So, we’re at it again. Unless you’re a first-year, in which case this is just the first begrudging start to classes for you. And if you’re a first-year, you may be noticing the glares from senior students. That is because you haven’t yet realised that you don’t have to spend your life on campus and you’re crowding up Hatfield Campus. But don’t worry, by May only the dedicated students are on campus and there’s finally space to walk again.

But crowded walkways aside, welcome back to campus. A brand-new semester with all new opportunities and experiences await. Try something new this semester, there is a surprising amount to do on campus. Consider visiting the botanical gardens (I’ve never been) or exploring the university archives. You could even read the very first edition of PDBY from 1939 (called “Die Perdeby” then), when it was started by theology students on Hatfield Campus. After the archives, you could try out the new giant chess set near the Aula grass or attend a lunch-hour concert at the Musaion Theatre – which are every Thursday. There are many things to do and see around campus aside from your classes and it is really enriching to explore the place you have near unlimited access to. I am making a point of seeing as much of campus this year as I can before my time at the university is over.

…you haven’t yet realised that you don’t have to spend your life on campus

In other news, we had O-Week, 1NSYNC and a cancelled RAG of Hope Day in the past few weeks. You can read all about these events in this edition, as well as about Chancellor Merkel’s visit to UP. Chancellor Angela Merkel participated in a student-led question-and-answer conversation with UP students. I think it went fairly well but it was a bit disappointing that some students took the opportunity to voice their critical opinions of Dr Merkel or the German government. While these points are definitely valid, there’s an appropriate time and place to question a person’s politics but personally, I don’t think that place was a forum like the conversation at Future Africa, which was meant to be a discussion between students and Dr Merkel.

Speaking of discussions, let’s talk. If you see something newsworthy on campus or know of something, let me know at editor@ pdby.co.za. PDBY is the student voice at the university, and we aim to give a voice to student concerns and news. Don’t keep quiet if you know something, because chances are, it’s something that a lot of students are either worried about or should know about. Speak up.

Of course, if you are really passionate about representing students and giving their voices a platform, you can apply to work at PDBY – there is an application form on page 14.

Until next time, good luck with the semester and don’t speak in groups in the middle of the walkway.

Kayla Thomas