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PICTURES: Behind the scenes of the Mandela Memorial

 

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#teamvuvu: Nokuthula Manyathi

Write. Snap. Click.

iThuli or Thuli with an ‘i’ is another native from the Ridge. She is however a nomad, who travelled to Diepsloot every evening and on weekends. This Oprah stan is the personification of the phrase dynamite comes in small packages.

Me: How would you describe your outfit today?

Thuli: Summery (is there such a word?)

Me: How would you describe your style in general?

Thuli: Clean and casual

Me: Are you sure about this journalism thing?

Thuli: Yes, I am. In my  16+ years of being in the school system I have never felt more at home then I do now.

Me: That said, if you weren’t doing what you doing this, what would you be doing?

Thuli: I’ve never seen myself doing anything that doesn’t involve people. I’d be doing something that involves interacting with people on a daily basis, like teaching.

Me: How have you found your honours year?

Thuli: This year has been amazing…

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What my teammates taught me

Liesl Frankson

This is just a little bit about what I learned from each of my teammates this year:-)

Caro Malherbe: She’s a girl who is tons of fun, living her life, & she really doesn’t care what you think about it. Her randomness taught me to be more spontaneous.

Dineo Bendile: The absolute style icon for this year. Dini taught me that looking anything less than fabulous is not an option. She didn’t have one day where she looked half-baked like the rest of us.

Emelia Motsai: Definitely the surprising one of the class she taught me that you can totally be sweet & chilled vibes & yet still be assertive. She was never a walk over!

Karabo Ray Mahlaka: If there was anyone who would tell you you’re appearance was having an off day it was Ray. He taught me to laugh at some of the more…taboo topics in life.

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Returning students: Don’t YOLO too much

Students cancel your pool parties and unbook your hotel reservations, registration fees in 2014 will dig deep into your pockets.

Students returning to Wits next year will have to make an upfront payment of R 9 340 before they register in January.  Should students fail to make this payment they will be denied access to the university. On the last day of March the total tuition fee must be paid. For res students the situation becomes more expensive. These students will be expected to pay 20% of their total residence fees and a further 40% of their total residence fees by the end of March. The remaining 60% must be paid by the end of July.

SRC President, Shafee Verachia said the registration fees were exorbitant and that the SRC was not happy with the current amount.  “The amount is ridiculously high and we are not happy at all. We encourage students who cannot afford this fee to apply for the upfront payment plan,” he said. A payment plan introduced by the 2011/2012 SRC is one of the ways the SRC has tried to lessen the burden on students who are unable to afford the fees.

According to the university, “students who are academically deserving but financially needy” will be given an opportunity to apply for a payment plan that will allow students to pay only 50% of the compulsory registration fee. Verachia said the plan reduced the pressure on working class families and made it easier for students to return to school in the financially stressful month of January.

According to Verachia international students will be expected to pay an upfront payment of 70% of their total tution fees. The remaining 30% can be paid in installments. Students are advised to collect an application form for the payment plan from the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office before the end of November. The payment plan is not connected to the NSAFS and students who do not qualify for NSAFS will still be considered.

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Hashtags and retweets

A BLUEBIRD is the latest investigative tool, according to Ray Joseph, social media expert and journalist. In his hour-long presentation, Joseph gave tweeters tips on how to build a professional profile:

1. Journalists should have a clear and descriptive twitter biography. They should also have a proper profile picture. “If you want to be a trusted source you can’t have an egg.”

2. Before joining twitter, journalists should decide how they will use their twitter account. “Is it for professional reasons, for tweeting food or for your friends?”

3. If journalists use twitter for professional reasons, they should link it to a larger website. “Put your link to LinkedIn or a professional website.”

4. Hashtags are important. Journalists should play around with and use them to find out about breaking stories and news stories. Hashtags are like metal filing cabinets that help organise documents. “At the heart of twitter lies hashtags. They help you sort through the noise.”

5. Twitter is not like Facebook. “Don’t keep it private. twitter is about the crowd.”

Joseph was joined in his presentation by Najira Sambuli, a mathematician and new media strategist based in Nairobi. Sambuli introduced guests to geo-tagging, which is a twitter application that allows users to attach their location onto their tweets. “This application can help journalists identify whether people tweeting about news event are actually at the area,” said Sambuli.

However, only about 1.6% of twitter users use geo-tagging. Joseph emphasised the importance of twitter as a search tool for journalists. “Journalists aren’t always the first people on the scene so social networks help you receive the news first,” he said.

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PICTURES: #Teamvuvu at the Vice Chancellor’s Awards

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Wits Vuvuzela wins top prize

Ululation and singing is how this year’s Wits Journalism Honours class greeted the news of a vice-chancellor’s award earlier today. The Wits Journalism class of 2013 and their mentors have been awarded the 2013 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Transformation (Team) Award in the student category.

The team of 17 students (referred to as #teamvuvu) have been awarded a R 20 000 prize as part of the award which will be used to advance the transformation agenda through its various publications. “I think it’s a great achievement. This award shows the kind of impact that journalism can have on society;” said Sibusisiwe Nyanda, a member of this year’s class.

The student journalists were instrumental in exposing sexual misconduct by university lecturers by telling the stories of victims who felt that there were no other mechanisms to deal with their harassment. The coverage of Wits Vuvuzela resulted in a four month campus-wide inquiry into sexual harassment and the dismissal of three senior academics. Dr Last Moyo, Professor Rupert Taylor and Tsepo wa Mamatu were dismissed following an independent university investigation.

In his motivation for the award, Professor Anton Harber, head of Wits Journalism wrote “Vuvuzela has become central to the framing of a campus community, providing links across a disparate and dispersed campus, offering more and constant communication in a way Wits has seldom seen before. This has given a sense that we are all involved and part of the debate and discussion of the (sexual harassment) issue.” He added: “Few things have had as much impact on
the story than the daily updates of the Vuvuzela website and the weekly distribution of the paper across campus.”

The team will receive their award on Friday at a gala dinner hosted by VC Professor Adam Habib. “This is an amazing honour. 2013 has been really good for Wits Vuvuzela,” said Liesl Frankson an Journalism Honours student.

This is just one of two awards that the Wits Journalism department, home to the Wits Vuvuzela, will receive this Friday evening. The Wits Justice Project, also part of Wits Journalism, will receive the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Academic Citizenship (Team). The Justice Project aims to investigate the plight of incarcerated prisoners. The team will be awarded R 40 000 for their efforts to promote prisoners rights and uphold justice.

“It [the award] speaks to the enabling environment that allows such good work to flourish,” said Nooshin Erfani-Ghadimi, project coordinator for The Wits Justice Project.