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Neelsie Cinema revamped and ready to entertain Cinema revamped and ready to entertainInnovus & SUNCOM<p><span style="text-align:justify;">​The next time you go to the Neelsie, remember to take a peek into the newly-revamped Neelsie Cinema, which boasts a beautiful new look. The renovated multi-purpose space features two theatres – a 121-seater and a 98-seater – equipped with modern projectors and powerful surround sound and lighting. The luxurious seats with fold-away writing tables, will add to the multi-functionality of the venue and enhance the overall visitor experience. </span><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The auditorium is intimate enough for all kinds of celebrations and an ideal space to host a wide range of event types, including private screenings of films, corporate meetings, talks, workshops, fundraisers, launches, and birthday parties (from kids to milestone celebrations), and so much more. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">"It is the vision of Stellenbosch University to use the space to its maximum advantage and in turn, provide an unforgettable experience through a high-tech multi-functional venue for both students, as an integral part of the art community and film society, and the rest of the campus and corporate business partners," says Catherine Channing, manager of CECO (Central Events and Conferencing Office) which is now the new tenant of this space. Channing says they are planning exciting events, including a film festival in the next couple of months.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The iconic cinema will remain the hub for the Pulp Film Society, and regular film screenings for its members will continue. The society also has its own special area for members to enjoy.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">"The support so far has been wonderful," adds Channing, "and we are genuinely excited to see how the community utilise this beautiful space."​</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Bookings are open for events. Please email <a href=""></a> for any enquiries.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"> <img alt="" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><img alt="" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p><p>​<br></p>
Celebrating World Telecommunication and Information Society Day World Telecommunication and Information Society Day ICT<p></p><p>Today, we celebrate world telecommunication and information society day (WTISD), helping raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies and ways to bridge the digital divide. Today marks the anniversary of the signing of the <a href="">first International Telegraph Convention</a> in 1865 and the creation of the <a href="">International Telecommunication Union</a> (ITU) in 1969. The focus this year is Digital technologies for older persons and healthy ageing .</p><p>The ageing of the global population will be the defining demographic trend of the 21st century – yet our societies struggle to see the opportunities that this trend can unfold, writes Joe Smith, Stellenbosch University's Director: IT infrastructure. </p><p>"Telecommunications and information communication technologies (ICTs) have a role to play in achieving healthier ageing and helping people build smarter cities, combat age-based discrimination at the workplace, ensure the financial inclusion of older persons, and support millions of caregivers across the world. This year's theme raises awareness of the critical role of telecommunications/ICTs in helping people stay healthy, connected and independent - physically, emotionally and financially. Supporting a healthy ageing life is also essential to the sustainability of economic and health systems. The <a href="">International Telecommunication Union</a> (ITU) hopes to foster initiatives to accelerate digital technologies for older persons and healthy ageing to contribute to the <a href="">UN Decade of Healthy Ageing</a>.</p><p><strong>What is IT doing at SU?  </strong></p><p>SU staff who belong to the Stellenbosch University Retirement Fund during active employment, and decide to continue their employee benefits post-retirement, may retain the use of their e-mail addresses once retired. This gives access to several University systems like the library and all information available through the library portal. Online learning is available from <a href=""></a>. This enables staff and students of all ages to keep on learning as technology evolves. </p><p>Says Smith: "We strongly support lifelong learning to enable students, staff, and pensioners to embark on the digital transformation journey. Internet on Campus is available in abundance to enable students and staff to access learning material and online courses available on the Internet. In many instances, these online learning resources are available at no cost."</p><p> </p><p>Reference: <a href="">World Telecommunication and Information Society Day | United Nations</a></p><p> </p><p><br><br></p>
