Home News Varsity disruptions as students protest accommodation shortage

Varsity disruptions as students protest accommodation shortage

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Sol Plaatje University says it will prioritise the placement of students who have been given temporary university accommodation.

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SOL PLAATJE University (SPU) says it will prioritise the placement of students who have been given temporary university accommodation.

Students are protesting over a shortage of accommodation, mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations and food that is “not appetising in the least”.

The senior manager in the office of the vice-chancellor, Kashini Maistry, said the vice-chancellor and principal of SPU, Professor Andrew Crouch, together with the chief operating officer, David Kanguwe, and the adviser in the vice-chancellor’s office, Rathnum Naidoo, met with a delegation from the student representative council (SRC), led by SRC president Rantsiekane Mosiane, to discuss the issue of first-year students who have been placed in temporary university accommodation.

“The vice-chancellor has placed an embargo on moving any first-year students who have been placed in temporary university accommodation, with immediate effect,” said Maistry.

“The SRC will provide a list of all those students who have been placed in temporary university accommodation. The students who have been placed in such accommodation are those who did not apply for a residence place and/or who may have not secured funding.”

Maistry added that the SRC and management would work together to prioritise university-owned accommodation for students who have an academic offer and who are eligible for National Student Financial Aid Scheme funding for the 2022 academic year.

“The university will endeavour to assist unfunded students through relief funds for this year. However, there are some students who are at temporary university accommodation facilities but whom we may not be able to assist. These students will be given time to plan once a decision has been made about their status on campus.”

Maistry stated that the vice-chancellor had indicated that the university had made provision for accredited off-campus housing for students to ensure that there were sufficient beds for returning students.

“In the meantime, management appealed to the protesting students not to interfere with the academic programme, which is ongoing.”

In their reply to students, it was pointed out that the university was not obligated to house anyone who was not a registered student.

“Those who were housed in the emergency accommodation as a humanitarian gesture did not apply for a residence and in many instances did not yet have a firm academic offer.”

The university also indicated that since all students were recalled to attend lectures, they had no obligation to provide students who chose to continue with online classes with data.

SPU committed to monitor the quality of all meals and inspect the kitchens on a daily basis.

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