Boys 'rewarded' for sleeping with the most girls at UP res – EFF students
20 June 2016, 17:06
Pretoria - Members of the Economic Freedom Fighters Student
Command (EFFSC) have accused the University of Pretoria of not doing enough to
end the culture of patriarchy at the institution. The organisation has also
claimed that the "degrading" initiation of first-year students is
still rife at the university’s residences.
"A guy can't swipe his student card at the female
residences, but a girl can swipe herself into male residences," EFFSC
transformation officer Onthatile Marang said.
She said residence culture at the university was
problematic, as it encouraged patriarchal behaviour to go unabated.
"There is a residence called Kollegetehuis where the
boys are rewarded for sleeping with the most girls. If you've slept with the
same girl for two months, they will make you sit on a bachelor's bench. They
also sing songs about how hard the guys should fuck the girls," she said.
"There is a pool table where girls can't play unless
they are topless. It encourages a very patriarchal environment. If you're gay,
you're excluded from res culture," she said.
A student, who asked not to be named, confirmed to News24
that Kollegetehuis, one of the oldest residences at the institution, did
encourage and reward male students for sleeping with females in their numbers.
Behind closed doors
"It's a first-year thing. There is a title that one
gets at the end of the year for having slept with the most girls," said
Marang said students who refused to participate in these
activities were assaulted.
"The university claims they have denounced [this
culture], but if you look at what is happening, res culture still continues.
First years in their first week go through orientation and its extremely
degrading. They have to greet statues, wake up in the morning to greet the [res
leaders]. The university endorses those things. In male residences, they have
to drink urine mixed with eggs," Marang said.
Another student who used to live at one of the university's
residences said he decided to move out because of the degrading nature of res
culture and tradition. He said in his first year they were told that they were
never to practice or repeat in public some of the things they had been taught.
"I used to stay at Boekenhout and the problem I had was
that there were very [few] black people staying there, 70% of the people were
white. We used to wake up in the morning and had to make coffee for the senior
guys. We were expected to greet statues and that is one thing I hated. We had
to greet our seniors in a certain way and were not allowed to do that when
there were external people," he said.
Speaking on the lack of transformation at the institution,
Marang cited the example of Sonop residence, where only two of the students who
live there are black. Marang said when they raised issues of transformation and
questioned the allocation of rooms at Sonop, the university excluded the
residence from participating in Serrie, an inter-residence cultural activity
"Not only did they exclude Sonop, they excluded Tuks
Naledi, a residence at the Mamelodi campus. There are no white students staying
at the Mamelodi residences, but the university excluded it saying it was not
transformed," she said.
University spokesperson Anna-Retha Bouwer said the
institution did not allow practices that the violate rights and dignity of
"Practices which violate the rights and dignity of
students are not allowed in any of our residences. All so-called student
initiation practices are banned at the University of Pretoria residences, on
penalty of expulsion and/or dismissal. Only approved sports and cultural
activities, in which students or residences participate voluntarily, are
permissible," she said.
Bouwer denied claims that certain students had access to all
residences. She called on students who have been at the receiving end of
ill-treatment to report the incidents to management so that action could be
taken against those in the wrong.
"Male and female students have access only to their own
residences and no student has unrestricted access to any other residence. The
university investigates every allegation of abuse and ill-treatment of
first-year and female students at its residences. To this end, the university
calls on all students, staff, parents and the general public to bring to its
attention any incidents which threaten or violate the dignity and safety of our
students," Bouwer said responding to claims of initiation rituals and
awarding of prizes to male students for their sexual conquests.
Below is the full statement that was issued by the
university, in reaction to News24's request for comment:
The University has taken note of unverified reports in the
media, regarding alleged misconduct and contravention of University policy in
some residences. The University will not tolerate any conduct that violates the
rights of students and staff. The safety of all students including female
students is a priority for the University
The University of Pretoria is committed to comprehensive
transformation, including on campus and in residences, curriculum reform and
language policy. For this reason the University has been engaging in structured
consultations and discussions with all stakeholders. These discussions have
been structured into three work streams focusing on language policy, curriculum
reform and residence and campus culture.
Earlier this year, the University welcomed representations
from the student LGBTI community. On the basis of these, the University
has been reviewing all sexual harassment policies so as to improve prevention
strategies against sexual violence, create an enabling environment for
effective reporting, facilitate swifter response times as well as provide the
necessary support for whistleblowers and survivors. University management meets
regularly with the SRC and other student formations, including those
representing students in residences.
Practices which violate the rights and dignity of students
are not allowed in any of our residences. All so-called student initiation
practices are banned at the University of Pretoria residences, on penalty of
expulsion and/or dismissal. Only approved sports and cultural activities, in which
students or residences participate voluntarily, are permissible.
Male and female students have access only to their own
residences and no student has unrestricted access to any other residence.
The University investigates every allegation of abuse and
ill-treatment of first year and female students at its residences. To this end,
the University calls on all students, staff, parents and the general public to
bring to its attention any incidents which threaten or violate the dignity and
safety of our students.
Transformation is not an event but a journey. This is
especially true for the transformation of behaviour, attitudes and culture. The
residence culture, campus culture and curriculum
reform work streams are continuing with their work of engagement, consultation
and the active imagination of different and a better University. Tremendous
strides have been made thus far, and we will continue in our pursuit to truly
reflect the spirit of our constitution and our democracy.