Saturday, February 17, 2007

More Rules

I received an interesting report last night from one of our students who graduated at Helderberg and is now studying at Southern Adventist University.

One of his family members is with him and she is having a hard time because she has been forced to pay a $10 fine for missing worship on two occasions.

I immediately went to browse their website and found their Residence hall handbook. I think it is worth comparing their handbook to ours. They are fundamentally the same. We definitely have the same concerns and we are all dealing with the same issues.

Here is Southern's Residence Hall handbook and here is Salisbury House's handbook.

Let me mention what stands out for me:

1. The issue of single rooms. I saw this policy on Friendensau's website as well. All rooms are provided with furniture for two students. The expectation is that you will have a roommate. If you want to have a room without a roommate the cost for renting the room becomes more (1.5 x the cost of renting a double room). I think that is a fair policy and one that could work at Helderberg. It gives you a choice in the matter.

2. I like Southern's approach to worship attendance, although there are so many small regulations to keep in mind (you only get credit for attending one worship a day etc.) But I like the choice that they give. I also like the fact that they treat mature students (over the age of 23 slightly differently to younger students.)

3. I see that Southern has taken very strong steps to ensure that students look after furniture in their rooms and that they do not move it out. Moving furniture without permission incurs quite a hefty fine. From my perspective as manager of the dormitory that is very helpful because I struggle every December to figure out what furniture belongs where.

4. I am intrigued by the fine system at Southern University. Almost every time you break a rule you get a fine. I would love to ask them how they administer that? I am also trying to figure out how many dormitory deans they have.

5. I would love to know what level of student debate there is about rules and regulations. Do students accept the rules?

I'd love to hear your comments.


Anonymous said...


Being an ex-Helderberg student (both High School and college), it's quite refreshing to see the website and blog. I must say, back in '88, things were quite different.

It's interesting to read an article about more rules, back then, the rules on campus were positively stifling and I hope that students today experience it differently.

As for fines for not attending worship...not a good idea if you consider the negative impact it could have on that person's future religious attitude. I know, I speak from experience. Don't go there, share love, not discipline.

I hope my advice helps a bit. I miss Helderberg (the campus), not the enforced religious attendance.

Feel free to comment.


Weiers said...

Hi K

It is really exciting to hear from you. I generally share the same sentiment of you. I tend to feel that students should want to go to worship because we offer something that they find enriching.

I think it is true that students students are still in the process of choosing their values (although, I guess, even I am still busy doing that). In that sense we as a college has the freedom to try to pursuade students to accept our values as useful and important. I also wonder how much success we achieve by means of force.

(I'd be very interested to hear from current students how they experience worships and the college policy about worship attendance).

I would be extremely interested to hear some of your experiences in Salisbury house. I'd love to put it on my blog. It would be amazing if I could put some of your perspectives on the blog. What did you do in the dormitory that was positively evil? What experiences did you have that had an impact on your life? I don't suppose you have some photos to share?

Thank you so much for commenting.

Anonymous said...


There are so many things that I could tell you. We were quite an active bunch and we really gave Mr. Van As a hard time!

I am glad to see that you have such a positive attitude. Are you the Dean?

My first days in the dormitory started at the begining of 1988, and back then, the dorm had not been refurnished yet. We still had the old mismatching furniture, with rickety beds, bare wooden floors, antique chests of drawers and ancient ablution blocks...but the dorm's revamp started in that same year, so we were the first inhabitants of the new dorm!

I can still remember that the built-in cupboard in my room had a hole in it's ceiling (as did a couple of my friends' rooms), so after Lights-Out, we used to climb up into the ceiling and visit in each other's rooms or just crawl around and chat in the darkness of the roof! Polla, (the African Grey parrot, is he still there?), used to be a treat too. I used to teach him my name and we used to get him to make anouncements over the intercom, so time and again, Polla used to call me to the foyer! Then we also had regular Barney's, I don't know if the High School guys still do it, but we used to gather in the top floor passage after evening study hour, and we would thrash each other! Only rules being that there's no hitting above the shoulders and below the belt, though kicking a guys backside was ok!

We loved sport obviously. We played soccer in the soaking rain, and would go to the cafeteria drenched and muddy, but very hyped. Basketball, indoor soccer, swimming, squash, not to mention athletics. We were always so competitive, and it was good clean fun. I had 3 records in athletics which actually stood for a number of years. Doubt that it's still there though. Miss. C. Reyneke was my favourite teacher, and Mr A. Pretorius was the most interesting, comes with the biology territory I suppose.

So you can see, I have good memories, but also some that had major impacts which I'm still trying to figure out whether it was for the better or not.

All I can say to the students of today is, appreciate the beauty of your surroundings, climb the mountain regularly, study hard and make a success of it, be kind to each other, respect your elders, love with compassion and make it count. Life on campus is over in a flash, though it doesn't feel like it while you're there. Remember to keep contact with all your friends after you leave, it's been 15 years since I left, and today I do not have contact with a single person that I knew back then. Don't let that happen to you, treasure your friendships and allow it to grow, you won't believe how important networking is when you're on the outside.

But that's enough of my rambling for now, I hope to be able to converse with more of you as time goes by, it helps to ease the nostalgia.


Anonymous said...

Just a correction on my previous post....

It was Mr. Andre Joubert that taught Biology, not A. Pretorius.

See, the memories becomes distorted with time...