14 March 2017
Dear students and colleagues
This campus announcement aims to update members of the University of Cape Town community.
1. Students? Representative Council elections
Elections for the Students? Representative Council (SRC) did not occur in 2016. A transitional SRC is in place for now. The election commission is pleased to announce that SRC elections will commence shortly. Information sessions will be held on Thursday, 16 March, and Friday, 17 March, from 13:00 to 14:00 in the PD Hahn building, Lecture Theatre 3, Upper Campus. Nominations will open on Wednesday, 22 March, at 09:00. Forms are available from Office 6.02, Level 6, Steve Biko Student?s Union building.
Students have opportunities to exercise leadership not only as candidates and voters, but also to serve as election officers and election assistants. These positions will be advertised on the UCT website. If you have any queries or comments, please contact Ms Edwina Brooks, the chief electoral officer, via email or on 021 650 3924.
2. VC?s Open Lecture on Thursday, 16 March
Seats are still available for the first Vice-Chancellor?s Open Lecture of 2017, which is to be presented by Professor Jacqueline Rose. Titled ?The Legacy or What I Have Learned From You?, the lecture will take place on Thursday, 16 March, at 18:30 in Kramer Lecture Theatre 1, Kramer Law Building, Middle Campus. (Please note that the email announcement erroneously gave the day as Monday, 16 March.) The Vice-Chancellor?s Open Lectures provide an opportunity for anyone in the Cape Town community, whether they are connected to the university or not, to hear first-hand from academics, researchers and innovators who have distinguished themselves in their areas of expertise. Attendance is free of charge as the series is one of the ways that the university seeks to give back to the Cape Town community.
3. Acting DVC for Institutional Innovation
Professor Hugh Corder will become the Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Institutional Innovation with effect from 20 March. He takes over the role from Professor Francis Petersen, who has been appointed as the new Vice-Chancellor for the University of the Free State. Professor Corder has been Professor of Public Law at the University of Cape Town since 1987 and a Fellow of the University since 2004. He was the Dean of the Faculty of Law from January 1999 to December 2008. His main teaching and research interests fall within the field of constitutional and administrative law, particularly judicial appointments and accountability, and mechanisms to further administrative accountability.
4. Nominations open for 2017 Distinguished Teacher Awards
You are invited to submit nominations for the 2017 Distinguished Teacher Awards: the highest accolade awarded to teaching staff at all levels within the university in recognition of excellent teaching. Through the award, UCT acknowledges the primary place of teaching and learning in the university?s work. All full-time academic members of staff who have taught students at the institution for at least three years are eligible for the award.
Nominations should be submitted in the form of an email letter. The nomination should include details of excellence in teaching over a number of years and information about the nominee?s approach and where their strengths lie, for example, excellence in large class teaching, in laboratory instruction, in less formal teaching activities outside the classroom, or in an innovative teaching technique.
5. Clemency report
In accordance with the agreement signed on 6 November 2016 between members of the SRC Candidates / Shackville TRC and the executive, 12 students, who had been brought before the UCT Student Disciplinary Tribunal, found guilty and sanctioned, were entitled to apply for clemency. The agreement required them to sign a clemency declaration admitting to their actions, acknowledging that these actions were wrong, committing to refrain from such behaviour in future and agreeing to abide by the university?s code of conduct for students. A 13th student was charged, but did not register in 2016 and did not participate in the tribunal process. Eleven students signed the clemency agreement. Clemency only addressed the disciplinary sanctions, but in order for these 11 students to start the 2017 academic year, their academic record needed to be finalised. This required Faculty Examinations Committee processes to be finalised as some of the students wrote the exams, while others did not. The remaining consideration was the financial records of the students, and each was addressed on its own merits. In this regard, the principle was that students would not be financially disadvantaged as a result of disciplinary sanctions in 2016. After the completion of the academic and financial processes, all 11 students who signed the clemency agreement have been allowed to register for 2017.
6. Human Resources ESS downtime: 17?23 March 2017
As part of the Human Resources Department?s ongoing aim to enhance the efficiency of our service offerings, SAP HR Employee Self-Service (ESS) was launched to enable staff members to view their payslips and IRP5 forms online. At times, the SAP HR system requires limited downtime to ensure compliance through the application of legislative updates and to give effect to ongoing service improvements. It is in this context that ESS will be unavailable from 16:00 on Friday, 17 March, until 08:00 on Thursday, 23 March. This means that you will not be able to view your payslip or IRP5 during this time. Access will resume following this period.
7. Campus crime insights
UCT is an open campus, and a number of our properties ? particularly student residences ? are in residential areas that have experienced elevated crime levels over the past year. Unfortunately, crime is a reality in South Africa and Cape Town, and it can affect staff and students. As part of our ongoing work to improve safety on our campuses and in the surrounding neighbourhoods, UCT?s Safety and Violence Initiative, in coordination with Campus Protection Services (CPS), wants you to be aware of the following spots where recent criminal activity has been reported, particularly after dark:
Crimes reported in these areas are often related to petty theft. Sometimes the perpetrator may show a weapon or threaten violence. CPS advises that if you are confronted with a threatening situation, it is important to remember the following:
Please remember that your safety is the first priority. Safety guidelines are available to help you minimise the risk of crime when walking to and from campus.
8. Important phone numbers
Whether you are new to UCT or returning, here are some important numbers to have on your phone:
9. Water savings on campus
With new students on campus, we would like to remind you that severe water restrictions have been imposed by the City of Cape Town since 1 February. UCT has introduced four new measures to curb water use on its campuses: the Jammie shuttles will get a monthly dry-wash instead of their weekly sluicing; no windows will be washed in any buildings on campus; non-sport swimming pools (mainly at the residences) will not be topped up; and faculties and departments have been encouraged to stop washing pool and personal vehicles. We urge all colleagues and students to help UCT save water during this critical time.
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