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Intervarsity: add some safety to your gees

Intervarsity is finally here. Luyanda Mahlinza spoke to Kenny Knoetze, assistant manager of Hi-Tech Security, about some incredibly important safety requirements to take note of this weekend.

The calm before the storm. Hi-Tech have ensured all surrounding streets are guarded and monitored this weekend. Photo credit: Luyanda Mahlinza

The calm before the storm. Hi-Tech have ensured all surrounding streets are guarded and monitored this weekend. Photo credit: Luyanda Mahlinza

The most anticipated and spirited weekend that almost every Rhodes University student look forward to is finally upon us. Intervarsity is a weekend full of sports, camaraderie amongst peers and some vigorous debauchery, but it is also an event that has consistently raised safety concerns. The high influx of visitors to the town as well as the increased alcohol intake by those participating leads to Grahamstown’s crime rate being exceptionally high during this time.

Kenny Knoetze, assistant manager of Hi-Tech Security, explains that Hi-Tech has joined forces with the Rhodes University Student Council (SRC), the Campus Protection Unit (CPU) as well as the Grahamstown Police Service, to ensure the utmost safety and security for both the students and residents of Grahamstown. Preparations for safety during Intervarsity took two to three months to finalize and extra security measures have been employed to accommodate the expectations of this huge event.

“We will have over 100 security officers in designated locations during the entire weekend,” says Knoetze, “For the field party, we have also arranged 30 police officers on ground, 12 CPU guards circulating and 10 extra Hi-Tech guards on Campus.”

The provisions made this year are double those made during the Intervarsity event that took place in 2012. This is due to the frequent incidents of crime, not only in the main sporting and entertainment areas, but also the surrounding residential areas. Hi-Tech have noted these potential high crime areas and are certain that the the distribution of officers in these areas will be sufficient.

“Some hotspots that are major concerns to us are sections on New Street, Somerset Street, Luke Street, Scott’s Avenue as well as extensions off lower High Street. We are very concerned about these areas but we will have Hi-Tech officers on the field and out and about in these areas to make sure no one is being silly,” says Knoetze.

The security measures put in place for Intervaristy this year are sure to be effective, however the efforts by Hi-Tech and the Grahamstown Police Service need to be met with similar effort by students and residents taking part in the event. Hi-Tech strongly advises everyone to be smart and cautious and to make use of all the options made available by Hi-Tech. Knoetze urges all those participating to make note of the following necessary steps to ensure their own security

  1. Use the buddy system:

“Always stay in groups especially when going home. It’s always bad news to wander off unaccompanied into isolated streets and even in populated areas like the Great Field. One should be cautious.

2. Drink responsibly:

“I fully understand that this is a very exciting time for you all, but try to not get too excited. Intoxication is very often the foundation of the problem during events like these.”

3. Know where the security officers are:

“Always make sure you are in close proximity to a Hi-Tech officer, police officer or CPU guard, or are at least able to easily contact one.”

4. Keep your student card on you at all times:

“It is important for Rhodes students to ALWAYS have their student cards on their person, access to the Great Field will not be permitted with this.”

“I am very confident that this weekend will be a success,” says Knoetze. “The party is well organized, the security measures are well established and the overall preparations for this year’s Intervarsity has been handled much better than previous years so it’s all up to us and the students to make it a memorable weekend… in a good way”.

Hi-Tech: 046 636 1660

Campus Protection Unit: 046 603 8146

Ambulance: 10 177

Police: 10 111/ 046 603 9152/ 046 603 9111/From Cellphone Dial 112

Hospital: 046 622 2215

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