New Institutional Student Parliament Leaders officially in seat

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Earlier this month, a successful partnership between the Student Affairs Department and the Interim Student Representative Council (SRC) delivered the first ever online Institutional Student Parliament (ISP) which resulted in the election of a new ISP leadership. 

ThisWeek@FortHare spoke to the Acting Student Developer, Mr Wandisile Mdepa who said the ISP is governed by section 26 of the UFH Student Governance Constitution. It forms part of the Student Governance Organogram and is the second-highest student decision-making arm after a Student Mass Meeting. 
 
Below is the list of students who were nominated and later elected in various positions.  
 
Speaker:
 
Lwando Nontamo YBM 35
Bongani Ozias Moyo EFFSC 20 
 
Deputy Speaker:
 
Jasson Gola ANCYL 28 
Lubabalo Mzimela SCO 27 
 
Organiser:
 
Anelisa Keti ANCWL Desk 26 
Abongile Mfanta SASCO 22 
 
Finance Officer:
 
Nolwazi Mabindisa LGBT 28 
Siphokazi Mbalo PASMA 19
 
According to Mr Mdepa, an engagement held in August 2020 with the SRC led to the decision to hold an ISP meeting. This was followed by a student consultation process. However, the process suffered a series of delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions. 
 
“In January 2021 the office was advised that a physical ISP meeting could not sit because of Covid-19 regulations that prohibit political, religious and social gatherings. Eventually, the meeting was held online.” 
 
We are grateful to the ICT Department for their support that ensured a smooth process throughout. Mdepa said all members of the ISP from organisations and societies were required to be represented by two delegates. “The meeting was initially chaired by the Interim SRC President (Mr Siphiwo Ngcenge) who was appointed by the Acting Dean of Students (Prof Priscilla Monyai). 
 
The meeting had to elect an interim chair who led the meeting until the ISP Secretariat was constituted.” The voting process was held by a show of hands. When asked about the role, functions, values and vision of the ISP, Mdepa responded as follows:
 
ISP role and functions 
 
The ISP’s primary role is to ensure the Student Governance Constitution is respected and upheld at all times, something would be amiss if that fundamental and important function is not performed.” The ISP is composed of all SRC members, chairpersons and secretaries of organisations and societies that exist on the university’s campuses. 
 
Among its other functions, the ISP is empowered to receive reports from the SRC, endorse registration of any organisation, club or society recommended by the SRC. Furthermore, it advises the SRC on any matter it deems necessary.
 
Values and Vision 
 
The ISP assists the general student population in ensuring that democracy is entrenched in the student governance circles by holding the SRC accountable. That is achieved by holding SRC statutory and constitutionally mandatory meetings.” 
 
Student Elections 
 
The ISP meeting also resolved that SRC elections should be held on 22 April 2021 to conclude the term of the current interim SRC. We have sought the support of Supply Chain Management in Finance, to identify an external company which will oversee the election process to its conclusion according to the Students Governance Constitution. 
 
by Aretha Linden