Trio carries the athletics baton

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LOSING SPEED: The numbers of Wits Athletics club have dwindled since the start of the year. On the starting line (left to right) are Ndinannyi Maphula and Hope Mgwenya. Photo: Anlerie de Wet

Three women are the only members keeping the Wits Athletics club alive.

“We are not where we want to be, but we have a plan,” said newly appointed athletics coach and old Wits athletics champion, Richard Mayer. The coach doesn’t seem phased by the lack of members because, as he put it: “Where there is life, there is hope.”

The club began at the beginning of the year with nine members, but as academic pressures kicked in members started tailing off, according to Mayer.

“When people don’t take the sport seriously and with Wits Sport not funding us, it is really demotivating.”

The members who quit never prioritised athletics, said first-year BA General student Hope Mgwenya. “They just came to lose weight. They don’t have the passion or competitive urge for the sport.”

Mayer, however, is not bothered about people’s motives for joining the club. “Although we do need people to perform and profile Wits, we also need others, who may not be so talented, to commit and build-up the club.”

Ndinannyi Maphula, 3rd year Geology, said: “I am disappointed about the attendance. When people don’t take the sport seriously and with Wits Sport not funding us, it is really demotivating.” When Mayer joined the Wits Athletics club as a student in 1985, the club was thriving and produced champions such as Bruce Fordyce and Mark Plaatjes. “I want to bring back Wits Athletics to the success it was back then,” Mayer said.

Due to the lack of membership and funding the Athletics club will not be representing Wits at the University Sport SA (USSA) championships in Stellenbosch next weekend. Mgwenya believes the club will grow once they start competing and do well. “But now the club is not really active.”

Raiders sing “I smell p*ssy”

Raiders Men’s Residence are being investigated for sexual discrimination after singing the lyrics “I smell p*ssy” at Varsity Shield rugby match.

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SMELLING TROUBLE: Raiders Men’s Residence first years singing the lyrics “I smell p*ssy” led by senior residents at the Varsity Shield finals Monday night. PHOTO: Anlerie de Wet

Raiders Men’s Residence first years sang the lyrics “I smell p*ssy” led by their senior residents at the Varsity Shield finals on Monday night.

The Gender Equity Office (GEO) has received complaints from a staff member about this song being sung at a rugby match last month.

“Unfortunately individuals couldn’t be identified,” said the director of the GEO, Jackie Dugard.

Manager of the residence, Doreen Musemwa, said she does not know the song but she is aware that there is a problem of misogyny in the residence. “We are addressing issues such as this with the GEO, because we don’t want the group to spread the wrong message.”

“The wrong doers will face the wrath of the university”

According to Raiders Men’s Residence chairperson, Rodney Motjamela, the House Committee is not in a position to comment on the issue yet. Although Motjamela has confirmed he is aware that the first years know and sing this song, he wasn’t aware that they sang it Monday night.

“The case is being pursued by the GEO and the wrong doers will face the wrath of the university,” said Wits transformation manager of diversity, ethics and social justice, Pura Mgolombane.

Early last month Raiders Men’s Residence posted a series of sexually discriminating tweets, where, among other things, the screams of women having sex with residents were compared to that of a “dying bear”.

On 10 March the House Committee apologised in an official statement on Twitter for the sexist tweets saying: “We view sexism and misogyny as deplorable in all senses of the word, and going forward we will not be shy in conveying these beliefs.”

The GEO, Wits Transformation and Student Affairs met yesterday to discuss systemic interventions to be implemented in the residences early second semester, according to Mgolombane.

“The residences’ views must be in line with the university’s value system and since that is not the case we need to find collective solutions to solve this problem,” said Wits transformation manager of diversity, ethics and social justice, Pura Mgolombane. He believes that the fundamental problem lies in residence traditions, which influences the first years, “but the boys have agency”.

“We need to bring about awareness of these issues within residences and change the image these students have of women, but it starts with the first years,” said Musemwa.

Gaming the institution

Wits is publishing three games that profiles the institution. The games were produced by Game Design students as part of a project that aims to promote Wits to prospective students thoruearning about the university in a critical, yet fun way.

