Stellenbosch University has 34 residence halls in configurations for women only, men only and mixed gender. Each residence is controlled by a resident head assisted by a House Committee of senior students. In the university a hall for men’s residence called, Wilgenhof which was established in 1903.
Wilgenhof Scandal Explored
To create student communities, the CSO wards and the resident halls are arranged into six clusters with neighboring residences. A hub facility is being constructed for each of these clusters; three of them, amaMaties, Wimbledon and Victoria, are already complete.
Students who commute can thus take advantage of the same facilities as those who live on campus, including meals, mentor support, and a comfortable place to go in between classes. An incident of alleged racism occurred in October 2022 where a white student urinated onto the study material of a black student, as per Wikipedia.
The incident sparked outrage and led to a series of protests on campus, demanding immediate action from the university administration. Students, faculty, and staff came together to express their support with the affected student and reject such deplorable acts of racism. The university responded by launching an investigation.
When the Wilgenhof scandal underwent inspection but the university has not revealed any issues of concern. Spokeswoman Susan Van Der Merwe released a statement,
“Stellenbosch University (SU) strongly disapproves of any action that could possibly offend any of its students, staff and members of the public.”
On Twitter, there has been a lot of discussion about two images of white male students with black makeup on their faces, dressed like tennis players Serena and Venus Williams, and using wigs. The university said it would be ‘premature’ to jump to conclusions or anticipate what actions would be taken before the investigation was concluded.
Also, images of the two female students dressed out in padded bottoms and headscarves posing at a party went viral on social media, at the time of scandal. After that, the students’ housing was temporarily suspended. The University of Pretoria issue is also being looked into by the SA Human Rights Commission.
On Twitter, University of Stellenbosch students’ photographs streamed. A random user tweeted, ‘Privilege is so nice guys’ in response to another user tweeted, ‘If you can’t express why you’re offended, nobody will understand it.’
Another user named, Zimasa Mpemnyama tweeted, “More #blackface & more stupid ‘its just fun’ comments. Blackface is Never Okay’.
One used also questioned “Why are we, black people, subjected to scorn and disdain on such a regular basis?”