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The Oppidan Press. Edition 5. 2013

The Oppidan Press. Edition 5. 2013

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Published by The Oppidan Press
Edition 5 of The Oppidan Press.
Edition 5 of The Oppidan Press.

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Published by: The Oppidan Press on May 09, 2013
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07/10/2013

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Rhodes to monitorelectricity useThe truth about our meatBoston bombings mediamonopoly
The Oppidan Press
Edition 5, 7 May 2013
SexualharassmentRU protectedFree speechstill underthreatSRC addresselectionwoes
DRAWINGSTRAWS
23
10
4
PHOTO: HANRO HAVENGA
 
   o   p   p    i    d   a   n   p   r   e   s   s .   c   o   m
    C    h   e   c    k    i   t   o   u   t   a   t   :
An Eastern Cape getaway Thrilling climax to Battle o the AcousticsEusebius Mckaiser returnsto Grahamstown
>>Tsitsikamma>>Battle>>Hes back
News Features
2 Te Oppidan Press 7 May 2013
By Zama MncubeEnvironment
Rhodes University is continually seeking to urtherits unwavering commitment to maximising energy eciency on campus. Te recent installation o new electricity meters in residences orms part o anew campus-wide “Energy Challenge”.
Te readings taken rom these meters will assistin ensuring that the University does not exceedacceptable consumption levels. “Tese readings willallow baseline data on the electricity use o RhodesUniversity students to be collected,” explainedChairperson o RU Green Ruth Krüger. “rends can[then] be identied and any increases in use in theuture can be careully observed and responded to,she said.Te Energy Challenge is going to be implementedin stages. “Te rst step in reducing the amount o electricity you use is to measure how much that is,”Krüger said. Environmental Health and Saety OcerNikki Köhly agreed, “Te logic behind it is that youcannot monitor your energy consumption unless youmeasure it,” she said.According to Student Representative Council(SRC) Environmental Councillor Luke Cadden,Rhodes allocates an enormous percentage o itsannual budget to electricity. “Rhodes University spends R24 million on electricity annually and a thirdo this amount is just or heating up water,” Caddenexplained.Electricity is a vital resource or modernsociety and so monitoring the levels o electricity consumption is in the best interests o the University,its students and the town at large. I the University must adjust or increased expenses, student ees willbe directly aected. Köhly mentioned that the “userpays” principle has been considered, which meansthat individuals who use more electricity would haveto pay or their extra consumption.Tose implementing the new system hope thatthe riendly competition engendered by the Energy Challenge will inspire responsible energy consump-tion. “Hopeully having these meters will enable theEskom Energy Challenge between students to takeo,” said Köhly. Cadden expanded on her point:“[Te challenge] will create competition, res spiritand the satisaction [gained] rom doing somethingor a good cause.” He hopes residences will eel theneed to meet the standards being set by their neigh-bouring residences. According to Krüger there willbe signicant prizes or the residences with the lowestenergy readings.Te installation o the electricity meters has provento be nothing short o a success thus ar, due to thesupport shown by the environmental representatives,who are, according to a satised Krüger, all incredibly eager to get involved in the project.Cadden, Köhly and Krüger are now looking to stu-dents to take on the initiative and enjoy some light-hearted competition or a good cause. Te promisedrelie o no ee increase is something that no studentcan aord to ignore.
By Mitchell Shaun Parker
F
ollowing recent allegations o sexualharassment by ten ormer students atthe University o Witwatersrand (Wits)against Senior Drama lecturer sepo waMamatu, Dean o Students (DoS) Dr Viviande Klerk praised Rhodes University’s policy on sexual harassment as being “progressive”.But how exactly does Rhodes deal withinstances o sexual harassment and assault?
Te University, which is host to a myriado events every year aimed at tackling sexual violence, such as the Silent Protest, is notably one o the most progressive. Compared touniversities such as Wits, which did very littleregarding the assaults o wa Mamatu untilthere was enough public outcry, Rhodes hasstrict policy documents in place to deal withaccusations o sexual violence or harassment.“We handle these things in a very seriouslight,” said Student Services and Anti-harassment Ocer Larissa Klazinga. Rhodes isone o two universities in South Arica whichoer a 24/7 crisis line or students who aredealing with psychological trauma.“Tis putsus ahead o the game,” she added.I a student has been sexually assaulted,there are experts available at any hour to helpthem through the ordeal.Rhodes also has a Counselling Centre whichoperates ree o charge or all students. Tecounselling centres in many universities inSouth Arica charge a nominal ee or eachappointment with a counsellor. Wits, orexample, states on their website that studentsare charged R30 per session and that they canhave a maximum o ten sessions. Te acilitiesin place at Rhodes are more able in cases o sexual assault, as Rhodes has entirely reesupport rom highly qualied proessionals.Furthermore, all sta at the Health CareCentre are ully trained to deal with sexual violence and are aware o the protocols in placeshould such a case arise. South Arican law dictates that post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)can only be given i a charge is laid against anattacker. Rhodes, however, will pay or PEP orstudents at the Health Care Centre who do notwish to take their case urther (something they are entitled to reuse) should the need arise.Moreover, pregnancy testing, SI testing andHIV testing are all covered by the University in the case o sexual assault, entirely ree o charge. Te University, through the DoS oce,will also attempt to organise Leaves o Absence(LOAs) or survivors, so as not to compromisetheir academics.Te University o Cape own (UC), Witsand the University o Kwa-Zulu Natal (UKZN)all have policies regarding sexual assault, butnone have the same level o assistance in placeas Rhodes. Te most any o them will do isdirect a student to a nearby public hospitalin order to get PEPs – which would legally then require them to lay a complaint againsttheir aggressor, something many are hesitantto do, thus removing an important medicalavenue. Te institutions should also help dealwith the legal ramications o laying a chargewithin the university context. In comparisonto Rhodes, where there are distinct supportstructures in place as well as legal support, atthese universities the onus is essentially on thestudent to deal with their situation.In act, UKZN’s policy, as is stated on theirwebsite, suggests that cases should be keptas quiet as possible and that students shouldhave their complaints “resolved at a local levelwith minimal ormal processes”. Te policy notes that students should rather take up theirassault with criminal prosecutors, than withthe university.Te only university which seems to havesimilar structures in place is the University o Pretoria, which has a Student Health Clinic,an HIV/AIDS centre or HIV-related servicesand a 24-hour crisis line or those who needimmediate help. Teir only disappointmentis the lack o ormalised support or thepsychological needs o students.However, the Rhodes University system isnot perect. As mentioned by Klazinga, there iscurrently a backlog at the Counselling Centrewith students having to wait longer or anappointment due to a lack o capacity. Tisis an issue and needs to be addressed by theadministration.It is clear though that Rhodes University hastaken upon itsel the task o ensuring a well-supported environment or students and that,even when things go awry, there is a saety net to help protect students physically andemotionally.
I you or anyone else you know has been thevictim o sexual assault, you can contact the 24-hour crisis line on 082-803-8146.
RU Green energychallenge takes of 
Newly installed meters will measureresidence electrical consumption
Rhodes sexual harassment policydeemed most progressive
 The Silent protest is one o many events hosted at Rhodes and aimed at tackling sexual violence. Photo: EMILY CORKE
 
