Dean of Students: Dr. L. Chiromo
- PhD (Social Justice Education) UKZN, (South Africa)
- MA, (Religious Studies [Old Testament]) UZ. (Zimbabwe)
- BA Sp.Hon. (Religious studies), UZ. (Zimbabwe)
- BA Gen., (War Strategic Studies, Shona, Religious Studies) UZ. (Zimbabwe)
- Dip. in Adult & Continuing Education, GZU (Zimbabwe)
- Dip. in Ed, UCE -UZ (Zimbabwe)
Let me, on behalf of Student Affairs Division and indeed on my own behalf welcome you to the Reformed Church University. As the name suggests we belong to the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe. For most of you this may be the first time in your life that you take full responsibility of your affairs i.e. becoming independent as it were with no parents, no teachers or prefects organizing and coordinating your life. Student affairs is ‘the first home away from home’ responsible for offering support and enabled new students and returning students to adapt to University culture. As studies have indicated that most students who join universities from high schools are often under-prepared for the culture of universities education, Student Affairs Division takes it upon itself to promote a healthy transition from high school to university life (Skene, Hogan & Brown, 2006). Thus, to achieve this goal, we encourage all students to attend the ongoing orientation programme. We anticipate that after orientation, our students would have developed positive self – image, feelings of self-efficacy, self – control, emotional intelligence, respect for oneself, ability to create health interpersonal relationships and respected for others. Being at university is a life -changing experience that either make you the best person or ruin you completely. In spite of the scourge of AIDS, drug abuse and other related STI’s, a good number of our female students will be expecting by the time they write their end of semester examinations some out of choice but others regrettably ,as a result of reckless behaviour. Our degrees are generally of a four years duration but due to distractions such as raising families in between, some take up to six years as if they were taking a medical degree! By all means, mix, have fun but know your limits and the company you keep.
In your orientation programme, you will be introduced to various services the university offers. Reformed Church University has a wide range of facilities to promote academic growth for its students. It is understood that when first year students come to the university it is a critical turning point that has psychological and physical changes separating students from their parents, siblings and community into a new environment where they are expected to develop close emotional relationships with non-family members and stable personality. Therefore the
orientation programme provides tertiary socialization, whereby students are nurtured to respect diversity, university culture, its values, norms and expected behaviours. The expectations are backed by policies outlined and explained in various ordinances and policy documents. Students are expected to read and fully understand all the ordinances and policies.
All new students should brace themselves for E-Learning, which is more students-centred approach, which is self-directed and consistent with the new normal. It is possible that to some students and parents in Zimbabwe, owning a smart phone or a laptop is considered a luxury .It is likely that some students came to university with no laptop or smart phone. In comparison in the developed countries “use of smartphones and social media is common across most emerging economies”, (Silver, Smith, Johnson, Jiang, Anderson & Rainie 2019 p.1). The smartphones and computers are considered basic needs among members of every community. Hence, if you do not have a smartphone or laptop make sure you get one. For private institutions we cannot over emphasize the need for students to pay fees. We have no other source of income but the fees. Please make sure you have paid your fees as required by the admissions policy.
There is a canteen where student and staff meals are prepared and served. Currently the university has accommodation that can accommodate limited number of female students. Funds permitting, the other hostels are under construction and may be ready for occupation in the near future.
The university has a clinic that is manned by a qualified nurse. The student health is also sustained by a self-managed medical aid scheme. The scheme assisted some limited illness but some serious or critical illness we kindly requests the intervention of the guardians or parents.
The university has a growing enrolment of students who are housed at Masvingo main campus, Mutare cohort, Betbridge cohort and Harare cohort center and other newly established centers. The university has three faculties, the faculty of education and social sciences, faculty of arts and theology and the faculty of commerce. The faculties offer a wide range of credible, market driven and internationally recognized degree qualifications diplomas and certificates in short courses.
Student affairs exists to provide quality services to all its students through reduction of physical and psycho- social barriers of all kinds.
- Source external funding for fish farming project run by students
- Organize a successful trip to the Victoria Falls and Hwange game reserve
- Hosting a disability expo at the reformed church university
- Hold a successful SRC orientation for the new SRC members
- Seek approval of bus levy that will see RCU acquire an educational trips bus
- Seek approval of sports levy meaningful enough to construct top of the art facilities in ddition to what the university is currently having
- Establish a career guidance office to assist students secure work related placements across the country
- Student centeredness
- Student satisfaction
- Academic excellence
- Respect for diversity
- Integrity and ethical behaviour
- Innovativeness, flexibility and initiative
The principles that guide our office are that:
- Creating student – centered learning environment.
- Develop innovative and original thinkers capable of solving community problems in a changing environment.
