Atherstone House 1st Term report, 2018




House Warden: Ms Veronica Israel


The House Warden must ensure the provision of an environment within the residence which is conducive to the development and success of its students at the University.  This involves:

  • Interacting with students, as a collective as well as individually
  • Taking an interest in student activities in the residence
  • Assisting students with problems
  • Attending residence functions and being present in the House during all functions
  • Overseeing of the House Committee and sub-wardens


Both my sub-wardens and house committee members were productive during the first term.  I held a leadership meeting with both unit in an attempt to foster unity and to start planning for the year 2018 year.


Important activities engaged in: Term I

  • Student leadership training: 28 January – 2 February
  • 1st years Orientation week programme: 3 – 10 February
  • First years hall sports event: 11 February
  • Strategic planning session with leadership team: 17 February
  • Compulsory House meetings: 18 February & 18 March
  • Equity & Institutional Culture Office meeting with transformation reps: 22 February
  • Corridor meetings held: 23 February
  • Diamonds in the Ruff transformation project Meet n Greet @ Nombulelo High : 24 February
  • Hall Games evening: 25 February
  • Tea parties: 28 February – 08 March
  • Fire-drill held: 09 March @ 5am
  • Siyakhana@Makana transformation rep training: 10 March
  • Atherstone House Braai with Cullen Bowles House: 10 March
  • Academic mentor/mentee Meet  n Greet: 11 March
  • Transformation reps training by Equity & Institutional Culture Office: 17 March
  • Community engagement reps Siyakhana @ Makana promotion flash mob: 18 March
  • Reflection session with House comm: 18 March 2018
  • Evacuation plan & Health &Safety report submitted: 19 March
  • End of term procedure with sub-wardens: 14 & 24 March
  • House financial report submitted – 20 March





Sub-Wardens 2018                                                    House Comm 2018




Theme 2018: Diamonds in the Ruff


House Committee Portfolio reports



I would like to first say that I have a wonderful, strong and so diverse team of ladies to work with. I’ve learned so much in the little time I’ve had to speak, laugh, cry and work with them. I can already see the impact of their work shining on the house.  


The work started during orientation week. Orientation week was a week where I saw myself grow, with that being said I found myself in situations where I had to mediate situations. This is all so new to me, but I remembered that I’m the umbrella of my team, so if I don’t hold them together we’ll fall apart. So my job was to make sure my team worked together in serving the house. So through all of this, I want to say that my ability to interact with a team, my patience, my strength, my trust and so much more, have been tested. Nobody said leadership would be easy, especially if you’re expected to be the driving force of the team. 


The arguments and disagreements during O-week, somehow made us stronger which made all the arguments worth it because we gained faith and trust for one another. I must say the jamming and décor activities are those aspects in O-week that really brought us together. It was a beautiful sight where I saw people who usually wouldn’t interact with one another, laughing and assisting to make the teamwork.  I feel as though the team spirit continued for about two weeks after the school term had started. This was motivated by academic and personal life commitments. This started affecting communication within the group, the respect aspect of everything has started disappearing, the general drive died down.  


I know regardless of personal issues and dynamics, we work so beautifully with one another and achieve the goal as any team should. I know next term I’ll be handling matters with a whole different mindset on things we face as a team. I’ll do best to instill confidence within my team and just keep them going because that’s the path I’m choosing to use as well.  It’s been tough but this is only a stepping stone. I know my team and I are yet to conquer mountains in the next coming terms.






Anelisa                                                                                                                        Aphiwe


As academic representatives one of our main aims was to improve the Mentorship Programme and find ways for it to be consistent. We also introduced a new programme called Helping Hand (basically is like tutoring) for people who want to help academically in subjects they are good at but don’t want to be mentors


What did we do?

We first encouraged people to join these two programmes this was done in our first house meeting which was on the 18th of February 2018. We put in signup sheets the same day to enable people to write their names. After the signups we had 13 people for helping hand, 27 Mentees and 30 Mentors.  We then had a meet and greet for both programmes on the 11th of March which was on a Sunday at 4 pm in the upper common room.


