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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
2 Te Oppidan Press 7 May 2013
By Zama MncubeEnvironment
Rhodes University is continually seeking to urtherits unwavering commitment to maximising energy eciency 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 identied and any increases in use in theuture can be careully 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 Saety OcerNikki 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 aected. 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. “Hopeully 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 satisaction [gained] rom doing somethingor 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 signicant 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 satised 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 aord to ignore.
By Mitchell Shaun Parker
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 Ocer Larissa Klazinga. Rhodes isone o two universities in South Arica whichoer 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 Arica 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 qualied proessionals.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 Arican 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 reuse) should the need arise.Moreover, pregnancy testing, SI testing andHIV testing are all covered by the University in the case o sexual assault, entirely ree o charge. Te University, through the DoS oce,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 ramications 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 perect. 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 saety 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