Yearbooks

Code of conduct: Meetings

  1. POINTS OF DEPARTURE

The University of Pretoria is a reflection of the society it functions in and is therefore subject to the processes affecting it. These processes may cause differences of opinion and inherent tensions. In accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, it is the University of Pretoria’s mission to foster a culture of freedom of speech and free expressions of opinion on campus. This mission however, can only be brought to fruition in an environment where all parties practice this right while simultaneously accepting the accompanying responsibilities. Staff members and students have the right to express their disagreement or satisfaction with particular views or actions but on specific conditions. The conditions include:

·            a sensitivity for the rights of others

·            respect for political, cultural and religious differences

·            tolerance of opposing opinions.

Free speech should also honour individual privacy, dignity and personal choice. Commitment to this regulation implies that students and staff members accept these responsibilities and that they conform to them.

B.      AIM

To agree on the details of a code of conduct with a view to ensuring the continued and responsible exercising of freedom of speech and expression of opinion during meetings.

 

C.      DEFINITIONS

1.      Speakers

         Persons from within or outside the University, irrespective of their political or other affiliations, who are invited to address staff members, students and the general public on University premises or to participate in any prearranged function or action.

 

2.      Convener

  1. In the case of invitations to participate in organised student activities, irrespective of whether the meeting was scheduled in advance, the convener is the SRC and/or the student body which issued the invitation.
  2. In the case of invitations to participate in meetings or programmes that do not form part of student activities, the convener is the person and/or the organisation who issued the invitation.

 

3.      During the proceedings

3.1    The official proceedings is the period that follows on the announcement by the chairperson or convener of the meeting of the commencement of the proceedings, or his or her attempts to make such an announcement, and lasts until the chairperson or convener announces that the proceedings have ended. For this purpose the customary time allowed for questions is considered to be part of the official proceedings.

3.2    For the purposes of this code of conduct the concept “during the meeting or a gathering” has a corresponding meaning.

4.      Protest

         Protest as intended in paragraph E of this code of conduct and which is made in the prescribed manner during the proceedings, or at some other appropriate time, in terms of the organiser’s rules of procedure.

5.      Unauthorised protest

         Protest which does not conform to the definition and other rules of procedure contained in this code of conduct.

6.      Applicant

         A staff member or a student of the University, or an organisation affiliated with the SRC, who applies to the organisers for the protest.

7.                         SRC

         The Students’ Representative Council of the University of Pretoria as elected and constituted in terms of the Constitution of the SRC and the Students’ Senate.

8.      University authority

         The Rectorate or any other organ or division of the University, including, where applicable, an authorised staff member of the University.

9.                         Invitations

9.1    In accordance with a particular situation, all invitations to speakers are issued by the convener after consultation with the University authorities.

9.2    Notwithstanding any provision in this code, the Rectorate can, if it is of the opinion that a particular meeting will have a detrimental effect on or will endanger the orderly course of teaching and research and the maintenance of order and discipline, either prohibit the issuing of particular invitations or demand that they be withdrawn.

10.    Guests of the University

         For the purposes of this code of conduct speakers are considered to be guests of the University who should always be afforded courtesy and be treated in accordance with the civilised norms and the standards the University attempts to uphold.

D.      RESPONSIBILITIES: CONVENERS

1.    The convener has the following responsibilities:

(a)     The safety and wellbeing of speakers from the moment they enter the University premises until they leave the premises after their visit.

(b)     The control of admission to all meetings, adhering to the policy provisions laid down by the Council in this regard.

(c)     The provision of information to the chairperson of a meeting to familiarise him or her with his or her obligations in terms of this code of conduct. The chairperson or convener must inform those present adequately beforehand of the content of this code.

(d)    All reasonable measures and precautions required to ensure the orderly course of the proceedings.

(e)     The conveners may request that the Department Security Services should render support in the execution of the obligations mentioned in D.1(a), (b) and (d), provided that

(i)   a written application for support is submitted beforehand to the Department Security Services;

(ii)  the obligations to be taken over by the Department Security Services are clearly defined and agreed upon in writing; and

(iii) The Department Security Services is exclusively responsible for the matters taken over in terms of D.1(e)(ii).

