The South African public sector is reported to be doing badly as far as service delivery is concerned and SRC in this campus is no different at all.
Every year and whenever the varsity reopens, at least all SRC members are expected to be available in their offices to attend student issues – but the second day after this semester opening was a story to tell.
I went to the SRC office to enquire about something which a lot of students have or had a problem with – time-table. Six students came and found me waiting and they finally left because there was no SRC member to assist them. I stood there patiently thinking to myself that they would come and help me quickly but they didn’t. It was after I waited more than thirty minutes that three of them came.
In their response to “what must I do if four of my classes were clashing”? One SRC member SRC replied: “hey, o rata sekolo neh…”
I thought to myself that maybe he didn’t understand why I came here in the first place hence his response to my question. To some extent, having waited for such a long time and for an SRC member to say what he said – it somewhat justified why many students would not got to SRC offices about their problems.
On my way from there I met a colleague, which I told what happened at the SRC offices. “You should go to the relevant people. Those people know thing,” he said.
I went to their offices first because one SRC member once told me that: “You need to come past our office first with whatever issues you have. You can’t just go to Rector’s office without us knowing. If we can’t solve your problem it’s then we can take it forward. Protocols must be followed.”
One wonders how often RSC offices are left unattended by it’s members. Irrespective of whether they are attending a meeting or conference, at least one member should be available at the office to attend students’ issues.
If the SRC was a profit-making business – it would have lost a lot of money and maybe losing its loyal customers to its competitors.
If this trend of unattended offices continues – it is likely that students will no longer see the importance of the SRC members and not only that, but also as a representative student body or structure.
This article was written for publication on North West university, Mafikeng campus’s The Album newspaper before it was cancelled last year, 2007.