Start main page content

Witsies Connect uncovers shared interests

- Wits University

Wits staff break down institutional silos as they pause and step out of their usual routine.

On a balmy autumn morning, the Wits champion tree that has stood for more than 100-years on West Campus, witnessed curious smiles as groups of staff from different schools met.

The School of Accountancy and the School of Economics and Finance engaged in an atypical morning of getting to know each other as part of the Witsies Connect initiative. Within minutes, the reserved smiles soon turned into gasps of admiration as laughs as staff introduced themselves and their quirky interests and talents outside of Wits.

School of Accountancy meets School of Economics and Finance

Wits is a vast University with diverse people and departments. Wits Connect promotes informal interactions among staff with the view of promoting awareness about the contribution of each department to the success of the University while at the same time strengthening Wits culture. The goal is to make these interactions a part of Wits culture, taking place throughout the year.

New friends in every corner

Keen on building new friends, Wits Libraries invited grounds staff within the Services Department. For many, it was the first time discovering that they have access to the libraries and can also dive into the different worlds captured in the vast collections at the libraries. The session included a tour to the William Cullen and the Parktown Education Libraries, which house books in all South African languages and books form the diaspora. Once a farm worker and a cement mixer at a construction site, Matamela Mulaudzi is now Institutional Repository Specialist. He shared how he worked himself up, while Gremmah Mdakane, once a cleaner and now a Library Assistant inspired with her story.

Doors to new friendships: Library staff meets Grounds staff

Floor mates get acquainted

Neighbours on the second floor at Solomon Mahlangu House, the Functions and Events team and the Academic Information Systems Unit finally had a  moment. “Though we have crossed paths in the corridors on the way to the printer or to the kitchen or occasionally met at the Health and Safety meetings, we have never really had an opportunity to understand the nature of the work each department does, nor know the people in those respective spaces,” says Thembi Dlamini, Head of Functions and Events. “As a department that is host to many occasions at Wits, we thought it important to start at home by getting to know our neighbours, in a hope that we will have a better appreciation of each other’s vocations as well as individuals also play an important part of the Wits family.”

Always up for a challenge, the teams also engaged in a friendly quiz against each other.

Learning about special needs for academic success

The Executive Assistants on the 11th floor had a chance to learn more about how the Disability Rights Unit supports students with special needs at the University. From the specially designed wheelchair friendly floors to supporting students with the transition from high school to University life, nothing is left to chance in efforts to ensure academic and social success.

Executive Assistants step out of the pressure cooker to meet the Disability Rights Unit

Life, death and dignity

The School of Anatomical Sciences connected Central Communications to the world of body dissection and the greater good served by individuals who donate their bodies to science. There’s strong emphasis on ethics and the deep respect for cadavers such that many students compose poetry as a tribute to those who permitted for their lives to be vessels for learning. The School is also on an awareness drive to encourage body donations across race as this enables students to gain practical experience that matches the reality of our continent.