Highlights of event

Our biggest highlights was the presences of the guest speaker Mr. Freddy Hunnel Mashate. Mr. Mashate the pioneer of the Mentor-Mentee initiative and it felt like privilege to be addressed by him. What stood up for me was when he said to the Mentors “you have to aspire to inspire before you expire”. This meant a lot because sometimes in programmes like theses we are so focused on Mentees and forget mentors. The second highlight was the commitment of people who come out in numbers despite all the work they had to do. Without their presence the day would not have been a success.


Challenges encountered

 We found that a few mentees did not come on the day and this meant that they would have not gotten the chance to know each other on the day, but we’ve tried to pair up those who did not attend on the day nonetheless. Also not many people for helping hands have not come to us to help find them someone who can help them with anything they are struggling with and what we hope to do is to spread the word around res so that people are encouraged to come ask for help, as there are people who have signed up to assist others who need help.


Suggested ways forward

Something that we are thinking of implementing after we come back are the ‘Academics tips’ that we will put up around res and change every week or two weeks, so that we can develop the academics culture of feeling like you have support around and can aspire for excellence.















As the community engagement representative for Atherstone House 2018, my task in my portfolio began in 2017 whereby I had to arrange something for the Mamas in the house. I really aimed doing something that has never been done before as the last year they were bought gifts but for me it was more about having to do something truly special. I started this by initiating a door system with the help of my fellow house committee members. Students in the house really were amazing as they were willing to donate after knowing what we aimed at doing for the Mamas, and we collected R370 form the girls in the House. The tea party was truly a success as the Mamas also said that none of this has ever been done for them. This was truly what we wanted to achieve, to show our appreciation for the work that they do.


Mama’s tea party



Community engagement at Rhodes is truly considered as one of the pillars alongside environmental and transformation. So, the engaged citizen programme is a project ran by Rhodes and its partners which allows students to volunteer their time in tutoring and mentoring. My goal was to make sure that everyone in the house knows about it through active communication and putting up posters at residence. This led to 10 people being a part of the programme, which consisted of 4 first years. It is not the number I wanted but I takes commitment which I think the four do have the time to commit to the programme. The training is quite demanding which means that a lot of people end up not being able to commit with all the academic commitments.



As Jan Smuts Hall, we have been allocated to Nokwandile day care centre and we decided to make it known by having a flash mob during the brunch on the 18th of March. The flash mob was a success and made people aware of what is happening in community engagement.



This is something that I saw as a need in the house as we all come from different backgrounds and others do have a need for clothes. This is a gap that I am aiming to close in the house in the house. I have a box allocated next to my room. So, whenever someone feels like donating they can do so and by the end of the month people can come collect and our Mamas too. The only challenge was ensuring that people feel comfortable to donate and take clothes from the box.





Last year the pads project in the house was very problematic because Zena would have to fill up the pads box often as it ran out quickly. So, this year we adopted a system whereby the house committee and subbies hold the pads with them and members of the house can go and ask anyone they feel comfortable with. I have had a lot of girls coming to me and asking but the other house committee have not had anyone, so I am thinking of keeping them with me, but will discuss with the rest.




The transformation rep, Sibo and I thought of this project last year as we both come from quite similar backgrounds. The project that was basically about empowering young girls in the area, as we are in Grahamstown. So, we adopted 30 girls from Nombulelo High School and for the house to be big sisters to the girls and empower them as they also empower themselves. We have met the girls and 23 of them showed up, it was a very amazing experience as this was something we have been looking forward to for a while, so it was special. The only challenge was the proposal to community engagement office as we must stipulate how it would be a mutual relationship between us. Other than that, we enjoyed and looking forward to working with the girls. The project was approved by the Community Engagement Office, so we will start our engagement from 2nd term.








The term of office commenced last year in November to which was merely a period of preparation. I presented and submitted my year proposals to the house committee and the sports admin respectively.  Regarding the internal plans, the first event was the First Years’ Sports Day with the house committees whereas it progressed very well. They engaged in so many different games such as tug of war, touch rugby and other components in sporting codes. I can officially say it brought unity and pride amongst the hall at large. Further, there was the organising of the hall challenge which became underway. The Sports representatives from the various houses met frequently and we can safely say 70% of the plan is complete.  The inter-res sports started with the first being rowing to which we had three of our ladies participating, followed by basketball, that consisted of about 6 ladies. These were both successful events however, the only challenged I faced was non-support from the house committee and the house at large. Nevertheless, the first term was a well progressed term. In addition, the internal league proposal was well supported by the sports admin and the netball club in the school which brought the planning at ease. All that is left is to underway and do the main administration regarding the logistics of the plan.


