The University of Pretoria (UP) decided on 17 May to discontinue yet another student tradition on campus. Serrie – a longstanding student tradition – was scrapped because it apparently creates a rape culture at the University. This follows after students complained over inappropriate posters that some men had held up during the women’s performances.
Although AfriForum Youth strongly condemns the crassness of these posters, the organisation is of the opinion that rules should be put in place to prevent these contentious acts by a few individuals rather than discontinuing the tradition as a whole.
“The decision to discontinue Serrie in essence punishes those students who have worked hard to participate in a constructive student tradition, instead of punishing a few individuals who cannot behave themselves,” says Jaco Grobbelaar, AfriForum Youth’s Tuks Coordinator.
Grobbelaar also says that the decision to terminate Serrie was only taken by management without even considering the inputs from hostel leaders. He is of the opinion that the fuss around the incident was created by political parties who drive their own agendas on campus.
“A specific political party on the UP campus confirmed that they had sent photographers to the Serrie event with the aim of taking pictures and sending it to the media. There were attempts already in 2016 to have Serrie discontinued because it apparently wasn’t transformative enough. This year, political parties on campus have simply changed their angle. It is very clear to us that they drive an agenda to remove student traditions on campus and that UP management adheres to these false agendas,” Grobbelaar says.
“According to our information, students who complained about the inappropriate posters never intended for Serrie to be scrapped, but only that the guilty persons should be brought to book. For this reason it is clear to us that the University’ management only listens to the whims of politicians and does not care about the students who are affected by these decisions,” says Renier Goosen, Afriforum Youth’s Tuks Branch Chairperson.
UP students started a petition against the discontinuation of Serrie. Go to https://www.petitions24.com/bring_back_serrie to let your voice be heard.