UCT test concession for Rocking the Daisies festival a 'parade of white privilege'

2017-10-03 13:37
The University of Cape Town's upper campus. (iStock)

The University of Cape Town's upper campus. (iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – Questions have been raised over the decision by a University of Cape Town philosophy lecturer to allow students to miss a test that was scheduled at the same time as the Rocking the Daisies music festival in Darling, as long as they could prove they had booked their tickets "well in advance".

A screenshot of the notification by Dr Tom Angier was widely shared on social media, with outraged students demanding to know why the same compassion was not applied to more serious cases.

Angier’s notification stated: "Owing to the unusual term structure this year, there is a clash between the second test on October 6 and Rocking the Daisies. If you can supply evidence of having booked the festival well in advance, you will be excused attendance at the test, and your other course work will count more towards your final result. You must bring such evidence to Philosophy reception and fill out the usual form[s]."

Following an uproar, UCT spokesperson Elijah Moholola said on Tuesday that the philosophy department would discuss the decision by the course convenor to grant the concession.

One student said on Facebook that the concession was a "joke", as Muslim students had to write exams during Eid. 

'Humiliating and traumatising'

The Democratic Alliance Student Organisation at the University of Cape Town (DASO-UCT) said it did not support this concession, due to the lack of consistency applied by university officials.

"As an example, students who applied for concession to attend the Open Book Festival, an extra-curricular activity which would have been beneficial to students, were rejected," said DASO-UCT steering committee chairperson Neo Mkwane.

The organisation demanded that clarity be given, with clearly stated guidelines.

The UCT Black Academic Caucus (BAC) said it was "humiliating and traumatising" that black students were made to be an "unwilling audience to exhibitions of privilege".

The caucus said in a statement that racialised class disparities were highlighted in the inconsistent approach to handling the different needs of students.

"It’s not enough that black students have to silently carry the burden of disadvantage, or think twice before approaching some of their white lecturers when they are in distress; they now even have to watch as racialised privilege is paraded before them."

'All departments grant concessions'

Moholola said all departments within the humanities faculty granted extensions or concessions to those who could not attend class or write tests, if they had valid reasons.

He did not respond to a request for the number of students who had been granted the concession for the music festival.

"In making concessions, there has to be sensitivity to every individual's particular situation and cultural, socio-economical, and other pressures that influence the situation."

Students with requests had to supply the relevant documentary evidence.

He said the course convenor's discretion had to be exercised in a uniform and consistent manner.

"If students believe that the granting of concessions and extensions is not being applied equitably within a course, students may escalate this to the Head of Department and the faculty for review."

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

News24 (@News24) | Twitter

The latest Tweets from News24 (@News24). News24 is Southern Africa and Africa's premier online news resource reaching over 2.3 million local users each month. South Africa

Read more on:    uct  |  cape town  |  education

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Keep your family and pets safe from rabies

The recent outbreak of rabies in South Africa has brought to light how terrible this disease is and how as pet parents we need to be vigilant to keep our families safe.



5 scientific benefits of owning a cat
Why we love cats
8 great natural remedies for your pet
How to clean your dog’s eyes
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.