Inter-res sports / First years’ Sports Hall event









During the first week of term, two boxes were placed on each floor which were for recycling purposes. One of the boxes had paper and the other was plastic. Each corridor was assigned a boxes. Which meant each corridor would have a name which the house would identify them with. Corridor LG1 - 19 (In the DM’/Diamond mines), G1-27(The OGs), 101-117 (A step closer to heaven), 119-136 (Honourable First Ladies), 201-218 (Khilamanjo) and 219-236 (Mount Everest).


The house had an overall challenge with involved waste, energy and water. All lights were being switched off that night and back on in the morning.  At the last house meeting, which was on the 18th March 2018. The corridor which won received an incentive in a form of pizza. The corridor which won was Honourable First Ladies. They had two boxes of glasses and a full box of paper. The corridor was saving energy and they deserved the prize. Individuals were also identified which were going to extreme measures to ensure Environmental wellness. This was Zena and Nyashadzashe.


The highlight of these activities were how the house started participating and now they all aim to get a price. Everyone was doing their little bits it was really amazing. The way forward would be adding another box which is plastic. So in the next term there will be an introduction of a plastic box. Overall, it’s been a productive term.








Precious                                                          Qhamisa


Movie Night with Adamson

We had a Movie Night on the 8th of February with Adamson, snacks and drinks were provided in the Movie Night. The motive of this Movie Night was for first years in the Hall to get to know each other and form relationships or friendships. This was also as a way of creating a chilled session for them after their long busy week of attending talks, walking to monument and the RU Jamming practices. The highlight of the day was having to have our first years actually interact with each other and enjoy themselves after having a long week.

Jan Smuts Games Night

On the 24th of February 2018 we had a games night as the entire hall, it was an amazing night given the fact that everyone was interacting very well, and people were participating in various games though we had returners complaining about there not being food. The only challenge that we had was with the returners as this was meant to be a hall thing but only a few of them actually showed up. Another challenge was also the reliability of comm members in which some comm members decided to leave early without any prior notification.

Braai with Cullen Bowles (CB)

On the 10th of March 2018 we had a braai at CB, we faced a lot of challenges since Sobukwe was also having a braai on the same day, our meals were mixed up with theirs to the extent that at some point the food we had booked for the braai did not tally with the food we had at that particular time, which meant that the food was not going to be enough for everyone. Working with the comm from CB was also a challenge as it was the first time we actually had to plan a braai alongside with another residence. It was also difficult having to return away the people who had not signed for the braai. The highlight of this day was seeing everyone as comm work together in different tasks and in solving the issue, and the fact that you could see that they were actually willing to help at any instance. Overall the braai was a success and we had several of indigenous games, as well as well as games common to everyone such as 30seconds, UNO, and netball which made it easy for everyone to associate and enjoy themselves. 



Games Night – 24 February 2018









Braai at Cullen Bowles – 10 March 2018











There were a number of events which were held this term:  

On the 24 of February, we had a meet and greet with the Diamonds in the Ruff project girls at Nombulelo High School.   No specific challenges were encountered during this meet and greet however we did notice that the language barrier might be a problem in future.


The transformation topics which took place during our annual res tea parties from the 28 of February to the 8 of March, they were a huge success as they enabled people to engage in a less formal setting allowing everyone to state their views however only a few people did not attend.  Topics such as the renaming of the Hall was discussed.


On the 22 February I attended a meeting for transformation reps which was organised by the Equity & Institutional Culture Office. On the 17th March I underwent compulsory facilitation training which started at 8:30am and ended at 17:30. This training was very informative and equipped me with the necessary skills and knowledge to perform my duty as the transformation rep. On the 18 of March we had our very first res transformation talk about gender and sexuality during our house meeting. It was to have a highly informative session because time was limited however people did ask questions and were participating.


On the 20 of March from 19:30 to 21:00 we had the first transformation hall talk of the year, called Transformation Unlocked, in the dining hall. It was a huge success although attendance was low. Those who came stated that they would attend another hall talk as this was informative and allowed them to interact with each other, also learning and unlearning. We discussed the renaming of the hall, gender and sexuality and privilege.


