News - September 9, 2010

‘A confusing campaign’

Who? Leontien Visser
What? Professor of Rural Development Sociology
Where? The Main Auditorium
Why? Demonstration at the opening of the academic year.

You aren't wearing a protest ribbon.
'No. I did have the yellow ribbon - they put it around my neck when I came in. In the changing room, though, I was told it wasn't allowed.'
Who said that?
'Paul Struik, the chairman of the Doctorate Board. It's against protocol. The only things allowed on a toga are royal decorations.'
So that's why you don't have a yellow ribbon?
'I would certainly like to give my support to the campaign but I don't agree with the slogan "Science is priceless; let's do it together.' I don't want to work together with the private sector. I prefer to be independent and make my own choices.'
Is a 1.25 per cent pay rise a reasonable demand?
'Oh, is that what it was about? I thought it was about good education and motivated lecturers. But the students I spoke to were talking about a brain drain to the private sector. Actually, I think it's a very confusing campaign; neither the target group nor the objectives are clear.'