Men’s Hall of Residence (MHR) Raiders have celebrated graduations last week with their traditional march to the Great Hall piazza. (more…)
In response to the controversial Men’s Res anthem, “I smell pussy”, the wits alumni office aims to replace that war-cry with something more positive.
The Wits Alumni Society is aiming to unite Witsies by choosing a new anthem that Wits can be proud of and that creates a reinvigorated sense of team spirit.
Students, staff and alumni around the world are encouraged to send their punchy and funky new war-cry options that people can learn easily, and that Witsies will sing for years to come.
The new war-cry will be launched in September, replacing less favourable war-cries,in the hopethat all Witsies will be singing it for the new sports season.
The competition will starton July, 20 and end on August, 15. There are prizes to be won, worth R10 000.
Wits Vuvuzela previously covered the story of members of the Men’s Residence singing a war-cry with lyrics saying “I smell pussy” at a rugby match earlier in the year. This prompted the Alumni office to discuss why students would want to sing a song like this, it was determined that it was because there are no official war-cries at Wits.
The Wits Gender Equity Office previously said that itwill be implementing “systemic holistic intervention programmes” in residences next semester in response to Men’s Residence’s war-cry lyrics.
Historically, the Wits war-cry was an important part of inter-varsity competition however, most songs would not be favourable today as they were highly Eurocentric and concentrated more on varsity rivals.
Wits has not had an official war-cry since the 1960’s.
Students are encouraged to submit their lyrics to email@example.com from now until the end of July. More information can be found on posters that will be put up at the end of the mid-term break.
Wits will be implementing “systemic holisitic intervention programmes” in residences next semester after students from Men’s Res sang “I smell pussy” at a rugby match.
The Raiders had already received criticism last month for posting sexist tweets about women visiting the residence.
The Gender Equity Office (GEO), Wits Transformation Office, and Res Life held a closed-door meeting with the Men’s Residence House Committee (HC) on Monday afternoon.
“At first the guys told us that the song was a long standing tradition of the house mascot, Zoro the cat, but after declining to sing us the song the HC acknowledged that it can be interpreted as offensive,” said the GEO director, Jackie Dugard.
However, in an e-mail interview with Wits Vuvuzela the house committee chairperson, Rodney Motjamela, denied knowing the history of the song.
“I do not have knowledge of the history of the song,” he said.
Dugard said the problem of sexism at the residence started at the institution and not individuals, who will not be disciplined for the singing the allegedly sexist song.
“This involves a systemic issue where groups are reproducing these offensive traditions. Holding individuals responsible is not the best way to ensure the problem doesn’t continue,” said Dugard.
Motjamela said that the house committee was “most satisfied with the outcome of the meeting” and that they will discuss the song with the rest of the house.
“[W]e categorically and unequivocally condemn these deeply saddening acts of discrimination. This is the stance and belief of the entire Men’s Res House,” said Motjamela.
The parties involved in the meeting have aligned to make sure that the problem doesn’t reproduce, according to Dugard.
“We need to change the way people think about gender and get them to find sexism unacceptable. Leaders of Wits need to move from reactive interventions to comprehensive reactions for change to work.”
Raiders Men’s Residence are being investigated for sexual discrimination after singing the lyrics “I smell p*ssy” at Varsity Shield rugby match.
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.”
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.