SU Equality Unit launches online reporting platform Equality Unit launches online reporting platformEquality Unit<p>​Students and staff of Stellenbosch University can now report unfair discrimination and harassment incidents on the newly launched online case management reporting platform.​<br></p><div>The Equality Unit, who spearheaded the initiative, worked carefully to develop a web-based platform that would allow complainants to report incidents, transgressions and complaints effortlessly, confidentially and safely.</div><div><br></div><div>"As part of our goal to strengthen the impact of the Equality Unit, it was important to ensure that the office was equipped with the most effective tools to aid them in undertaking their crucial mandate for our institution. I am therefore very pleased with the implementation of the online reporting platform which would enhance reporting and monitoring, and aid in the resolving of cases," said prof Deresh Ramjugernath, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Learning and Teaching.</div><div><br></div><div>The platform echoes reporting platforms implemented by other South African universities. The platform will create a more enabling environment to report incidents and provide SU with better insight into gender-based violence and forms of unfair discrimination. Better data management and centralised reporting functionality will result in a more effective way of controlling risks and acting on unfair discrimination and harassment incidents on campus.  </div><div><br></div><div>"The implementation of integrated case management and online reporting platform had become imperative. By enabling students and staff to report unfair discrimination and harassment matters, Stellenbosch University will better understand trends, strengthen accountability and enhance reporting to senior management. This will result in more effective control over risks within the campus environment and the ability to address matters promptly and responsibly.</div><div><br></div><div>"This reporting page gives staff and students greater agency to report anywhere and get support from the Equality Unit team and other support services," says Jaco Greeff Brink, head of the Equality Unit</div><div><br></div><div>The online reporting and monitoring platform further allows complainants to lodge incidents anonymously. However, this may delay proper assessment by the Equality Unit.</div><div><br></div><div>The platform assists in:</div><div>• providing a clear picture of potential risks;<br></div><div>• integrating existing data and information into a centralised database;</div><div>• creating focused awareness and understanding of matters reported; and</div><div>• enabling complainants to make informed decisions and access support services.</div><div> <br></div><div>It will seamlessly integrate reporting, monitoring and analysis.</div><div><br></div><div>Staff and students can still report incidents through the Unit's walk-in service or via <strong></strong> but are encouraged to make use of the web-based platform.</div><div><br></div><div>The Equality Unit hopes that introducing the online reporting and monitoring platform would encourage students and staff to come forward and report all incidents of unfair discrimination and harassment.</div><div><br></div><div>To lodge a complaint, visit<strong> </strong><a href=""><strong></strong></a>.<br></div><div><br></div>
Dr Ncebakazi Galada joins the Innovus Technology Transfer team Ncebakazi Galada joins the Innovus Technology Transfer teamInnovus & LaunchLab<p>​​​​Newly-appointed​ Technology Transfer Manager at Innovus, Dr Ncebakazi Galada, brings over a decade's experience in research and innovation management with her. Dr Galada holds an MBA and a PhD in Biotechnology.<br></p><p>Dr Galada is joining the Innovus team on their journey of technology transfer: assisting researchers, innovators, and entrepreneurs with identifying, protecting and managing intellectual property stemming from Stellenbosch University's research and innovation endeavours. She is passionate about translating ideas, research and innovation output into commercially viable products, processes and services.</p><p>Dr Galada says that she is excited about joining the vibrant Innovus team and looks forward to contributing her expertise to advance the already impressive innovation portfolio while learning and growing in the technology transfer profession.</p><p> </p><p>​<br></p>
Stellenbosch University’s campus marginally affected by taxi unrest University’s campus marginally affected by taxi unrestOperations and Finance<p>The South African Police Services (SAPS) impounded taxis in town and around the Stellenbosch University Campus, followed by taxi operators blocking crossings in town. Taxi drivers and supporters ran away from SAPS over parts of the campus.<br>Viljoen van der Walt, Stellenbosch University's Director of Risk and Protection Services, said there were reports of student vehicles being damaged by fleeing protestors. Van der Walt said those students affected, should report the incidents to Campus Security at 021 808 2333 and to SAPS.<br></p><p> </p><p>​<br></p>
Stellenbosch Alumni ready for Cape Epic for #Move4Food Alumni ready for Cape Epic for #Move4FoodPetro Mostert<p><span style="text-align:justify;">​Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic since 2020, Francois Swart and Robert van Staden had to keep the wheels rolling to ensure that they kept fit for the Absa Cape Epic. Now their time has finally arrived, and from 20 to 27 March, they will take on the 657 kilometres and 16 900 meters of climbing over 8 days, while raising awareness for Stellenbosch University's #Move4Food campaign. </span><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Swart, at Facilities Management, and Robert van Staden, at the Faculty of Education, joined forces to ride the arduous Cape Epic in 2020. Unfortunately, COVID-19 put an abrupt stop to their plans, seeing them put away the mountain bikes while in lockdown. After the race got a green light, they got back in the saddle and once again tried to juggle, work, family and training to get fit for this gruelling race. It will be Swart's 5th Cape Epic and Van Standen's 4th, and the first time they will ride together as a team for a charity.