News Features
7 May 2013 Te Oppidan Press 3
Kirsten Makin and Binwe Adebayo
he National Assembly’s passing o the Protectiono State Inormation Bill on 25 April brought withit the amiliar cries about the sanctity o reedomo speech and concerns regarding the uture o theindependent press.
Considering that this initiative has been in the politicalpipelines or the last ew years, it seems strange that thereis a new wave o surprise and outrage. It would seem thatthere has been very much anti-government sentiment and very ew considered questions about how and why the law enabled this bill to gain such incredible momentum.Met with widespread outrage at its initial introductioninto Parliament in 2008, the Secrecy Bill, as it is oenreerred to, has passed into the nal stage beore beingpotentially declared an Act under South Arican law.Yet despite the panic that has seized South Aricanmedia practitioners and society alike, the Bill has yet tobe approved by the Constitutional Court. Strato Copteros,who teaches Media Law and Ethics as part o the School o Journalism and Media Studies, believes that it is not yet timeto be alarmed.“Te thing with South Arica at the moment and why no one is really panicking is that even though it has beenpassed by both houses o Parliament, it hasn’t been signedinto law by JZ [President Jacob Zuma] yet and he hasthe opportunity to send it in or judicial review,” he said.Copteros went on to explain that even i Zuma does notsend in the Bill or judicial review, organisations suchas Te Right o Know Campaign (R2K) and the SouthArican National Editors Forum (SANEF) will call or judicial review and can demand that the Bill be taken tothe Constitutional Court. In addition to this, consideringSouth Arica’s parliamentary system o proportionalrepresentation, the objections that have been raised by parties like the Democratic Alliance (DA) will have to beconsidered (even i only procedurally) beore any naldecision is taken.It is also important to note that private entities are alsoraising signicant concerns with and objections to thepassing o the bill. Tis year, World Press Freedom Day (which took place on 3 May) ocused on the places in which journalists are prevented rom doing their jobs and it seemsa serendipitous irony that this issue has reared its head now.In addition to events such as this, international newspaperssuch as Britain’s
Te Guardian
have led with the story, alsodismissing the likelihood o the Bill coming to ruition.However, many infuential bodies in South Aricaremain perturbed. Kameel Premhid o the Helen SuzmanFoundation noted that the organisation is “deeply concernedby the passage o Protection o State Inormation Bill as itstill, even in its revised state, violates the spirit and intentiono the Constitution”.Te Constitutional Court, which stands as the highestbody o law in the country, should presumably be thePresidents next port o call. Te court would review theBill in light o issues such as reedom o speech, access toinormation and the right to dignity. In addition it will beheld against Acts already instated such as the Promotion toAccess o Inormation Act (PAIA).Copteros believes that acts such as PAIA may play asignicant role in the outcome o the Inormation Bill.“Te interesting thing about the Promotion to Access o Inormation Act that nobody talks about is that in thepreamble it states that it cannot be superseded by any otheract o the Republic o South Arica,” he said. Tis “confict o laws” places an additional onus on the need or the judicialreview o the Bill. “Freedom o inormation is vital to aliberal constitutional democracy where the governed needto know what the govern[ing] do,” insisted Premhid, whenasked about the supremacy o PAIA.At this juncture, it is unclear how matters will proceed,especially considering the dierent agendas o actors at play.However, it is abundantly clear that the law was never opento even preliminary discussions about a Bill such as this, butconsidering that events have already run their course, it ishoped that the law will come into ull eect to ensure thatthe public remains the primary ocus and that the media isallowed to ull its constitutional unction.
By Daniella Broomberg
