Sasco youth speak

By Setumo-Thebe Mohlomi

The Rhodes University branch of the South African Students’ Congress (Sasco) held its yearly youth week from August 7–11. This year’s Youth Week was aimed at commemorating the 30th anniversary of the 1976 student uprising and the women’s anti-pass march 50 years ago.

A screening of Sarafina, a film famed for its depiction of student involvement in the struggle against apartheid, was the week’s first event. When questioned on the Sarafina screening, Xolani Nyali, Sasco’s projects and campaigns officer, said that the purpose of screening Sarafina was to show the youth what achievements they are capable of when they unite.

“When the youth come together, they are a force to be reckoned with,” Nyali added.

On Tuesday August 8, Sasco held a debate on transformation on campus. The debate was held in Zoo Major and about 30 people attended. Dr Colin Johnson, Rhodes University’s deputy principal and chair of its Equity Committee, participated.

Johnson said “there are many competing issues” surrounding racial transformation at Rhodes. One of these issues was whether the academic standards Rhodes University has set are of a higher priority than equal racial representation at the university.

Rhodes takes pride in having many of its graduates find employment within three to six months, and in having the highest university pass rate in the country.
The question is whether these standards are worth excluding some of South Africa’s majority black population.

Johnson admitted that transformation at Rhodes is slow, but also said that transformation is a developmental issue and not a mere facelift in terms of fulfilling racial quotas.

Finally, a well-attended poetry evening was held in collaboration with Bua poetry society on Women’s Day, August 9, at the Old Gaol. Dr Dan Wylie and students were invited to recite poetry.

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4 Responses to Sasco youth speak

  1. joey_g says:

    beautiful online information center. greatest work thanks

  2. Decon says:

    Appologies for the completely out of the blue comment, but I was wondering if you have any information on the racial representation at Rhodes university at the moment?

    I am doing a little research on the university as I am hoping to study there next year.

    Any help will be appreciated, thanks!

  3. ruactivate says:

    If you must know, the latest stats (for 2005) are 6% Indian, 44% Black, 4% Coloured and 46% White.

  4. Decon says:

    Thanks very much, thats exactly what I wanted to know!

    Looks like I’m going to apply!

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