SRC & Rhodes University Community EngagementDate Released: Tue, 19 June 2012 09:00 +0200
Community Engagement (CE) at Rhodes University (RU) still has the potential to grow and have a greater impact on the community as well as the student body. In order for this to be achieved, a strong network needs to be built between the student leadership at RU and the Rhodes University Community Engagement (RUCE). Once this is achieved and the student leaders understand the importance and nature of CE, we begin to encourage and influence greater student participation in CE.
Therefore, there is a great importance I RUCE and the SRC having a strong relationship, as the SRC should be the connection and driver between RUCE and all student leaders at RU. This relationship has been problematic in the past due to the nature of the SRC, as its leadership changes each year and the commitment to CE depends on the goals set out by the incumbent SRC. However, it is pertinent that student CE leaders find creative and suitable methods to tackle the issue which hinder the relationship between student leaders and RUCE. I believe that this directly influence the level of participation and commitment of student to CE, because an organisation is as strong as its leadership.
The relationship between RUCE and the SRC of 2010/2011 has been pleasant, but has not yet reached its full potential. As soon as the current SRC come into office, the RUCE has organised a tour of some of the CE project it manages, by way of an introduction to CE and also to assist the council in understanding what CE entails. The SRC also had the pleasure of having Diana Hornby sit in on one of its Council meeting to express what she would like to achieve as the Director of RUCE and what she wishes for the relationship between RUCE and the SRC. RUCE and the SRC will be working closely together for the Mandela Day programme as well as Community Engagement Week. I wish to see great things being achieved from this relationship and hope that it will only strengthen with time and hard work.
By Boipelo Bonokwane, 2011 SRC Community Engagement Rep