North-West University: Further information regarding the handling of an alleged incident related to a female residence on the Potchefstroom Campus

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The North-West University (NWU) management is seriously concerned about the allegations which surfaced over the past weekend about the programme proceedings of a residence event on the Potchefstroom Campus. The programme allegedly excluded some students from participating and feeling welcome at the event.

Since the matter was reported to management, we immediately intervened, and a first meeting was held on Monday, 12 September, including students who were aggrieved about the alleged incident. During this meeting it was decided that the matter will immediately be addressed together with the Student Campus Council, the house committee as well as the residence parent of the affected residence. The first meeting in this regard already took place on the evening of 12 September. During this meeting certain resolutions were taken as to how to address the matter.

It also became evident that certain students in the residence are concerned about other matters which they view as exclusionary. This is viewed in a very serious light. The university continuously commits itself in creating an environment where all staff and students feel welcome regardless of race, religion, language, and sexual orientation. Any practice that is exclusionary or makes any section of the NWU students, staff or stakeholders feel unwelcome will not be tolerated and is condemned in the strongest possible terms.

The NWU’s stance has always been that language should never be used as a way of excluding stakeholders in whatever event. The NWU has four official languages, English, Afrikaans, Setswana and Sesotho, and none of these should ever be used to exclude participation in an event.

Management wants to request all involved parties, as well as other groupings and organisations, to allow us the opportunity to handle the matter and to put measures in place to prevent the re-occurrence of any such situation, whether at this specific residence or any other NWU event or residence.

It must also be stated that the statement released by the Student Campus Council in which they indicated that the primaria was relieved of her duties, created the wrong impression. She was never relieved of her duties, nor was she suspended. However, she has, out of her own free will decided to step down, pending the announcement of the new house committee, which was announced on Wednesday, 14 September 2022. We will continue to address this matter internally to find sustainable solutions.

The NWU is known for creating a home away from home environment for all our students, and this will always be our approach.

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