Wits SRC congratulates Jerome September on his appointment as new Dean Of Student Affairs

The Student Representative Council (SRC) has welcomed the appointment of Jerome September as the new Dean of Student Affairs following the resignation of Dr Puleng Lenka-Bula.

September, who was SRC president at the University of Cape Town in 1999, served as Head of Student Affairs at Sol Plaatje University prior to joining Wits as deputy dean of students three months ago.

The announcement was made on Friday, April 20, by acting Vice-Chancellor Tawana Kupe and has been warmly met by the SRC.

SRC President Orediretse Masebe has praised September in his role as deputy dean and said he was hopeful that he would carry a student-centred approach into his new position.

“He is someone who has for the past three months shown elements of being progressive and being heartfelt in his approach towards student issues,” Masebe said.

September told Wits Vuvuzela that he intends to make the university a more inclusive environment and that he would take a collaborative approach to his new position.

“I am particularly interested in issues of human rights and social justice, and will within university parameters try to implement programmes and policies that seek to create an inclusive campus environment. I believe in the power of collaboration and promoting student involvement in decision making,” he said.

“As a dean of Student Affairs, part of my role is to facilitate understanding of different issues, to help provide platforms through which students can raise their issues, to empower the SRC and student governance to be effective in how they represent students,” September added.

Masebe, however, has criticised what he sees as a lack of ‘progressiveness’ at the university, specifically in management.

“The need to change the management of Wits can never be more urgent. The process of selecting a new dean or any member of the senior executive team is reflective of the more conservative side of Wits. One of the disappointing factors was the lack of black female candidates in the final shortlisting,” he said.

September’s tenure will take effect on Tuesday, May 1, as he replaces Lenka-Bula who will be taking up a post as the Deputy Rector of Institutional Change, Student Affairs and Community Engagement, at the University of the Free State.

FEATURED IMAGE: Students walking through the Student Affairs corridor in Solomon Mahlangu House.   Photo: Tshego Mokgabudi