25 May 2016
Dear colleagues and students,
This email serves to ensure that you have access to information on key matters that have arisen lately.
UCT Student Careline: 0800 24 25 26 or SMS 31393 for a call-me-back
Exams can be stressful. Anyone experiencing anxiety and/or depression should call the UCT Student Careline for immediate help. The line offers 24/7 telephonic counselling, advice, referral facilities and general support to individuals who are facing mental health challenges or are contemplating suicide. The line may also be used by a person concerned about another person who might experiencing distress. The UCT Student Careline supplements the mental health work of existing UCT services such as the Student Wellness Service, especially after hours and over weekends. Staff, including residence wardens, are welcome to call the line for information or advice around any student mental health issue. The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) who are running the UCT Student careline in partnership with UCT can also facilitate an emergency hospital admission if needed.
Dedicated Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) email address
SART has set up a dedicated email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. This is another step by SART to support students and staff. The VC recently released a VCDesk, which has SART's first quarterly report attached. Please read this for information about the work of SART.
UCT is committed to concluding the upcoming exams successfully. Safety arrangements similar to what was in place for the November / December 2015 exams will be put in place. We do not expect the exams to be disrupted but the University will take the necessary safety and disciplinary steps should there be an any attempts to do so. The Chancellor Oppenheimer Library (COL) is open over extended hours. When the main library closes the COL 24/7 facility will open for those who need to continue studying. The Jammie Shuttle timetable has been amended accordingly. Students who need to be on campus at night are encouraged to use the Jammie Shuttle service or to call CPS on 021 650 2222/3 for a security official to escort them to their cars or the shuttle bus stop.
UCT to honour three remarkable academics during June graduation
The June graduation will take place from 9–15 June 2016 in 13 ceremonies in order to accommodate students who were not able to graduate last December because of the delay in exams. The June graduation schedule provides more information on specific ceremonies. During the three ceremonies on Tuesday, 14 June 2016, UCT will confer honorary degrees on highly acclaimed archaeologist Dr Janette Deacon, Ghanaian Emeritus Professor El Anatsui, described as “the most significant living African artist”, and Emeritus Professor Francis Wilson, who has focused his engaged scholarship on understanding how processes such as the migrant labour system have helped to underwrite South Africa's poverty.
Recognition agreement signed with UCT vendor
UCT facilitated a recognition agreement between NEHAWU and food vendor Big Chef that will govern the relationship between the employer (Big Chef) and the employees (workers of Big Chef). It must be noted that UCT is not a party to the agreement between NEHAWU and Big Chef, merely the facilitator. The agreement was reached and signed on 19 May 2016. A compliance framework which vendors must adhere to has also been developed and we are in the process of refining this framework through consultation with all relevant stakeholders, including the Student Representative Council and the Left Students' Forum (LSF). The compliance framework includes, among many other components: a) the fair treatment of workers; b) wages related to the sectorial determination of that particular sector; and c) health and safety aspects of the occupation. UCT has also engaged the Department of Labour to assist us to verify that vendors comply with the framework.
Interdict to protect UCT community made final order of the court
The application for an interim interdict after the violence and vandalism on campus on 16 February 2016 was made a final order of the court on 11 May 2016.
Progress of disciplinary tribunals for violations of code of conduct
UCT has taken action against students who have breached the student code of conduct in cases that relate to incidents on campus since October 2015. One student has been found guilty by an internal tribunal of damage to property as a result of breaking into a university building. Three students and two previously registered students have been permanently interdicted by the High Court from entering all university premises except with the express prior written consent of the university. In addition, the students are interdicted from erecting any unauthorised structures on the university's premises, damaging property and participating in unlawful conduct on any of the university's premises. Another student and ex-student have been named in an application brought by the university on a contempt of court charge and this matter is currently before the High Court. In addition, two internal student disciplinary tribunals are under way and will be concluded following due process. A total of 12 students are respondents in these tribunals. The internal tribunals are considering charges of violation of the student code of conduct, including damage to property.
Student disciplinary process to resume after exams
In a separate matter, an internal UCT student disciplinary tribunal has been suspended by interim order of the High Court in an application brought by three students. The ruling on this matter was delivered on 19 May 2016, allowing for the resumption of the tribunal process after June exams.
VC's first Open Lecture of 2016 focused on children's rights
Emeritus Professor Marian Jacobs' lecture “Children on the front page” focused on children's rights at the Vice-Chancellor's Open Lecture on 16 May 2016.
Voting complete for members of Council elected by Convocation and Donors
The term of office of the UCT Council will expire on 30 June 2016. The process to constitute the new Council, whose term of office will be from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2020, is under way. Voting closed on 22 May 2016 members of Council elected by Convocation and Donors and the outcome will be announced shortly.
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