The University of Pretoria decided to abolish the annual Pot & Pons student tradition, an initiative of TuksRag in collaboration with TuksRes, on Wednesday, 17 September.
“After receiving various complaints about the possible abolishment of Pot & Pons, we sent a letter to Prof Mosia, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs. In response to the letter the Department of Student Affairs called a meeting with AfriForum Youth and TuksRag,” said Rochelle Oosthuyse, Chairperson of AfriForum Youth Tuks.
According to Oosthuyse, the Department argued that alcohol was abused during the previous Pot & Pons celebrations and this was the main reason for their decision.
TuksRag Management compiled a presentation with various proposals regarding safety regulations for the use of alcohol, which was discussed during the meeting. One of the proposals in the presentation is that punch will only be served every two hours. The alcohol percentage allowed in the punch would also be lowered drastically. However, Prof Mosia disregarded the proposal the following day.
“Besides the fact that we presented them with new ideas to ensure the responsible use of alcohol during the event, UP Management was not accommodating. There will now be a big void where there was previously a day filled with culture, fun and unity,” said one of the TuksRag members.
According to a letter sent by Prof Mosia, Management does not recognize the value of this tradition. The letter also states that the tradition is not in line with the vison, mission and values of the University and that Management will continue to act in the best interest of the students, even if students do not agree with the decision.
Cassie Rossouw, member of the Mopanie House Committee, Rag portfolio responded by saying: “Tuks enforces their own goals without taking students’ reaction into consideration.”
According to Oosthuyse, students are unhappy that Management made yet another decision without involving or consulting them.
“We don’t see why this tradition should be taken away. Our promise to students is that we will fight for the preservation of healthy student traditions and therefore we will continue to demand more factual reasons for the decision, especially after regulations were presented to Management.”
There are already rumours about more changes regarding Rag.