Little debate at debates
The debates turned out to be long on technical details and short on emotion. The audience often alluded to the lack of real debate around the various presentations on alternatives. Little time was allotted to public input and the Board often cut discussions short. Points made were acknowledged but the discussion went no further, particularly where the future of chair groups was concerned. We need a heated discussion to warm up the temperature of the hall, one person complained
Joseph Muyeti, chairman of the ISP, attended Tuesday's first session: The one thing that is clear is that the Business Plan is a budget-cut exercise resulting from a management crisis, and it lacks vision for the future. But it is unclear whether many changes will be made or whether the debates were more an act of appeasement. Corrie du Preez's reaction to Monday's session: The Board seemed to spend a lot of the time defending their plan, and not really listening to or answering the questions asked. Ecuadorian MSc student Odilie Zelaya also attended part of Monday's proceedings, and found the Dutch student interventions the most interesting. I really enjoyed that they could express their ideas in such an uninhibited way. If such a direct attack were made to an executive board at a university in my country, they might have walked out.
The next step in the process is that the Board will present a modified Business Plan taking proposals into consideration to the University Student and Personnel Councils in mid-February for ratification. Whatever the result, a definitive list of main programmes must be ready by February 28. Am.S