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Because no one knew when the race would happen, our riders had to also put their fundraising efforts on the back burner. They urge people to visit their charity site and donate to this student-led campaign that kicked off in August 2018 once again. The aim is to build food banks and end student hunger on SU's campuses. Students and Alumni across the country already took on challenges to raise funds for this worthy campaign, including SU's rector and vice-chancellor Prof Wim de Villiers, who will be riding the Cape Town Cycle tour on 13 March this year for #Move4Food.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Previously Swart said: "To think that one in every 100 students have no food to eat while studying at SU, is heart-breaking. How can you study and be academically successful while being hungry?" asked Swart. They encourage people to donate for this worthy cause. "It never crossed my mind that there will be students who have no food to eat. We need to raise as much awareness as possible for this campaign to ensure our students do not go a day without food and be academically successful. "</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"We will raise awareness and change the lives of students on campus," says Van Staden. "It is more than just riding a race. Every day that we train, we cannot help thinking how hard it must be for students who do not meet their basic needs. It will be the biggest reward if we could reach our goal for the campaign and complete the Epic without any injuries," says Van Staden.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Please donate" is the plea from the #Move4Food Epic team. "There is not a thing as a small donation - every bit and coin help." If you want to support the team in their fundraising stunt, please click <a href="">here</a>​</p><p>​<br></p>
Sibling duo set to change the world duo set to change the worldCorporate Communication and Marketing/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking - Sandra Mulder<p>​​​<br><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Sibling duo Neo Tsiu (24) and her brother, Modise (22), both who recently graduated during Stellenbosch University's (SU) hybrid graduation week, are now equipped to continue their dynamic journey as change agents together. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Having both been awarded a Diploma in Sustainable Development from SU's School of Public Leadership in the Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences on 14 December, the siblings are excited about their achievement and all the </p><p style="text-align:justify;">possibilities and opportunities that the future holds.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Going forward, they will leverage the close bond they have as siblings and their amazing ability to work excellently together, despite individual differences and diverse strengths.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Because of the small age gap, we were always able to relate to each other and share things that mattered to us as individuals. We were also able to be a source of comfort to each other when times were rough," said Modise.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>Inspiring podcast</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">An opportunity that they grabbed together was during the 2020 hard lockdown when boredom at home resulted in their creativity and innovative skills culminating in the creation of a podcast <a href="">called Panel N&M on Spotify</a>. The siblings hosted the podcast together, talking to their peers about challenges and social issues affecting their lives during that difficult time.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The interest in the podcast surpassed all their expectations, with more than 200 downloads of the episodes, said Neo. “People reached out to us, thanking us for the positive impact our podcast had on them and how it helped them through the emotional and mental strain that the hard lockdown had on them."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Modise said it is very humbling how their family, friends and other people expressed their appreciation for the podcast, sharing how much they enjoyed listening to it and how much they have learned from the siblings. “We touched on various topics, from our own personal stories to addressing social issues that we felt were relevant to talk about at that time. Topics such as the pandemic, love and relationships, Women's Day and more," he added.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The popularity of the podcast proved to the siblings that they could connect and communicate well with people and these skills helped them to gain knowledge and understanding of the diversity of people's backgrounds, emotions, needs and interests. They continued hosting several episodes throughout the lockdown. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The podcast is still running, but they could not add any new episodes because their academic programme demanded all their time and attention. “Nonetheless, we are going to start the podcast again soon and only need to get a few things together. This time it will be also available in video format," said Modise.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>Changing the world</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">This experience with their successful podcast led to the idea of starting their own sustainability consultancy firm, where they will help small businesses to get established in the green economy. “We are in the beginning phase of research and planning. We want to differentiate ourselves from the competition," said Neo.