The guest speakers at our hall transformation talk were Dr Khamanga, Warden of Adamson House and Phumelelo Nkomozake, SRC Activism and transformation councillor. I generally think that we will struggle with attendance in our future events. We need to find ways in which we can make people more interested in issues regarding transformation.




Meet n Greet : Nombulelo High Girls






  1. Welcome by: Hall Senior Student – Gina
  2. Ice breaker
  3. Discussion/ talk on the Hall Name Change
  4. Entertainment item
  5. Sex and Gender Talk – Mx Phumelele Nkomozake
  6. Privilege Talk
  7. Vote of thanks – Transformation Committee


**End of programme**


Thank you for coming! Your listenership and audience was greatly appreciated.J JJ

Dr. Khamanga on the renaming of Hall


SRC Activism and transformation councilor on gender and sexuality






In this term there was the use of House Funds, a total of R2000 received on 1 February 2018. This was used for Tuck-shop start up (R700) and R1300 for decorations and gifts for the first years. There was R360 handed over by Ms Veronica from house Funds for payment of DSTV extra channels for the whole year. The next event that was funded was for Meet and Greet for Mentors and Mentees by academic reps. This was done on the 9th of February. On the 10th of February, R710, 70 was given out for the braai between Cullen Bowles and Atherstone for supplies and treats. Another R189, 90 was used to buy the prize pizzas for the enviro rep Recycling Competition in the house. We also raised funds for the Give 5 campaign. Nyasha and Naledi did the fire walk on behalf of Atherstone House.  The monies for this is yet to be announced by the Alumni House. The house comm also sold muffins/cupcakes/cake for the give 5 campaign.  We also opened tuck shop for extended hours to raise funds for Give 5.


Overall it was an exciting term with no problems encountered. Minor issues were brought up and fixed concerning tuck-shop maintenance and duties. I look forward to more smooth sailing terms working closely with Ms Veronica Israel, the Warden.


Give 5 Atherstone House bake sale Nyasha & Naledi:  Did the Fire walk







Role of the Secretary General:

  • To write and type out minutes of meetings, be it house meeting, committee meeting;
  • Put up posters for notification of house meetings, braai, res talks, tea parties etc.;
  • Hand out birthday cards on birthdays and design them. Put up the birthday list for every month;
  • Put up laundry lists and Common Room booking slots;
  • Take pictures of events and send them to respective portfolio’s;
  • Post Monday motivation quotes on Facebook;
  • Post up reminders on Facebook about events and House Meetings etc.

What I did this term:

  • Put up poster and house meeting notifications;
  • I put up laundry list and common room booking slots;
  • I gave out birthday cards and put up birthday lists for March and  February;
  • Wrote out house meeting minutes;
  • Took pictures of our Nombulelo girls and posted on Facebook;
  • Posted Monday motivation on Facebook;
  • Put up reminders of hall events and res event on Facebook and the Athies First’s Years WhatsApp group.

Highlights of Events:

  • I did not have or host any events, because I deal with the administrative side of the residence.
  • During O-Week I really loved the unity we had and the love we had for one another even though we had never worked together. I liked the way we worked and supported one another as a team.
  • For the Tea parties, I was also very impressed because everyone was helping with set up on their day that they had their tea parties.

Challenges Encountered:

  • The challenge that I faced in my portfolio at first was the fact that I could not write minutes whatsoever, but luckily the Warden helped me with that.
  • The other challenge that I faced was the fact that the birthday cards were delaying to come back and people were asking for their birthday cards when we came back and this was really frustrating because I had to account for something I could not control.
  • The other challenge was how we as a committee can resolve the conflict in our team.

Suggested Ways Forward:

  • Communication should be made a consistent thing.
  • Professionalism should be required from all house committee members
  • Respect for one another is required.
  • House Committee to be available to help out in other portfolios and House Committee general stuff.

March Diamonds (Sample)

Birth Dates

      Precious Dube                                                          2 March

      Dr Dre Silver                                                             2 March

      Lungelo Mathebula                                                   3 March

Last Modified: Wed, 30 May 2018 14:31:10 SAST