I want to take this opportunity to inform you about an unfortunate incident that occurred at the University’s Kiaat Residence.
Three senior students of the University of Pretoria, who are residents of its Kiaat residence, allegedly made themselves guilty of gross misconduct with regard to the treatment of first year students. These senior students’ alleged conduct transgresses the University’s disciplinary code to a very serious extent, and is of such a nature that the University temporarily expelled the students from its campuses, pending a formal disciplinary process. If the students are formally found to be guilty, they may be expelled from the University permanently.
The University views such behaviour in a very serious light. In my address to new first year students and their parents at the beginning of the year, I unambiguously put the University’s policy. “I need to state clearly that … degrading practices [towards] first year students, including students that live in the residences, are prohibited at this university. The University is very serious about this matter, and has taken all possible steps to ensure that it does not occur.…Unfortunately, it may happen from time to time that a few senior students transgress in this regard. I would like to appeal to you to please bring any such practices, in the unlikely event that they should occur, under our attention immediately so that we can deal with the guilty and rectify the situation.”
I would like to emphasis again that such behavior is totally unacceptable. The University is doing everything in its power to create a culture wherein such behaviour is not tolerated. I would like to invite you again to please please bring such incidents, that may happen despite the University’s efforts to the contrary, to our attention as soon as possible.
Prof Calie Pistorius
Vice-Chancellor and Principal
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