- Helping students develop coherent values and ethical standards, Providing of opportunities for students to demonstrate the values of honesty, equality, civility, freedom, dignity and responsible citizenship.
- Setting and communicating high expectations for student learning.
- This is enhanced by appropriate students’ capabilities and aspirations, and consistent with the institution’s mission, vision and values.
- Creating partnerships that advance students learning with all sectors of the community.
- Building supportive and inclusive communities where diversity, social responsibility and a sense of belonging is fostered.
Highlights Of Activities Taking Place In Student Affairs
As has been articulated earlier, the role of student affairs is to offer support and enabled new students to adapt to the Reformed Church University culture. Studies have indicated that most students who join universities from high schools are often under-prepared for the culture of universities education. Therefore the orientation programme is held to promote a healthy transition from high school to university life. Thus after the orientation programme, we anticipate that our students would have developed positive self – image, feelings of self-efficacy, self – control, emotional intelligence, respect for oneself, ability to create health interpersonal relationships and respected for others. During orientation we offer the following:
- Academic, personal and social skills for successful integration into university life.
- Knowledge on how university support structures offer services to students
- Diverse training on social skills, time management, stress reduction techniques, and digital literacy.
- Monitor student performance and identify early warning signs poor academic performance and psychosocial challenges and provide necessary counselling.
- Trace absences, missed assignments, and sudden deterioration of student averages and work with other support systems in the university.
- The orientation is a special programme to familiarize new students with key aspects of university life. The programme will cover the following critical areas; student conduct and behaviour, Reporting structures, SRC elections and constitution, welfare and policy issues, student governance, digital literacy, student safety and security, assessment, assignment writing, plagiarism and reading culture. It is believed that after the orientation week students would be confident enough to produce quality work.
- Make students aware of the vision and mission of RCU and role played by student affairs to make the vision a reality.
- Ensure that every student understood how student affairs would respond to student needs.
- Ensure that every student understood the value attached to university education and its role in transforming society.
- Ensure that students understood the importance of following channels of communication and the place of social media
- Directs students to resources, policies and procedures for addressing personal or academic concern
To ensure that new students:
- Understand policies governing student conduct and behaviour
- Understand grievance handling procedures and reporting channels
- Understand assessment procedures and processes
- Draw attention of students to referencing, plagiarism, presentations, assignment writing and how feedback will be provided.
- Equip students with e- learning skills and use of the e library
- Understand the role and functions of associations and clubs VII. Stand how to function in an inclusive society
Substance Abuse, Sexual Harassment, Gender Based Violence & Crime
In universities alcohol abuse and unhealthy sexual practices among students have reached alarming proportions. The Reformed Church University has taken initiatives to reduce susceptibility of its students towards crime and imprisonment, sexually transmitted infections and impaired psychological well-being and stigmatization through workshops, seminars and public lectures to
create awareness and advocate for a drug-free lifestyles and environments
Lack of economic options for university students to support themselves, left them vulnerable to sexual harassment and abuse by those who had the economic power (Chinangure & Mutekwe, 2014). Avoid peer pressure and learn to live within your means. Studies show that poverty left women and generally most university students at a position where they were controlled, manipulated and violated sexually (Chinangure & Mutekwe, 2014). You may end up suffering from trauma and distress that can affect you studies and psychosocial wellbeing.
Student Representative Council
This department is manned with Miss Mercy Takuva. A new SRC was elected into office using the secret ballot and majority vote system. The induction and leadership is due in due course if funds are availed. The Students Representative Council (SRC), is the students’ voice and voice of the RCU Administration to students. It is the legally – recognized body for student representation at the Reformed Church University (RCU). The most important aspect of the SRC is that its members are elected annually by the student body during the April Block or August Block to represent and serve both the student interest and RCU Administration. The SRC is subject, at all times, to the overall control and direction of the University Council exercised primarily through the office of the Vice Chancellor. The SRC is expected to meet fortnightly during the semester in order to discuss issues important to students. SRC members are expected to put forward motions that are usually inspired by positive change that the students’ body wants to see happening at the RCU. Motions that receive a majority of votes are forwarded to the Students Affairs Committee and are put in to action shortly thereafter
Student Clubs & Social Clubs
Students are encouraged to join social clubs in campus. The university has introduced a lot of clubs which promote student social health. Student affairs works with several partners such as Ministry of Health and Child Care, NAC and SAYWHAT .Organized sexual and reproductive health workshops are held from time to time .The mentoring and peer counselling club is done by peer educators. This is an initiative to promote active participation and involvement of students in Sexual Reproductive Health advocacy. There is another club called International coaching and mentoring Foundation.
Student should plan for educational trips that will be undertaken by the university from time to time through the Student Affairs department. Trip fees vary depending on distance. Students will not be asked to pay for trip organised for sporting activities.