I, like many other students, felt a sense of disbelief at the results. What happened to the old SASCO? What happened to deep institutional change promised from the parties of the past? How have student issues moved from serious social concerns to where we can get free WiFi? Do simple solutions like this really address the underlying inequality in race, gender, culture, class, nationality and sexuality? We need to constantly question proposed solutions to make sure they are not just false promises aimed to placate students.
It is worrying that for many students the decision to vote was clear and party specific. Having a good mix of representations is a good thing – it allows for the representation of different people from different backgrounds with different needs.
In any case, congratulations to DASO. A success such as this is not without its hard work. They also now have to prove themselves and deliver all the promises they have made – promises that were conveyed in writing on social media so that we can all hold them accountable. A successful leadership structure can only be credible if WE deem it so. It is up to the students, other parties and the media to ensure we are not side-lined. We will definitely be keeping our ears to the ground at Perdeby, and we hear that other groups will be doing the same.
Talking about change, the editorial had the opportunity to attend the Duke Menell Media Exchange after our last edition. We watched panel discussions with the leading people in South African media and those that are pushing the boundaries of the profession. Here we got new ideas for the coming year so that we can continue to bring the students of UP the best service we can. It made the changing nature of the media and the growing importance of the media as the whistle blowers of society more evident to us. Trump even recently said that the media was a more formidable opposition than the Democrats. I think that’s what Perdeby needs to be for the students – a credible source of information that provides students with the truth of all that happens on campus. Journalists often fall into the trap of reflecting issues at face value, but good journalists will uncover the deeper meanings to show a more complete truth.
Change is good, and campus seems to be full of it. I believe that all things new need to build on the old, but it can be difficult to enforce change. As a wise fortune cookie once advised me, “Do not give up, the beginning is always the hardest.”