TB Davie Memorial Lecture and other updates

16 August 2023

Dear colleagues and students

The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Academic Freedom Committee will host the 57th annual TB Davie Memorial Lecture on Wednesday, 23 August 2023. Read about this and other recent developments on campus.

1. TB Davie Memorial Lecture

Professor Sakhela Buhlungu, Professor of Sociology and current Vice-Chancellor of the University of Fort Hare (UFH), will present the annual TB Davie Memorial Lecture on Wednesday, 23 August 2023. The lecture is titled “Academic Freedom and Institutional Autonomy: A View from the Thyume Valley”.

The lecture will identify four moments that marked the introduction of ethnic education and assault on academic freedom at UFH – the Extension of University Act of 1959, the appointment of Broederbonder Professor JM De Wet in 1968, the closure and subsequent annexation of the Federal Theological Seminary to UFH in 1974/5, and the handing over of the university to the Ciskei Bantustan in 1981. These developments had a debilitating effect on the university, which the current administration still has to contend with today. He will present four propositions about academic freedom and institutional autonomy in the current conjuncture in South Africa.

2. Honouring Uyinene and continuing the fight against SGBV

UCT will join the Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation’s unity walk on Saturday, 26 August 2023 in remembrance of the late first-year student and many others who lost their lives due to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). The walk will start at the Roscommon Residence at 09:00 and proceed to the Clareinch Post Office. UCT staff and students are encouraged to wear branded t-shirts representing their societies. After the march, transport will be provided from the post office back to the lower campus bus stop.

The walk is a gathering to commemorate and celebrate the life of Uyinene, a beacon of hope and inspiration whose tragic passing in 2019 shook our campus and changed the lives of her family and friends forever. Beyond serving as a commemoration of Uyinene’s life, the walk will show support for everyone affected by SGBV as we stand as a unified community with students and staff from the Western Cape in the commitment to eradicate SGBV.

3. ICTS scheduled maintenance on Sunday, 20 August

Please note that Sunday, 20 August 2023, will be an ICTS scheduled maintenance slot from 09:00 to 17:00. Unless advised to the contrary, do not expect any on-premise ICT services to be available for the duration of the maintenance slot. Cloud-based services, including Amathuba, email, Microsoft 365 services, and ServiceNow are not impacted and will still be accessed.

Please remember to consult the scheduled ICTS maintenance slots page before planning any teaching, conferences, meetings, etc. that require ICT services.

For more information, see the article on why ICTS schedules regular monthly maintenance slots.

4. UCT’s SGBV indaba ongoing

The next session in the 2023 UCT Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) Indaba will take place on Thursday, 24 August 2023, from 17:00 to 20:00 at Leo Marquard Residence on lower campus.

The session, “Defining what can men do differently and implications for male residences in UCT?”, forms part of the month-long series of events in the indaba hosted by UCT’s Office for Inclusivity & Change (OIC). It will be presented by Professor Divine Fuh, Daniel Munene, Onthatile Modise and Amandla Lurani.

The UCT SGBV Indaba was curated with multivocality and interdisciplinarity in mind. This is so that UCT hears from various voices that seldom find expression in one space. The indaba will draw from multiple disciplines to interrogate the university’s current practices.

5. Participate in the SWS Wellness Drive

The Department of Student Affairs (DSA) through the Student Wellness Service (SWS) division, will host a Student Wellness Drive from Wednesday, 23 August to Saturday, 26 August 2023. The four-day exhilarating and invigorating series of events and exhibitions aim to promote a healthy lifestyle amongst students.

SWS has partnered with a range of internal and external stakeholders who will create awareness on various healthcare challenges. They will also showcase health and wellness services available to support students’ healthy lifestyle choices.

6. UCT course on sexual misconduct for students

The OIC has introduced a course on sexual misconduct for students on the Amathuba platform. The UCT Sexual Misconduct Policy Education self-paced course seeks to increase understanding of what SGBV is. Included in this course is a view of university disciplinary processes and support services. The course is available in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa.

7. University of the Future call for ideas

The University of the Future (UoF) project steering committee invites all staff and students to submit ideas to contribute towards shaping UCT’s developmental strategic roadmap following the launch of the UoF project as part of our Vision 2030 two months ago. This is an exciting opportunity to rethink, redesign and realign UCT’s current spaces and services to be fit for purpose and fit for the future.

The guidelines, requirements, themes, and eligibility criteria can all be found on the UoF challenge ideas webpage. The committee will be embarking on a university wide roadshow between August and October 2023 to assist colleagues and students with conceptualising their ideas. Ideas should be submitted by Tuesday, 31 October 2023.

Ideas which the committee selects for further development will be showcased at an exhibition in early 2024. Following the exhibition, a further set of curated proposals will then be prepared for submission to relevant UCT committees and council subcommittees for implementation.

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