‘No degree, no entry’ say postgrad festival organisers

Celebrating the new graduates and enhancing the postgraduate social life on campus through what organisers hope will become an annual fixture.  

The postgraduate association (PGA) at Wits university have an upcoming festival on Saturday, April 13, 2024, at Sturrock Park West Campus from 14:00 till 02:00 called ‘No degree, no entry’ as a way of celebrating with newly graduates.  

The Chairperson of the PGA, Okuhle Mafrika, said while Wits University’s vision for 2022/23 is postgraduate friendly and research intensive, postgraduate students do not feel that sense of inclusivity.  

Mafrika claimed that Wits focuses on undergraduate students, for instance hosting a Freshers party to welcome them but nothing for postgraduate students.  

The PGA has taken it upon themselves to instil a sense of belonging and celebrate postgraduate students.  

‘No degree, no entry’ is a festival aimed at attracting more postgraduates to the PGA community and motivate undergraduate students.  

“The No degree, no entry festival will hopefully be an annual event depending on its success,” he said.

There have been challenges such as securing sponsors and getting approval from the university since this is a new concept.  

Mafrika said “there are about 12 000 postgraduates and 24 000 undergraduates” so as the PGA they had to “sell the idea to students and to funders” first.  They have chosen to do this with a star studded line-up students will find difficult to resist.

The money generated is for fundraising purposes to assist postgraduate students with accommodation fees, as they hardly qualify for the hardship fund, said Mafrika. The hardship fund is mainly allocated for indebted undergraduate students.  

Tickets are on sale for R150 for Wits graduates and R200 for graduates from other universities and Wits undergraduates. Performances by Master KG, Mòrda, Elaine, Langa Mavuso, Kelvin Momo, Shakes and Les, Leemkrazy and many more are to be expected. 

The dean of students, Jerome September, said, “There have been initiatives that sought to cater for postgraduate students such as the postgraduate orientation programme and the book club run by the division of student affairs.” Wits is constantly reviewing these and looking at new and further ways to support and create a positive postgraduate student experience.  

2014/2015 Wits PGA Executive Committee elected

Edited

NEW TEAM: The newly elected executive committee is hoping to fill in the vacant positions soon before it fully takes over. Photo: Nqobile Dludla

A new Wits Postgraduate Association (PGA) executive committee was elected this afternoon following a secret ballot.

The elections, which privately took place inside the SRC (Students Representatives Council) boardroom, consisted of some members of the outgoing executive committee along with a few members of the PGA Council who were overseeing the election process.

The Wits PGA is a student representative body for postgraduate students at the University.

Unlike the usual elections whereby candidates read out their manifestos to students, the PGA Council which is made up of postgraduate student representatives from each of the 35 Schools within the university elects members to serve on the Executive Committee.

Expressing his hopes for the newly elected executive committee, Manoshe Phasha, outgoing PGA chair stressed the importance of communication as coordinating the association was a difficult task.

“Running PGA is not as easy as running SRC whereby everyone is a fulltime student and around here.. So it’s difficult coordinating PGA. If they [newly elected executive] keep on the communication they will do well and I do hope that they stick together as a team ” The PGA often has members who are part-time students in full-time employment which can be difficult to manage.

2014/2015 PGA Executive Committee

Chairperson: Vuyisani Kuboni

Deputy Chair: Siyanda Mngadi

Treasurer: Dominic Khumalo

Secretary: Samantha Jack

Media and Liaison Officer: Ayodimeji Biobaku

Residence Student Representative: Vacant

International Student Representative: Patience Gumbo

Local Student Representative: Vacant

Research Student Representative: William Wright

Coursework Representative: Moorosi Leshoele

Faculty Rep- Commerce, Law & Management: Phelelani Mpanza

Faculty Rep- Engineering: Grant Davis

Faculty Rep- Health Sciences: Nicholas Bacci

Faculty Rep- Humanities: Vacant

Faculty Rep- Science: Marcelle Johnson