RE: "‘RHODES MUST FALL!' SYMPTOM OF A FAILING STATE" - POLITICSWEB, 4 APRIL 2015
7 April 2015
In "‘Rhodes Must Fall!' Symptom of a Failing State" (Politicsweb, 4 April 2015), Mike Berger suggests what he thinks the University of Cape Town should have done in terms of opening up debate and "holding a referendum" in response to the Rhodes statue. He advises this as if UCT has done none of it.
The facts are that UCT has engaged in an intensive four-week-long public programme to encourage debate about the future of the Rhodes statue as well as other statues, building names and other symbols that affect the institutional climate at UCT, and how these affect the sense of inclusiveness or alienation felt by staff or students.
UCT has called on forums throughout campus to express their views on the statue through the #Haveyoursay campaign. This has already generated widespread response. The university has also held a university assembly and has organised a special meeting of Convocation, a workshop with academic heads as well as a meeting with Professional and Administrative Support Staff. This has allowed staff, students and alumni to express their views. Members of the public have also participated.
UCT values all views as it enriches debate. It is through discussions, open and rigorous debate and listening to a diversity of views that our collective wisdom is shaped.
Executive Director: Communications and Marketing Department
University of Cape Town
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