The Wits SRC ushered in the dreaded exam season by hosting an exams prayer night outside the Great Hall steps, followed by a study session at the exams hall, last night.
Students across different religious backgrounds came together for prayer and all religious dominations represented at Wits were invited, said Paul Ndiweni, Deputy President. There was a common respect for differing beliefs amongst students. The crowd chuckled in agreement when Waseem Talia, representative of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) said “I know we don’t follow the same religion but we all pray to the same God, well hopefully”, before reading out a prayer.
After prayers by representatives from Christian Action Fellowship and MSA, students could spend time praying individually. Paballo Makume, 2nd year BAccSci said she came for the prayer “to do well in exams. I hope I pass well.” Yolisa Makgale, 2nd year BCom said, “I came because I wanted to start my exams off on a positive note. I am hoping to pass my exams exceptionally well.” Tshepo Mthemba, 1st year industrial engineering said, “I’m here to ask God to help me with my exams and to guide me.”
After prayers, students flocked to Exams Hall to get some studying done. The idea for the study session came about when various student societies approached the SRC to enquire about the plans for students during the exam period, according to Ndiweni. The Exams Hall was well equipped for study space and snacks and hot beverages and “sweets for a sugar rush” to keep students going throughout the night.
It’s nice for students to be in one venue instead of being spread across different libraries.
The study session was popular amongst students. Silindile Nkosi, 1st year Construction Studies, came to study because “there are too many distractions at home. When I’m here amongst people studying, I am forced to study.” Phelele Khumalo, 1st year BSc, came to study at the Exams Hall because there was space available, “I didn’t go to the library because I think it’s full.”
SRC Academic chairperson Ageliki Vidalis said the venue was different to the library because “it’s nice for students to be in one venue instead of being spread across different libraries”.
SRC Sports Chairperson Andrew Keightley-Smith said “I think it’s a wonderful initiative, but I wish more students were here. We shouldn’t just arrange one study session, we should improve libraries so that all students can study for as long as they want.”
SRC President Shafee Verachia said the Exams Hall study session was different to libraries because there were refreshments, campus control to walk students back to res and the buses would leave later for students.