Thursday, 2 February 2012

Initiation update - as sick as a dog!

Initiation continues unabated in the third week at university!

The poor girls are tired, tired, and tired!

I even got a message as parent from a House Committee (HC) member that the next three days are going to be more hectic because of the upcoming Rag festival on Saturday!

In the meantime the first year is as sick as a dog. She asked to be taken to the doctor yesterday, but was only taken to the pharmacy to get some medicines.
After that she had to continue taking part in all the activities until eleven last night. After which they had to make cards (?) for all the seniors...

I got worried yesterday afternoon, and tracked down the responsible Head of the Residence, a Professor.
I asked that somebody check in on her to see that she is okay.
All that he did was to phone the HC member.
The HC member told our student to sent me an sms from her own (the HCs) phone. (That really reassured me!)

I learnt after eleven last night - the first time that she could talk to me - that she was still not well...

This morning I phoned the Professor to demand that she sees a doctor today! (Yes, I am that mother!)
I said that I did not want any messages from a HC member anymore!
Apparently she's got an appointment at eleven, but she still has to take part in all activities. (I hope the doctor books her off!)

My thoughts on this:
- They are supposed to be adults now, but are treated like babies. She cannot move without informing the HC, and they have to accompany the first years.
- My daughter is very capable to decide when she needs to go and see a doctor, and she will do so when necessary.
- She is also allowed to rest when her body tells her so! (Bed rest is the best cure for sickness!)
- There is no adult supervision at the residence. My daughter does not know who the Head of Residence is and she hasn't seen him moving around. (We have heard more favourable news from other residences where the Heads are seen in the corridors.)
- The seniors are still given free reign in the residence.
- Why are there no guardians to check up on the first years? Where's the friendly "Mother"-figure at the residence?
- I have learnt that a first year got meningitis in the first week, and landed up in hospital. There is a stomach bug going around, and the doctor's waiting rooms are filled up!
- A student died there with this initiation process! There is not enough control for the safety of the students!
- They have to spent hours and hours in the sun until Saturday.
- I am listening to a lot of debates around the issue of initiation (orientation), and it still seems that there are a pervasive psyche in our society that says it is necessary to teach respect! I'm sorry! Respect is earned!
- People are saying that my son had this or that experience, or I had a terrible experience, but they still think it is  a necessary activity! I don't think it teaches you anything, and much less respect!
- It is still INITIATION being practised!

I really feel that my daughter is taken care of! NOT!

In the meantime I had to type up a CV for another residence which seems to treat the students more humanely... (Hold thumbs!)

Related posts:
Have we failed our children? - initiation
Orientation seems a lot like initiation 


  1. Oh gosh, I am so sorry to hear this. Most of my family's kids have studied at Pretoria univ. and although there is some of it, there has been no problems. Mostly fun.

  2. OMW somewhere they have to draw the line, I mean if your girl is sick, she is sick, end of story.

    I really do not see the point of this, yes, welcome them into the university, but some of them really take it way to far!!

  3. Maybe we need to create a blog awareness for this!

    I would be willing to post a blog post about initiation!!!

    I am not sure the effect it would have on your daughter if it gains momentum and the varisty becomes aware of it.

    But my instinct says we cant do nothing!!!

  4. That's the big thing!
    They get away with it because we are too scared of our children being victimised & ostracised!

  5. I hope she gets into the other residence. I can't believe after the student died that they where allowed to carry on.

  6. Oh dear. I do hope your daughter gets booked off and gets taken care of! I would be there with guns blazing by now! She's probably sick because her immune system has taken a hit - Gosh, after 11 only? I would be livid.

  7. My daughter got booked off, and my wonderful Hubby got in the car from a conference and fetched her!

    She is recuperating at home! *sigh of relief*
    Monday she can start her classes rested!

    On another angry note! Nearly weeks of orientation/welcoming and she still does not know how campus works, where her roster could be found etc.
    I think it is 3 weeks/money wasted on outdated practices!

  8. I hope is is getting better at home...and I can imagine how mad you must feel about this whole thing.


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