(f)      The conveners are responsible for collating and making available all information and confirmatory proof regarding the infringement of this code of conduct in any manner, and for submitting the details thereof to the Registrar within three days, provided that the Department Security Services bears the responsibility for the matters taken over in terms of paragraph D.1(e)(i) – (iii). Measures taken by the conveners for the purposes of fulfilling the obligations mentioned in paragraph D.1(a) – (e) must comply with the policy provisions laid down by the University in regard to the control of admission and the protection of University premises.

E.      PROTEST AND OTHER ACTIONS

  1. Besides the protest that is permitted in terms of paragraph E.4, all other forms of protest or actions intended to disrupt a meeting, or which have that effect, are not permissible during the proceedings.

2.      Subject to the provisions of paragraphs C.1.10 and E.1, it is permissible to display placards, banners and flags, carried by protestors, before or after the proceedings, provided that no placards, banners, flags or slogans may be displayed against University buildings.

3.      Subject to the provisions of paragraphs C.1.10 and E.1, it is permissible to shout slogans, sing songs and to utter lyrics before or after the proceedings. (As long as the slogans shouted do not amount to hate speech)

4.      It is permissible to register protest during a meeting, provided that the following condition is fulfilled in all respects:

Applicants must give the organisers written notice of their intention to register protest 10 working days before the commencement of a meeting. It is regarded as an essential condition of a proper notice that the written notice be accompanied by the full text of the protest note.

          5. The following requirements apply to the protest note mentioned in par. E.4:

(i)      The protest note must be in the form of a press release and must be read aloud by the applicant as prescribed in paragraphs E.6 and E.7.

(ii)     The content of the protest note may not be directed at the speaker in his or her personal capacity.

(iii)    The applicant accepts full responsibility for the content of the protest note and the conveners give permission for its delivery at the applicant’s risk.

6.      It is within the sole jurisdiction of the conveners to determine the order arrangements for the meeting and everyone present is subject to these arrangements.

7.      If an application to protest does not comply with all the requirements set out in paragraphs E.4(a), E.5 and E.9 such a protest shall be considered to be unauthorised and shall not be permitted, provided that if an application to protest does comply with the requirements, the conveners are obliged, subject to the provisions of paragraph E.8, to allow the protest during the proceedings or at some other appropriate time.

8.      The maximum time that shall be allowed for protest during a meeting is five minutes, provided that if more than one applicant wants to register protest, the time can be extended to a maximum of 10 minutes and that applicants who represent groups can be given precedence.

9.      In the case of protest being registered by more than one person, the conveners of the meeting can, in accordance with the particular circumstances, request the applicants to reduce their notes of protest in order that the protests may be registered and completed within the time limits.

F.      APPLICATION

         The code of conduct is applicable to

  1. all staff members of the University, irrespective of whether they have a permanent, part-time or temporary appointment;

(b)     all registered students of the University; and

(c)     groups and organisations of which registered students are members or in whose activities or management registered students participate, irrespective of whether the group or organisation concerned is affiliated to the SRC.

G.     INFRINGEMENTS

  1. This code of conduct has the status of a regulation and the infringement of any of its provisions is justiciable in terms of the Rules laid down by the Council of the University in accordance with Article 13 of the University of Pretoria, Article 36 of the Higher Education Act (Act No 101 of 1997) as well as the Statute of the University of Pretoria.

2.      If an organisation that is affiliated with the SRC infringes any of the provisions of this code of conduct in any manner, or attempts to do so, the SRC can decide to summarily terminate the affiliation of that organisation.

3.      Incitement or intimidation of groups or individuals to infringe this code of conduct shall be regarded to be an infringement thereof, and such infringement shall, in accordance with the particular case, be dealt with in terms of paragraphs G.1 and 2.


The information published here is subject to change and may be amended after the publication of this information. The General Regulations (G Regulations) apply to all faculties of the University of Pretoria. It is expected of each student to familiarise himself or herself well with these regulations as well as with the information contained in the General Rules section. Ignorance concerning these regulations and rules will not be accepted as an excuse for any transgression.

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