Monday, April 14, 2008
Reitz Back To Normal
I went to the Reitz Hostel yesterday to see the thornbushes and plastic chair barricade, and was surprised that everyone was back to normal. Surprised because the media had led me to believe that the hostel would close down. Also the dean's full page apologies in various publications left me with a sense that 'changes' were on the cards. When the news broke people in Bloem called it a 'storm in a teacup', after all, as we all know, the video was made months earlier, and the release was also strategic. For those who debated the "storm in a teacup" label, well, what has happened to the storm subsequently? Well, a little and a lot.
I am friends with a researcher at UFS tasked with setting up/proposing a year long induction programme. As I've mentioned before, one of their strategems is to show the movie Horton Hears A Who to prospective students. This to me is an innovative and creative response to a crappy problem. How do you get people to integrate who would rather not? Horton addresses this issue cleverly and with a sense of humor (people are people no matter how small etc etc).
What was interesting was actually turning up at this corner of the university and snapping a few shots. Next thing two black students happened by and I (an 8 year veteran at UFS) asked them:
"So I understand there are some places you may not walk...where is this?" So they pointed out an arbitrary strip of cemented paving that was banned alongside the public strip.
Whilst chatting to them I noticed a white student sunning himself outside his room. I thought I might talk to him except that not long after he gave me a gut-wrenching glare, the blackest of looks, and moments later slammed his door so hard Naval Hill collapsed on itself.
Obviously the Reitz guys are not happy about how they have been portrayed (subsequent to their own portrayals of themselves). Obviously this oke's attitude doesn't help change the moody, backwater label that's starting to stick.
I will be starting a blog titled my UFS to create a forum for all students to address their issues. Apparently a blog was started, until the Dean's daughter's details were published (or something) along with promises to deflower her.
This blog will be indepedently created and...well, we'll see if it can do some good. I hope so. Personally I feel UFS (architecturally and to some extent culturally) is stuck in the late 60's.