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GOOD GAME: Wits Game Design students testing one of the three games created to promote and profile Wits University. Photo: Provided

Prospective Witsies will soon learn about the university through gaming. Students of Game Design at Wits University have created three games to profile and promote the institution.

The idea was that of Wits Vice Chancellor (VC) Professor Adam Habib, who personally initiated the project after asking the senior Games Design students to think of out-of-the-box games to promote Wits, early last year.

“The students have gone above and beyond the call of duty to create games that look at Wits in a really cheeky, but fun way,” said Game Design lecturer, Hanli Geyser.

The purpose of the game is to inform prospective students about Wits with honest student driven views and ideas of Wits, said Geyser.

The Vice Chancellor and his marketing team were said to be very impressed with all three groups’ games and promised to publish all three, despite the initial commitment to only publish one.

“When the teams of third-year students were able to create and develop these games with limited resources, experience and knowledge, we were very impressed,” said Wits marketing manager, Ferna Clarkson.

The project was made part of the students’ course work and they were marked accordingly. The initiative will be a recurring project for third-year students, but will not always be focussed on Wits, said Geyser.

Although this project is an assignment for the students, which gave them the experience to work for a client and get published, the VC has insisted on giving the students a letter of service and a token of gratitude for their hard work.

The games will be released on the Wits website on May 9, with the hope to release at least one game on mobile platforms later this year.

UKZN shields off Wits for the Cup

UKZN took the 2015 Varsity Shield trophy beating Wits in a close game. After having lost two previous matches to Wits, it was third time’s a charm in the finals for the UKZN team.

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PINK POWER: 2015 Varsity Shield winners, FNB UKZN players and coaches celebrating the with their gold medals and the trophy at Wits Stadium Monday night.

After a nail-biting final the University of KwaZulu-Natal rugby team beat Wits 24-29 taking home the 2015 Varsity Shield trophy at Wits stadium yesterday evening. With back and forth banter in ball possession for the first 15 minutes of the game, UKZN’s right flanker and captain scored- after which they were dominant throughout the match.

“It came down to the little details and maybe we just wanted it [the win] more,” said UKZN head coach Ryan Strudwick.

UKZN’s defense was impressive as it broke the Wits offensive line multiple times as they pushed forward to attempt tries. The winning team focused on their defence during the past week’s training as it has let them down in the last few games according to Strudwick.

“Obviously we are disappointed. Every final has pressure and we couldn’t handle it,” said Wits head coach Hugo van As.

With Wits losing plenty of balls in front of the try-line, Van As admitted there were many opportunities, but his players just couldn’t pull through.

UKZN captain and overall player of the tournament, Lwazi Ngcungana, said that his team won because they were much more clinical and switched-on in the game than their opponents.

“We were also motivated in the fact that we couldn’t lose three times to Wits in one tournament,” said Ngcungana.

The Wits team’s desperation to win led to many unnecessary mistakes in the last 20 minutes, until hooker Ferdinand Kelly, dropped over the try-line with two minutes of game time left. Still, this spark of good play came too late.

“We have a very young side and yet we had a good season. We just weren’t able to put our play into action tonight,” said Wits captain Richard Crossman.

 

SRC secretary general: Education campus ‘segregated’

The Wits Students Representatives Council (SRC) organised an “E-week” at the Education campus aimed at addressing apparent issues of racial segregation. But students on the campus 

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A DIFFERENCE OF OPINION: Students are racially segregated at Wits Education Campus, according to SRC secretary general Senzekahle Mbokazi but many students disagree with her claim. Photo: Zimasa Mpemnyama

SRC secretary general Senzekahle Mbokazi said segregation has created a “negative vibe” on Wits Education Campus. She added that combating segregation was one of the reasons for the Education Week (E-Week) initiative, which happened earlier this week.

“White and Indian people are always together at the expensive cafeteria and black people always hang out at the bus stop cafeteria,” said Mbokazi.

As an education student herself, Mbokazi said she is bothered by the separation of the groups on Education Campus on the basis of race.

“We need more interactive space where we can watch performances and sit together,” she said.

Students interviewed by Wits Vuvuzela though disagreed with Mbokazi’s assertions.

