Project W, I can dig it.

My Vote is not a secret.

Please be advised that the following Views are expressed in my personal capacity, and not as a Vuvuzela Journalist.

This afternoon a friend told me that I was more inclined to vote for project W, because I was somewhat like “them”. Them being middle class/private school kids that come to Wits. The kids that don’t have to be at  Res, the kids that come in, get their degree and go home.

I was almost offended by this, ready to go up in arms and make him and everybody else see that I am not just a middle class/private schooled child.

But I am. I went to Greenside high school, I was part of the Johannesburg Junior council and I know the approach of project W, I am familiar with working with a diverse group of people who share the same vision. I know what it’s like, to have to beg, borrow and hustle money from friends and family to make things work.

Does this really mean I cannot be part of a movement that seeks to address student Politics? Does not living on res, make me completely out of touch with the struggles of students that do?

We will never have the same issues. That doesn’t mean that we cannot come together and find a way to work around them.

Just because I had supper last night, it does not mean that I will ignore the fact that you didn’t.

SASCO and the PYA were 100% behind project W when they had their collect a can Initiative.

DASO is proposing a bailout fund for students who cannot afford to pay for varsity expenses. The PYA has a  humanitarian fund set aside to help students who are financially in need.

Again. Different manifesto, same aim. 

So why does it matter so much, who can and who can’t do it?

 A few days ago I was absolutely convinced that Project W didn’t need to be in the SRC. They independently organised a Town hall meeting, attend too by hundreds of staff and students to bring management to task. They collected 3000 cans in their collect a can initiative-again this was done, by a group of students, who just wanted to help the less fortunate.

Now we know for a fact, that people in Project W can get things done. Having a blazer and a fancy badge should not change that. Because lets be real, being in the SRC doesn’t automatically mean that you will get all the help you need from management.

The way I see it, you are better off hustling it out on your own, at least that way, you miss a couple of bureaucracy steps.

There are so many people campaigning in these SRC elections. So many students that are saying “Hey, I want to make a difference”

If you really want to make a difference, you will.

15 people get onto the SRC. That means that there should be at least 50 candidates that didn’t make it, but will be on the ground, helping ordinary students hold the SRC accountable.

Real leaders, lead where they are, with what they have, whenever they can.At the heart of every manifesto, is the promise of change and a commitment to making students’ lives better, so why can’t we let that happen? How long will we point out the differences between us and ignore the very obvious common ground.

Is it really such an awful fate, to be in the back seat of a car that is going where you want to go, instead of being in the driver’s seat? At the end of the day, you’re going to end up where you should be. Whether you’re driving, or not. So why are we crying??

We all want change. We want a happier varsity experience and if we work together instead of against each other, we can make it work.

Being middle class or from a private school doesn’t make you invincible to student issues.

I am sure that behind every student that is at wits, there is a parent/aunt/sponsor that is working incredibly hard to make sure that their son/ daughter stays in University.

Some may not have to work as hard as others, but the point is. Everybody is working. They have not invented money tree’s, nobody in this world has an unlimited supply of money.

 A girl in my class said that she was not going to vote in the elections, because nobody deserved her vote.

Maybe she’s right. But I do believe that somebody deserves the benefit of the doubt.

I’m going to Vote project W, and yes, maybe my vote is informed by my life experiences, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that I want to make Wits better, and I know that if I join this group I can do my part.

While I respect and admire the efforts of the outgoing SRC, It is a pity that they never inspired me to be part of their movement.

I acknowledge the struggle, but if you cannot inspire me to get up and take action, then the struggle has failed us both.

My biggest hope for Wits is that students will make an effort to vote, and even if you feel is no one worthy of your vote, take a look at the manifesto’s and I’m sure you will find someone who deserves the benefit of the doubt.

When you need help, it shouldn’t matter what shape or form it comes in. You will only find yourself grateful that it has come.

Ps. Independent Candidates, I see you! Keep on keeping on. I’m down for anybody who puts student’s politics before national politics!


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