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The changes that the siblings would like to see the touch on social issues affecting most people in South Africa. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Modise wants to help lower the youth unemployment rate by finding ways to help young people use their talents and ambition. Neo wants to find ways of addressing the inequality still present in the country. “I would like to see an equal world, where the rich and the poor, people of all races, and people of all genders, have access to the same opportunities," she said.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">In the meantime, Neo will continue with postgraduate studies in sustainable development next year, while Modise will do his internship to gain work experience. But they will both find the time to meet at times and work on their business and podcast together.</p><p> </p><p> </p><p style="text-align:justify;">​​ </p><p>​<br></p>
Gender-based violence and human rights violence and human rightsDr Jill Ryan and Werner van Kerwel <p><span style="text-align:justify;">V</span><span style="text-align:justify;">iolence against women has increased significantly worldwide but has reached pandemic proportions in South Africa. Though there has been a concerted effort within our legislative climate to strengthen judicial response and access for victims, as per the recently amended laws aimed at Gender-based violence (GBV)</span><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_edn1" style="text-align:justify;"><sup>[i]</sup></a><span style="text-align:justify;">, we continue to see escalating rates of violence. Violence against women and children has constantly been highlighted as an issue of concern, which is to be understood where an intimate partner murders 1 in 4 women</span><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_edn2" style="text-align:justify;"><sup>[ii]</sup></a><span style="text-align:justify;">. Child abuse and neglect hold a significant contribution to the death of children under the age of 5</span><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_edn3" style="text-align:justify;"><sup>[iii]</sup></a><span style="text-align:justify;">.</span><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">However, violence is found to be pervasively interwoven into the spaces where all vulnerable and marginalised groups find themselves. These groups, which include people with disabilities, the elderly, refugees and asylum seekers, undocumented migrants, and many LGBTQIA+ individuals, are often overlooked and underserved due to ambiguous understanding of the law (such as sheltering undocumented persons) failed implementation<sup>.</sup> Furthermore, it is unquestionable that violence and marginalisation have seen a substantial increase amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, these increased acts of violence and poor implementation of prevention strategies and adequate response display a continuous violation of our fundamental human rights. Human rights are upheld in our national constitution and ratified international and regional commitments.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">During the 16 days of activism, the last day of the campaign commemorates International Human Rights Day, which allows for serious reflection when one considers what human rights are meant to afford us, contrary to the level of violence we currently face.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Gender-based violence is recognised as a transgression on an international level in violating rights outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ("UDHR"). Violence against women is a violation of Article 3 of the UDHR that provides the right to life, liberty and personal safety. Furthermore, Article 5 of the UDHR stipulates one's freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. It is clear from the UDHR that the most fundamental human rights seek to protect the dignity of individuals in society and safeguard human lives from degradation and unfair treatment, contrary to what we see in GBV.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">South Africa has ratified numerous international and regional commitments, calling for the protection of vulnerable persons through capacitating development, addressing inequality, providing social protection, targeted healthcare, and ultimately the elimination of violence. Some of these commitments include the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (African Charter), the Social Policy Framework for Africa, the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (the Maputo Protocol) amongst many others. Much of what is described in the above-mentioned treaties and obligations, are incorporated in the Constitution of South Africa under the Bill of rights. Nationally, laws directed at GBV include the Domestic Violence Act 116 of 1998, the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment (2012), The Maintenance Act 99 of 1998, and the Protection from Harassment Act 17 of 2011. These may display a clear political will towards addressing violence; however, government's underinvestment in resources and support<a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_edn4"><sup>[iv]</sup></a>, poor implementation through limited health services, inadequately trained police<a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_edn5"><sup>[v]</sup></a><sup>,</sup><sup>vi</sup>, and under resourced judicial services <a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_edn6"><sup>[vi]</sup></a> definitively undermine the progress we wish to see in addressing GBV.