It all started with songs and a little bit of dancing as the Democratic Alliance Student Organisation (DASO) was about to start it’s regrouping at the SRC Chambers on Friday evening.
The event which is intended to connect people with each other and welcome new members to the party, is mostly based on socializing with the members as well as reflecting at what the party has achieved as well as future plans.
Former SRC deployee of the party, Lutho Sokudela, pointed out that the party have done so much at this point. At the beginning of last year, a lot of students did not have a place to stay, not because the residences were full, but because they did not have money and therefore, the university denied them residence.
Sokudela said they fought for those students by stopping lifts and requesting the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Derrick Swartz to come and talk to them about the residence issue. Consequently, students were allowed stay in residence until their bursaries or loans had given them money to pay, and top achieving students were also given food vouchers. The party also trained students around June for leadership.
“Being in an SRC gives you power or the privilege to do things that we have done” said Sokudela
As he was explaining the plans that DASO have in order to ensure that students are looked after. Sokudela says that before doing anything they first contact students, going around the campuses asking them what change they would love to see in the university or what they want. This helps them be involved with students, For instance, some asked that the party pay more attention to students in Missionvale campus.
DASO expressed plans to have more study centres so that students can have more access to information, and not depend solely on libraries. This will be extremely beneficial to off-campus as they will have a place to study.
Sokudela further explained that Bird Street is one campus that has been a help to many off-campus students in terms of having a place to study, but their plan is to expand to other places which are closest to off-campus residences.
With the elections coming up in September, Mr Sokudela showed no fear of losing as he is confident that students still believe in DASO and they want to see more change within the institution and therefore Daso stands a huge possibility of winning again. He highlighted some of the plans the party has for the students, such as off-campus residence having the Nelson Mandela University Wi-Fi.
Kings is one of the off-camp residences to have the Nelson Mandela University Wi-Fi and the plan now is to make the Wi-Fi available to all residences.
Sokudela supported himself by saying that it would not be that challenging to make this change, as the University has already shown that it is possible for off-camp residences to have its Wi-Fi. He concluded by saying that last year’s student wrote their exams at the stadium using the school Wi-Fi.
“So the school showed us that it is not difficult to have and it won’t have to use much money”