Stellenbosch University
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Statues and symbols: creating a welcoming culture
Author: Korporatiewe Bemarking / Corporate Marketing
Published: 10/03/2016

Stellenbosch University (SU) acknowledges that visual symbols evoke different emotions and experiences amongst people, especially in a diversified and historically divided country like South Africa.

In principle, a historical interpretation should be made of statues, symbols and historical figures that takes their contexts into consideration. This is the view of the Stellenbosch University Management in the light of protest action calling for an inquisition into historical statues and symbols at the university, in particular, the removal of the statue of Johannes Henoch (Jan) Marais from the Rooiplein.

The University acknowledges the distinctive financial contribution made by JH Marais in 1915 towards the establishment of the University.

Progress has been made over the last few years to create student and staff friendly living and working spaces to meet the needs of a diverse group of students, staff and other stakeholders, and to ensure a welcoming culture on our campuses.

Furthermore, the University is embarking on a concerted effort to create spaces for dialogue about public symbols and historical figures. In addition, dedicated committees are in place to facilitate an institution-wide discussion and approach regarding public symbols and the naming of buildings.