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">For 2021, the 16 days of Activism campaign celebrates its 30<sup>th</sup> anniversary and, aptly so, the theme for this year is 'from awareness to accountability'<a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_edn7"><sup>[vii]</sup></a>. Much groundwork has been laid in education and awareness. However, now is the time to begin a profound reflection on the roles we must play in combatting GBV. Recognising that we must engage in responsibility-sharing and not responsibility shifting, as violence is intersectional and permeates our society's fabric, making that not isolated to just one group or sector, but a matter that affects all.<br><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Authors:</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong><em>Dr Jill Ryan</em></strong><em> </em><em>is the coordinator for gender non-violence at the Equality Unit, under Learning and Teaching. In this portfolio, Dr. Ryan coordinates, supports, and conducts activities such as training, interventions, and liaising for a comprehensive institutional response to gender violence at Stellenbosch University.</em></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong><em>Werner van Kerwel</em></strong><em> </em><em>is a legal practitioner working as a case investigation support officer within the Equality Unit at Stellenbosch University (SU). At SU, Werner is responsible for the investigation of cases related to unfair discrimination, sexual harassment, harassment, and victimisation. Werner also sits on panel of enquiries focusing on further investigations into complaints.</em></p><p style="text-align:justify;"> <br></p><p><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_ednref1"><sup style="font-size:5pt;">[i]</sup></a><span style="font-size:5pt;"> </span><a href=""><span style="font-size:5pt;">South Africa: Broken Promises to Aid Gender-Based Violence Survivors | Human Rights Watch (</span></a></p><p><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_ednref2"><sup style="font-size:5pt;">[ii]</sup></a><span style="font-size:5pt;"> </span><a href=""><span style="font-size:5pt;">#SayHerName: The faces of South Africa's femicide epidemic - The Mail & Guardian (</span></a></p><p><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_ednref3"><sup style="font-size:5pt;">[iii]</sup></a><span style="font-size:5pt;"> Mathews, S., Martin, L. J., Coetzee, D., Scott, C., Naidoo, T., Brijmohun, Y., & Quarrie, K. (2016). The South African child death review pilot: A multiagency approach to strengthen healthcare and protection for children. </span><em style="font-size:5pt;">South African Medical Journal</em><span style="font-size:5pt;">, </span><em style="font-size:5pt;">106</em><span style="font-size:5pt;">(9), 895-899.</span></p><p><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_ednref4"><sup style="font-size:5pt;">[iv]</sup></a><span style="font-size:5pt;"> </span><a href=""><span style="font-size:5pt;">CGE_Report_on_Shelters_2019.20.pdf (</span></a></p><p><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_ednref5"><sup style="font-size:5pt;">[v]</sup></a><span style="font-size:5pt;"> </span><a href=""><span style="font-size:5pt;">hbf_saps_research_paper_web_1.pdf (</span></a></p><p><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_ednref6"><sup style="font-size:5pt;">[vi]</sup></a><span style="font-size:5pt;"> </span><a href=""><span style="font-size:5pt;">Treaty bodies Download (</span></a></p><p><a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/CustomNew.aspx?Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FMy%2520Items%2520View%2Easpx&RootFolder=#_ednref7"><sup style="font-size:5pt;">[vii]</sup></a><span style="font-size:5pt;"> </span><a href=""><span style="font-size:5pt;">16 Days of Activism 2021 | South African Government (</span></a>​<br></p><p><br></p>
Deaf student's accomplishment a first for SU student's accomplishment a first for SUSue Segars<p>​​When Ilzé Aäron, a Deaf student from Paarl, graduated with her BEd Foundation Phase degree at the December 2021 graduation, she was the first ever Stellenbosch University (SU) student to have learned with the help of South African Sign Language (SASL). <br></p><p>Aäron, 24, who is passionate about teaching and plans to teach at a Deaf school, described her achievement as “a dream come true" and hopes it will inspire fellow Deaf people to follow their dreams. “I hope this makes people realise that Deaf people can achieve anything," she said in an interview. </p><p>Aäron, who was given the opportunity to complete the four-year degree in five years, voiced her heartfelt gratitude to the University's Disability Unit as well as to the SU Language Centre, whose interpreting services include SASL interpreting, for the support they provided towards her achievement. </p><p>“They provided me with two SASL interpreters and many other forms of support. The interpreters went to every class with me and helped me with everything I needed." </p><p>Elaborating on the experience of learning in the unique way she did – through interpreters – Aäron said: “In class, I would sit right in front (sometimes as many as 200 fellow students attended the lectures) and the interpreter would sit in front of me and observe what the lecturer presented in the class. It's not easy to observe two people (the lecturer and the interpreter) at the same time. Even though I can hear a little bit and am able to partially follow what the lecturer says, I also had to observe the interpreter's signs. But after class we would sit down to make sure I understood the work and that I hadn't missed anything. </p><p>“At other times the Language Centre provided a recording camera to record the interpreter for me to watch the recording after class. I would then prepare questions to ask the lecturer, through the