Penthouse suite for Humanities postgrads

11 Feb 2013 - 15:00

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Postgraduate students enjoy the new rooftop garden spaces in the Leslie Social Science building

To kick-start 2013, the faculty has unveiled a new multipurpose space in the Robert Leslie Social Science Building. The modern suite, which occupies almost half of the sixth floor in the east wing of the building, has been created exclusively for Humanities postgraduate students in the departments of Political Studies, Sociology, Religious Studies and Social Development.

This latest renovation project forms part of the faculty's drive to optimise building spaces, creating contemporary learning environments that respond to the needs of Humanities students. In the Leslie Social Science building, these upgrades include: three Wi-Fi enabled spaces; improved tutor facilities; additional postgraduate seminar rooms, private lockers; a bespoke kitchen and mini canteen area as well roof-top gardens converted from outdoor balconies. The main attraction in the new zone is a central quad garden which features Astro Carpet, outdoor furniture and plants. Students from each of the four departments have since formed a committee which will oversee the daily maintenance of their new study and relaxation area.

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The new kitchen facilities for graduate students in the Leslie Building

Speaking at the launch, which took place in early February, Professor Dave Cooper (Sociology) thanked Peter Byne (Maintenance), Thaabiet Abrahams (Properties & Services) as well as UCT's resident Horticulturalist Noelene Le Cordier for their innovative approach to converting a formerly drab area into a dynamic student hub. In her speech, Dean of the faculty, Professor Paula Ensor commented that the new space mirrors the University of Michigan's Ann Arbor residential community which was designed to blur the boundaries between the social and the academic environment. She challenged Humanities students to make use of the faculty's postgraduate zones in a similar way for relaxation, for cross-disciplinary collaboration and for creative thinking.