15 September 2020
SU to establish new co-ed student community
We want to create a transformed and integrated SU community that is committed to democracy, human rights and social justice. This is according to Prof Arnold Schoonwinkel in writing to Matie students on Monday (14 September 2020).
In his letter, Prof Schoonwinkel also announced that, as was the case in 20202, no newcomers will be allocated to Huis Marais in 2021 as the residence has not demonstrated a concerted effort to grow into a wholesome community that reflects the values of SU. “We are saddened that a group of influential leaders in Huis Marais has not used the past 11 months to transform the residence ethos to one that is based on the equal treatment of different population groups, respect for women and promotion of responsible use of alcohol."
He explained that the current Huis Marais residential complex on the Stellenbosch Campus houses students from Huis Marais, while a section of Huis Marais was repurposed to house Huis ten Bosch (HtB) residents until the end of 2020. This is in the light of the fire in HtB in 2019. With HtB close to completion residents will be able to return in 2021.
The complex is now to be divided to create a new co-ed student community that will have room for 90 female and 68 male students. The opportunity is now created to consider the University's placement model and form a new student community that is aligned with the value we attach to diversity and inclusion.
A cohort of senior students will be invited from existing campus communities and close to 100 newcomer students will join this new community in 2021. Men and women will be placed in different sections of the building.
“When different genders live in the same residence (co-ed) it allows for gender diversity to be dealt with in the same way SU deals with all other forms of diversity. At the same time, it allows for flexibility in light of the demographic profile of the university. Currently the percentage of women being admitted to the university is slightly on the increase," Prof Schoonwinkel added.
Huis Marais will still function as a male residence in 2021. Current residents of Huis Marais will be allowed to move into the space vacated by the HtB residents, or may apply to the new co-ed residence or to another residence on campus.
“We want to ensure that each and every Matie has a truly transformative student experience at a thriving Stellenbosch University. We are excited by this opportunity to create a new residence that embraces the full diversity of the student body, enabling us to strive for excellence through diversity," said Prof Schoonwinkel.
Read the letter by Prof Arnold Schoonwinkel, Vice-Rector: Learning and Teaching here.