CUT puts foot down against cyberbullying during unrest

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The Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT) has put its foot down against a group of students who have allegedly started to use social media to threaten fellow students. Student unrest on the campus has been raging on for the better part of this week.

Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Alfred Ngowi, said of great concern is what they have experienced earlier this week in which social media was used to intimidate and threaten some students.

“We all have a duty to post and share information that is legal, ethical, and respectful on our social media platforms and all other communication platforms. While the university has a digital communication policy to guide the use of this platform in our communication, the moment this tool is used irresponsibly to threaten and intimidate and bully others, it becomes a criminal act which management will not tolerate,” said Prof Ngowi.

According to him, it calls on everyone to reflect on what students can do to address the challenges that are staring the institution in the face.

“We must reclaim our safety and security. Every single one of us has a role to play. Certainly, we can, as a collective, make CUT a safer place for young people to study and live in. A place where everyone who makes use of its facility can enjoy the freedoms entrenched in our Constitution.”

Meanwhile the institution has taken the decision to seek a court interdict in view of constant disruptions by a group of students whose disruptive behaviour has had an adverse effect on the university’s operations.

An investigation is underway to ascertain all reported cases, and any student who is found to have transgressed the Code of Conduct and to have engaged in violent and disruptive acts of victimisation, intimidation, and harassment, will face disciplinary hearing.

Management urges any students who are affected by incidents of cyberbullying to report it to the whistleblower hotline where confidentiality is safeguarded. The whistleblower hotline serves as a platform to report incidents of ethical violations anonymously. How to report: Tel (toll free): +27(0)800 222 225 | Fax: +27(0)86-522-2816|E-mail: cut@whistleblowing.co.za | www.whistleblowing.co.za

Compiled by Pieter Delport

pieterd@mahareng.co.za