Stellies to address gender violence on campus

Dominic Adriaanse

STELLENBOSCH University (SU) says a task team set up to investigate gender violence on the campus will in all probability need to focus on certain traditions and practices in male residences.

This comes after the Student Representative Council (SRC) handed a memorandum to university management on Tuesday demanding changes to put a stop to a campus rape culture.

Dr Birgit Schreiber, senior director of Student Affairs, who heads up a newly created task team set up to investigate issues around gender violence, acknowledged that just like the rest of the country, there is a culture of rape at SU.

“We need to do more as an institution,” she said.

Stellenbosch University spokesperson Martin Viljoen said: “The task team will most probably also need to focus on certain traditions and practices in male residences.”

Yesterday, the campaign brought about 300 students to the university’s Rooiplein, with the hashtag #EndRapeCulture spreading on social media and campus.

Some of the issues raised included:

l Certain university activities and residence traditions which objectified women;

l The safety of students on and off campus;

l How support structures function; and

l How the rape culture is addressed at the institution.

Farai Mubaiwa handed the memorandum over to management on behalf of the SRC.

Viljoen said management and their task team would study and discuss the demands.

“The CSCD is instructed to treat students with the utmost care and any other practice is not standard. Students are urged to report cases where they feel they have not been treated fairly,” said Viljoen.

“The stats on our campuses are not a secret and can be made available,” said Viljoen.

Open Stellenbosch member Chantelle Croeser said more drastic steps would be taken if demands are not met by the deadline of next Friday.

“The treatment students receive from residence heads and councillors mean many cases go unreported. We demand the removal of the ‘men in black’ (private security) as they would rather objectify the female students and victimise protesters.”

Croeser said the demand for increased security is so students can feel safer – not victimised or threatened – in the spaces they move in.



Independent News Online

Source:  Independent News Online

Please help us to raise funds so that we can give all our students a chance to access online teaching and learning. Covid-19 has disrupted our students' education.  Don't let the digital divide put their future at risk. Visit to donate