In a statement issued in the wake of “violence that took place on some South African campuses the last two days”‚ Price urged: “Again‚ I ask you to think about how you want to be treated and how you want to treat others on campus.”
The University of the Free State‚ the University of Pretoria and North-West University halted operations this week‚ and‚ noted Price‚ “UCT has come in for its share of vandalism and violence”.
“Most recently‚ this morning (Wednesday)‚ groups of students threw poo across the floors of many lecture venues and open spaces in several buildings on Upper Campus.
“I wish to express my abhorrence at this action – which I know is shared strongly by the staff and students who had to navigate these spaces this morning‚ as well as the cleaning staff who removed the faeces.
“Not only is flinging poo around a dangerous health hazard; it is also an affront to our shared humanity.”
Price appealed to students to keep UCT a “space open for debate and engagement – as imaginatively and courageously as possible”‚ and “take the decision not to allow our personal politics to interfere with the rights of others to express their ideas and opinions in an open discussion”.
“I know that some groups on campus feel that their views and issues are not sufficiently heard or acknowledged‚” he said.
“All of us‚ including those of us in positions of authority‚ must strive to be as responsive as we can. At the same time‚ we should insist that there is no recourse to hate speech‚ violence‚ vandalism or intimidation‚ and no infringement on the rights of others.”[Source: Times Live]