interpreter, the next day. </p><p>“It was a lengthy and difficult process<span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">,</span> so we decided to use a note taker. When none were available, one interpreter would make notes while the other interpreted, because as a Deaf student I cannot make notes while watching the interpreter continue signing. But other times I would make an appointment with the lecturer and discuss the work through the interpreter." </p><p>Aäron continued: “In the beginning, I thought the other students must wonder why I always sat in front. But the interpreters were there from the start making sure I felt included and that I had access to lectures and learning materials. Moving from a Deaf environment to a world where everyone else could hear certainly was a big adjustment for me. It has been such a blessing to work with the Language Centre interpreters, Marsanne Neethling and Gert Erasmus. If it wasn't for them then I wouldn't have made it this far." </p><p>Aäron attended Labori High School for a year before moving to De La Bat School for the Deaf in 2012. Initially she had no knowledge of SASL. “For the first three months at my new school<span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">,</span> I had to take extra classes after school to learn SASL so that I could communicate with my fellow learners. “Fortunately, I got the hang of it fairly quickly." </p><p>Towards the end of her school career, she started helping <span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:line-through;">out </span>as an interpreter between the teacher and the other learners in the class because the teacher could not use SASL fluently enough for them to understand her. </p><p>As a young child playing with her friends, Aäron would always pretend to be a teacher. “My family tells me I've always wanted to be a teacher." </p><p>After matric, she worked as a teacher's assistant at Dominican School for the Deaf in Wittebome, Wynberg where she learned a great deal about being a teacher for Deaf learners. </p><p>“One day, out of the blue, I was contacted by De la Bat School to ask whether I would be interested in applying to study at SU. Initially I was unsure but after giving it some thought I realised that I had to embrace this opportunity. I submitted my application. I didn't tell anyone that I had applied, however, and for a few months I didn't even check my emails thoroughly. Then I found an old unread email from SU, congratulating me on being accepted to the BEd 2017 programme. That was the best moment in my life and here I am completing my studies." </p><p>Vicki Fourie, a senior interpreter at the Language Centre who played a key role in the ground-breaking intervention, said the whole experience of working with Aäron was very uplifting. “We would love to do the same for other students in the future." </p><p>“We collaborated very well with the Disability Unit and the Faculty of Education. It really was a joint effort. The experience made us realise just how big the gap is for Deaf students. We realised that, apart from educational interpreting, Deaf students need support in other areas too. We need to create an environment at university where Deaf students are not isolated; where they can participate in not only in academics, but also in the whole experience of university life."<span style="text-decoration-line:line-through;"> </span></p><p>Vicki said the Language Centre's Interpreting Service would like to continue working with the Disability Unit and with faculties and support staff to empower students not only to graduate, but also to have a multidimensional university life. </p><p>Aäron is interested in doing research on Deaf education and on how to improve teaching styles for Deaf learners. “I want to learn more about what it takes from a Deaf person to adjust to different environments." </p><p>Asked about her future plans, Aäron said, besides her plan to teach at a Deaf school, she hopes to start a tutorial service for Deaf learners who struggle with their schoolwork. </p><p>“I believe that all Deaf learners have the right to learn anything they want, to pursue their dreams, to learn how to overcome their challenges and to learn different things about life 'out there'. It's important to expose them to life outside of the school environment and for them to understand what it means to stand on their own feet. When they go out there, they will remember everything they've learnt," she said. </p><p>“My passion is teaching Deaf learners so they can receive an education in their own language from another Deaf person. I would like to be a role model for them – I want to inspire them and make sure that they know they can reach their dreams no matter who or what they are. I decided that I would rise above my circumstances and no matter what, I would bring about change in my Deaf community."<br></p><p><br></p>
