Three students from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) passed as a result of suicide. The Wits Student Representative Council (SRC) put out a statement speaking on the matter and mental health.
Of the three students, one was a student from the medical school and one final year Bachelor of Arts (BA) student.ne of the three students was a medical student, while the other was a final-year Bachelor of Arts (BA) student.
The announcement was as follows: "It is with great sadness that I report that we have lost another life to suicide in the last two weeks. It's upsetting to watch young people commit suicide as a result of the pressures that universities place on students ".
The SRC has voiced concern as a growing number of student suicides have been recorded, and has asked for increased attention to be paid to students and their academics. As a result, they are demanding:
•All exams should have a minimum of 24 hours window period
•Every student should be allowed to defer if they feel like they under pressure without having to go through the documentation process
The SRC stated, "These requests are influenced by the behavior of PRIVILEGED lecturers who refuse to accept the state we are in as a country, with loadshedding, socioeconomic inequities that impede students' ability to actively participate in online teaching and learning."
These students also do not want to see poor and marginalized students being excluded, as they were while Adam Habib was Vice-Chancellor, stating, "A VC who promotes systematic exclusion is our enemy."
Wits' silence on these killings has also been noted, with the SRC concerned about the University's situation under the current leadership, which "is not decisive in addressing issues"
Should students, and also staff, feel like they need help they can call the Higher Health helpline at 0800 36 36 36 or the South African Depression and Anxiety Group helpline at 0800 456 789.
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