Disruption of classes and other updates

04 October 2017 | Campus Announcement

Dear colleagues and students

This campus announcement aims to inform members of the University of Cape Town community about:

1. Provisional suspension order served after class disruptions

On Tuesday morning, 3 October 2017, a group of five people, including students, disrupted several classes on upper campus. Campus Protection Services responded and prevented further attempts at disruption.

On Wednesday, 4 October 2017, one of the students who was identified as being part of the group was served with a provisional suspension order. The student has been invited to make representations before the Vice-Chancellor’s nominee on Friday, 6 October 2017, at 10:00 at a scheduled suspension hearing. The student has been informed that if they fail to attend this the university will seek a final order in this regard. All relevant documents have been forwarded to the student. Following the suspension hearing, a disciplinary process will proceed against this student.

In addition, charges have been laid against this particular student with the South African Police Service. The student is the subject of a disciplinary process currently underway in relation to a previous transgression of the UCT student disciplinary code.

Efforts to identify the other members of the group will continue. Anyone with information should please contact Steven Ganger on 021 650 2226.

It is important to note that protest and peaceful strike action are a constitutional right that will be upheld and protected by UCT. However, disrupting or interfering with the business of the institution is unlawful.

2. Concessions for music events to be retracted

The acting dean of the Faculty of Humanities, in conjunction with the faculty executive, has asked course conveners to review and retract any decision that may have been made to grant concessions to students based on the fact that they had purchased tickets for a music festival. He has also asked course conveners to ensure that all concessions granted comply with university policy.

In addition, the Senate Executive Committee (SEC), chaired by Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price, met on Monday, 2 October 2017, and agreed that the deputy vice-chancellor (DVC) responsible for the faculties would consult urgently with all faculty deans to develop a set of criteria to guide course conveners in the exercise of their discretion. Such a guideline aims to ensure a sufficient degree of procedural fairness, consistency, rationality, equity and justifiability in the process. The DVC will report on progress at the next SEC meeting in early November.

The decision is based on the resolution adopted by the SEC that attendance at a music event does not amount to “good cause” for an academic concession, and that the decision by the course convener raised concerns about fairness, consistency and equity across the system.


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