Change the Vensters 2023 venue to campus again

Change the Vensters 2023 venue to campus again

6 November 2022
Signatures: 173Next Goal: 200
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Why this petition matters

Started by Helene Wessels

Pre-COVID Vensters was an incredibly popular event, attracting thousands of people from the Boland area. Up until 2020, Vensters took place all over campus, with stages set up in front of different residences (hence the name “Vensters”, for the windows of the residences), just as it had been since its origin many decades ago. Additionally, stages would be set up at the Conservatorium, with a Food Walk down Victoria Street. This would attract many people to attend the event, including SU students, Stellenbosch residents and even people from neighbouring towns - in 2018 somewhat 25000 people attended Vensters.

The Vensters event had been online in 2021 and at the Coetzenburg Centre in 2022 to accommodate COVID-19 regulations.

The past two years’ Vensters performances were not nearly as special as it was supposed to be, and this was solely due to the fact that Vensters was kept centralised at one stage and location. This highlighted the reality that Vensters isn’t just about the performances put up by the first years on the stage, but also all the social interactions and excitement revolving around the performances, both essential to the event’s appeal and success.

A few weeks ago, Connect Stellenbosch University proposed that Vensters 2023 be held at the Welgevallen hockey fields. There was an overwhelming amount of Vensters House Committee members that did not agree with this change, and preferred to keep the Vensters set up the way it was pre-Covid. The majority signed a document saying that we do not agree with the change to a hockey field. This document then went to the Centre for Student Communities.

Last week, we all received a document stating that Vensters will still be happening at the Welgevallen hockey fields.

The reason for the change in venue according to them was to “ensure the event remains student focused and to improve the safety of our students”. This is an incredibly unrealistic precaution - we are all adults and are well aware that being on campus will be part of our daily lives at SU. Assuring our safety doesn’t mean cooping us up in one location and thereby destroying the appeal of a wonderful night of Vensters. Our safety can also be assured by setting up Campus Security guards and policemen at the different stages on campus.

In summary, the reasons to change Vensters back to the pre-COVID set up:

  • The “one location” set up of 2022 was only to accommodate COVID-19 regulations
  • More ticket sales (sales in 2018 were 15000 tickets sold)
  • A great experience for first years that they can share with older students who had experienced Vensters pre-COVID
  • An interactive event involving the whole of the Stellenbosch community

Me, by setting up this petition and anyone signing it, is asking the CSC and Stellenbosch Municipality to reconsider their decision and reinstate Vensters as one of the highlights of the year by changing it back to on-campus.

This petition is not affiliated with any SU residence or PSO.

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Signatures: 173Next Goal: 200
Support now