances have still not been answered,” he said.
Students from education campus have been voicing their concerns on the Wits Education Student Council (ESC) Facebook page.
- Wits Vuvuzela. Boycott talks not backed by Education Students Council. August 29, 2014
- Wits Vuvuzela. Education campus boycott SRC elections. August 27, 2014.