SCHOOL Council elections have been postponed by at least two weeks as very few of the nominated candidates met the stringent academic requirements.
According to new criteria effective from the 2018 Student Representative Council (SRC) elections, only students with a minimum 60% average for undergraduates, and 65% for postgraduates, are eligible to be elected.
Dean of Students Jerome September told Wits Vuvuzela that, “Reforms to student governance were approved by the university council in December 2017. The purpose of these reforms was to ensure a more inclusive SRC, promote academic excellence, and confirm SRC as a recognised representative structure, as per the higher education act.”
“Elections were meant to take place during the week of April 1. These were, however, postponed due to there being too few eligible candidates,” said SRC all faculty chair, Thato Sakong.
The number of eligible nominees for the School of Civil Engineering was especially low. If a school fails to elect a council, it would result in an unbalanced representation in the SRC. “We want all faculties to make up the SRC,” said Sakong.
“There has been no decline of nominations received, but many nominees failed to meet the academic requirement,” said manager of the student governance office, Jabu Mashinini.
“We will work with the SRC and students in order to identify challenges and work on solutions. This will include reviewing our student leadership development initiatives to help prepare more students for leadership.
“We also hope to introduce civic education campaigns to raise awareness of the importance of student governance,” added Mashinini.
Sakong told Wits Vuvuzela that nominations had been re-opened a week ago, and that a vetting process was taking place for a second time. If the candidates meet the criteria, elections will take place next week.
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