“There is no segregation, not in terms of race. It’s not a bad thing if people are more comfortable sitting next to people speaking the same language,” said fourth-year student Precious Mofokeng.

First-year student, Kalvin van Wyk, said as a white person from a former Model C school it is very difficult to integrate with racial groups he didn’t know or understand “but I am trying”.

Wits Sport keeping budget confidential

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FOOTBALL THRIVING: Lethu Nhlumayo doing drills with Wits U/19 men’s football team on Tuesday afternoon.

Wits Sport are keeping their new strategic budget allocations a secret.

The strategy has been implemented with the start of this year, where Wits Sport has cut-off funding for all but five sport clubs (rugby, football, basketball, hockey and cricket). This has forced other sport and recreational clubs to financially fend for themselves or die out.

The amount of money and its utilisation within these five clubs are “highly confidential”, according to Head of Wits Sport, Adrian Carter.

Carter’s reason for making the budget information privileged is to keep other universities or competitors from finding out “how Wits plans to climb to the top of University Sport.”

“We have needed to come up with a commercial plan to bring in funds on a sustainable basis as, quite frankly, the funds we currently receive are not sufficient for us to compete at any level, never mind Varsity Sport- hence the change in strategy,” said Carter.

Allegedly clubs were told that if they perform better than one of the top five clubs they will get funding back.

“It is a vicious circle. If we don’t get money, then we won’t attract good players and we won’t get recognition,” said third year Medicine student and member of the Wits women’s water polo team, Catherine Bezuidenhout.

Bezuidenhout said they understand that the university can’t cover every club completely, “but we need some sort of assistance.”

Fellow team mate and fourth year Medicine student, Jeanie du Toit, explained that many of her team mates already have student loans and that they can’t afford to pay for kits, transport and accommodation on their own- let alone pay for their coach.

She added that given their academic challenges the new budget decree would now demand they use their own time to fund raise; “We are all studying. Now we must give up time not only to train and work hard to bring attention to our sport, but to raise funds too.”

 

 

 

UJ student vigilantes

After hearing someone shout ‘Vimba, Vimba!’ students wearing pyjamas have been seen flooding out of residences into the streets, armed with knobkieries and mops to join the chase for the mugger.

This phenomenon where students play the role of vigilante, has apparently developed in and around the UJ residences in Doornfontein over the past seven years. The students take it upon themselves to help one of their own by searching for the suspects and “beat them to bits” if they find them.

Joy Shikwambana and two of her friends were mugged by three men last year. They shouted for help and within five minutes, hundreds of students were in the streets.

“It is a wise form of protection. Crime would definitely be higher around reses without it,” said the second year Environmental Health student at UJ. Shikwanbana explained victims can only yell after the criminals start running, “because they can hurt you when you scream if they have weapons.”

“When the students hear the call there are hundreds of them running out of the res to go and hit these muggers. But then sometimes they get excited and run in the wrong direction,” said Fidelity security guard at UJ Sunvalley Residence, Ntsieni Manezhe.

He said the students get out of hand and grab stones and bricks in the streets to beat the attackers.

“We security guards from Fidelity, Stallion’s and UJ security have to protect these muggers from the mob, because if every one of those hundred students get one hit in they will kill them. It’s not right to take the law into your own hands.”

This vigilante culture has drawn attention because of its violent nature. The purpose of the use of violence is “to send a message to criminals that pain will be inflicted upon them, which tends to keep them away,” said third year Sports Communication student at UJ, Selby Mogale.

In some of these cases UJ students have chased and beat the wrong guy, according to Marnitz Oldewage, a third year Mining Engineering student at UJ.

“I once drove past a crowd and saw students dragging the mugger by his feet down the street while he was full of blood and unconscious,” said Oldewage. He said although it gets violent he is all for this trend because not only does it scare criminals away, but “no matter what race, gender or background you have they will always have your back.”

Oldewage said students think the police only drop off the muggers somewhere else after taking them away from the crowd, to get out of the paper work.

The police are unaware of the Vimba culture in Doornfontein, where many UJ residences are situated, according to Gauteng Police spokesperson, Lieutenant-Colonel Katlego Mogale.