The whole “University of the Free State” thing and the dreaded A word

28 02 2008

The statement from our SRC president calling for those UFS students to be excluded from every university got me thinking along the same lines as the fee protests at Wits last year. What would Rhodes do if this was happening to us? We seem to be a relatively calm university when it comes to these issues, which I think should make us all count our blessings. But what is the real reason behind this? Shall we revert to the old-fashioned reasoning: we have too few students to care, the alcohol consumption rate is too high and keeps us busy enough as it is…or is simply the dreaded A-word: APATHY. I’m not saying we should all go out and protest against fees or racism; not at all. I find what the UFS students did really disgusting; but it makes me wonder why we don’t seem to stand up as much as other universities?

I’m all for peace and calmness so this is more a questioning of why Rhodes is the way it is, more than a call to extreme activism. I’m personally grateful that I go to university at a place where integrated residences are not a problem, that we might grumble about where our fees are going but we don’t necessarily need 6000 pitchforks for protesting.

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