Finance division’s structure aligned for SUNFin implementation division’s structure aligned for SUNFin implementation Finance<p>The implementation of a new financial system for Stellenbosch University, SUNFin, is one of the largest projects that the institution has undertaken.  The new system is replacing the University's 32-year-old financial legacy system, a system that has been customized over the years to meet the unique needs of the University. SUNFin is an all-new cloud-based system based on global best practices and processes using leading-edge technology.<br></p><p>"This kind of radical transformation in an institution like ours cannot happen in isolation," says Manie Lombard, Chief Director Finance. "Structures, policies, procedures and working practices, established over time to serve the legacy system, need to be aligned to optimise the benefits that this new system will provide. We believe Oracle® Cloud Financials (OCF) will streamline SU's financial processes, increase productivity and provide access to real-time financial data and multidimensional analytics and reporting to improve our business decisions in future."<br></p><p>The SUNFin project was launched on 9 April 2019, and despite the impact of the pandemic, work continued on the project.<br></p><p>“We have reached a pivotal point on the SUNFin project. During the past few months, the project team completed an extensive detailed replanning exercise. On 28 September, the Rectorate approved the SUNFin steering committee's revised approach, timeline, and associated budget for SU's new financial system to go live in June 2023."</p><p>"The project team had discussions with two universities – Baylor and Vanderbilt – where OCF has been implemented successfully. The team also learned from KPMG, who shared their high-level finance function design models for service delivery used in cloud financial solutions," says Lombard.</p><p>Information Technology developed a SUNxxx Support Framework to effectively support the cloud implementations for SUNFin and SUNStudent. These are both Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions. The reorganisation of the Finance Division is aligned to this new SUNxxx Support Framework and to global best practice processes, workflows, and optimal service delivery.</p><p>Lombard says the recommended changes to the Finance Division only include changes to the reporting lines of specific sub-divisions and will not impact on post levels and the current responsibilities of the Finance staff members. A Peromnes job evaluation exercise for all the positions in the Finance division will be conducted during 2023.</p><p><strong>A few changes in the Finance Division's structure have already been implemented, namely:</strong></p><ul><li>Brendon Grindlay-Whieldon is now appointed as the Business Owner of the SUNFin project to establish a SUNFin support centre (SFC) as a sub-division of the Finance Division. He will be responsible for the development and management of the SUNFin support division with key responsibilities during and after OCF's implementation. The Financial and Management Systems (FMS) sub-division will form part of the SFC going forward.</li><li>The Accounts Receivable (AR) sub-division (6 positions) moved to the Financial Planning and Budgeting sub-division to focus on the data clean-up required for SUNFin. This placement aligns with the principles of OCF where all income needs to flow through AR, which is closely aligned to the Projects and Grants module of OCF.</li></ul><p><strong>The following structural changes in the Finance Division will be implemented in a phased approach before SUNFin will go live.</strong></p><ul><li>Undergraduate Bursaries and Loans sub-division will merge with Student Fees to provide a comprehensive and effective student financial services experience. This will also ensure a specific focus on effective management of student finance enquiries on student fees and financial support.</li><li>The Accounts Payable (AP) sub-division will move from Financial and Management Systems sub-division to the Procurement sub-division. The foreign payment's function will move from Financial Services to Procurement.  The payment of all SU creditors (flowing from Accounts Payable, Expenses, HR and Student Fees) will still be managed within Treasury  (part of Fund and Asset Management sub-division).</li><li>The Fund and Asset Management sub-division (7 positions) will move to the Financial Services sub-division. The Financial Services sub-division will include all financial reporting, investments and asset management (including insurance) as well as Tax expertise.<br><br></li></ul><p><strong>Current status of the SUNFin project</strong></p><p>The SUNFin project team continues to focus on the business delivery work by unpacking and mapping the details of the business processes, determining how the system will be tested and the end-users trained. The team is also determining the appropriate system and security access levels required for end-users to use OCF in the most effective way.</p><p>Work on the Accounts Receivable and Expenses processes has been signed off. Work continues on Accounts Payable, Budgetary Control, Cash Management and Inventory</p><p>The ICT Integration and Architecture teams continue to build the required integrations from the SU legacy systems to OCF and plan the most effective way of cutting over from SU's financial legacy system to OCF when the system goes live.</p><p>A big focus is being placed on cleaning up all the legacy data to ensure that the data extraction and migration processes run seamlessly at the cutover from the legacy system to OCF at go live in June 2023.</p><p>As with all large projects, there is always a movement of project resources. Several new business analysts have recently joined the Business Delivery team and project team roles have been realigned. Visions Consulting has also added new resources to support the Visions' Subject Matter Experts (SME's).</p><p>Linda Keating from Visions Consulting has been appointed as the SUNFin Overall Project Manager and will be working very closely with Brendon Grindlay-Whieldon to manage the SUNFin project deliverables.</p><p>“With the approval of the revised approach, timeline and budget and identified roles filled, we look forward to furthering good progress towards achieving the project goals. I would like to thank each project team member for their continued support and commitment to the SUNFin project. The team has made great progress under very difficult conditions," says Lombard.​</p><p>​<br></p>