Campus was awash with the colouro bright red posters hailing the launch o a new studentorganisation, the Student SocialistMovement (SSM). Te motiveso this new organisation werelittle known until uesday 30April when a campaign to inormstudents was started in the run-upto its ocial launch.
Te rst seeds o SSM wereplanted last year, when a group o concerned Rhodes students cametogether with a mission to rebelagainst what they considered the“South Arican culture o silence”.Tey began to meet inormally androm this ollowed the decision tostart a ormal organisation.SSM Organiser Claudia MartinezMullen dened the movement as “aspace or students who are eelingisolated and are suering in silenceto raise their voices”.SSM’s ounding aims consist o a ocus on ghting nancial and aca-demic exclusion, mobilising unitedmass action and rejecting elitismand a culture o commercialism oncampus by seeking accountability inthe hierarchy o management.On a broader scale it is concernedwith the ght against poverty, hun-ger, gender inequality and workingagainst the spread o HIV/AIDS,under the banner o socialism. How these issues will be addressed hasnot been ully claried as yet.Te SSM has a horizontal struc-ture and its members claim to notbelieve in hierarchal power. It alsobelieves in absolute transparency and honesty among its members andaliates.Te 30 April launch consisted o three speakers who critically evalu-ated the current state o operationsat Rhodes University and discussedthe ways in which these issuescould be vocalised and solved. Telaunch was attended by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Dr Sizwe Mabizelaand Deputy Dean o Students RogerAdams.Mullen was the rst speaker anddiscussed the main objective o theorganisation: ree education orall. She urther explored the battlebetween education and languageand the subsequent preerence o English as a medium o instruction.In her address, Mullen stressed theresponsibility o youths to be thecreators o the uture they wantedto live in.SSM President Lipton Ncubeollowed Mullen with an addressthat assessed the nature o academic and nancial exclusion.Ncube demanded transparency between the SRC and students,believing that the SRC shouldanswer to students rather thanthe University management. Headvocated the rights o studentsto recall SRC members i they perorm inadequately and evenexplored the idea o policy onreplacing inadequate lecturers andseeking responsibility rom variousdepartments when students ail,rather than solely blaming thestudents themselves. “It is your rightto say when something is goingwrong,” he said.Ncube called upon managementto increase the number o tutorsin various departments and allow them better wages. He voicedhis rustration with the SRCand university management orcontinuously claiming to be tryingto change circumstances withoutachieving results. Tis statementrequired urther explanation as notall present were in agreement withthis sentiment. Furthermore, he wasappalled by the nature o exclusionat Rhodes and the complicatednature o the appeal process, whichhe elt le students with no choicebut to leave.Last to speak was Lethabo Sekele,SSM Secretary and SRC StudentBenets Councillor. Despite con-cerns about confict o interest dueto her role as an SRC councillor, shedescribed the SSM movement as “aspace o clarity” which addressesgrievances, while strongly advocat-ing responsibility. She called uponstudents to band together, raiseawareness and to think and discusscritically.Aiming to be more than just astudent-interest society, SSM viewsitsel as a movement advocatingpositive change and independentcritical thinking. It aims not only to improve conditions at Rhodesbut also o the community at large.Situated on a campus with mini-mal political activity and amidstcontinued claims o apathy on thepart o students, Mabizela raised hisconcerns and called upon studentsinvolved in the SSM to be “architectso a better uture”.
Student socialists paintcampus red
Secrecy Bill set for Constitutional Court
 The passing o the Inormation Bill stirs outrage and raises questions regarding the uture o reedom o expression inSouth Arica. Photo: KIRSTEN MAKINLipton Ncube is the Student Socialist Movement (SSM) president.Photo: JOSHUA OATES
 The Inormation Bill has one more threshold to cross beore being declared an Act.

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