Stellenbosch University has recently again been mentioned in the media about issues and behaviours that should not be expected in any institution of higher learning. We at the Russel Botman Bursary Fund, wish to express our utter abhorrence regarding any racist acts or discriminatory culture on the campus.
For decisive action and steady progress, we need good, strong, and visionary leadership. Professor Botman believed that higher education should be at the forefront of transformation toward an anti-racist and non-sexist society. This calls on the entire university community to join forces in building a new and better community and society.
It’s problematic to suggest that SU is a microcosm of society because that means that we run the risk of not expecting any better practices on our campuses. Universities should play a leading role in society not mimic society. We want our recipients to be part of a project that projects equality, equity, justice, and peace – and not fall victim to injustice, discrimination, and racism.
When we call on broader society to donate to the Russel Botman Bursary Fund, we are also hoping to call on a community that can be held up as an example of what is possible in broader society – and not just a mirror image of what happens in society. Our wish for SU is to create and generate more news that is transformative, forward-thinking, and growing so that our youth can become our hope for a united and just future. Then we can ask for support and ask for people to donate.
May all our efforts of the entire university community – students, academic and support staff, alumni, and partners – bring brighter hope for a new tomorrow.