3 October 2016
We are in a situation where the academic year is in jeopardy. The university has to remain open and the academic programme needs to continue in order for us to catch up work we have lost and to ensure that students complete their year successfully. We are open to ongoing engagement with any students or staff regarding the issues raised by the protests, but we believe that such engagement can run in parallel with the institution being open and classes continuing.
There is ongoing protest action on our campuses. Where this is lawful, no action will be taken against those participating.
However, I wish no student to be ignorant about what constitutes unlawful protest behaviour. Disruption of classes, blocking of entrances or exits, interfering with traffic flow, putting up barricades that prevent people from conducting normal business or attending classes, and any form of intimidation – whether physical or verbal – is unlawful.
The attention of all students is drawn to the following specific provisions in the code of conduct for students registered at UCT. The university will, via its Student Disciplinary Tribunal, prosecute breaches of the code.
RCS 1.1: Any breach by a student of these Rules of Conduct for Students or any other institutional rules framed by the Council is an offence subject to disciplinary action by the University.
RCS 1.2: Nothing in these rules shall be constructed as absolving any student from liability for any misconduct in which he or she is personally involved.
RSC 1.3: No student shall wilfully commit any unjustified act or omission which adversely affects the University or any member of the University.
Conduct in general
The attention of all students is specifically drawn to the following clauses:
RCS 7.1: A student must not make unauthorised entry into or use of University facilities.
RCS 7.6: A student must not act or threaten to act in a manner which interferes with the work or study of any member of staff or student in general and specifically in relation to the person's race, gender, beliefs or sexual orientation.
RCS 7.7: A student must not abuse or otherwise interfere with any member of the University community in any manner which contributes to the creation of an intimidating, hostile or demeaning environment for staff and students in general and specifically in relation to the person's race, gender, beliefs or sexual orientation.
RCS 7.9: A student must not obstruct, disrupt or interfere with the teaching, research, administrative, custodial or other functions of the University.
RCS 7.10: A student must not obstruct the movement of any member of the University community.
All students are reminded that the university will report to the South African Police Service cases of allegations of breaches of criminal law. Students do not have the right to disrupt lectures and where individuals do so they forfeit the right to be on UCT's private property. Where this happens, the university will instruct them to leave UCT premises and, if necessary, may lay trespass charges against the students concerned. Similarly, acts of intimidation violate the criminal law code as far as public violence is concerned. The university will act in such cases.
Dr Max Price
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