The Rhodes Student Representative Council (SRC) this year celebrates 101 years of student governance since it was first convened in 1910.
The celebrations lasted from 11-14 May through various activities, which included the current SRC and Rhodes student body, as well as SRC Alumni and SRC members from around the country.
“Last year was supposed to be the celebration of 100 years. Unfortunately, the previous SRC Administration was not able to celebrate the event,” said Martin Forsyth, the SRC Media Councillor for 2011.
“100 years of Student Governance is not something to be disregarded, so we took this opportunity to celebrate the event, and look back on the 100 years to see how far we have come. This event also allowed us, in reflecting on the past, to pave a way forward for the next 100 years.”
The celebrations started off on 11 May, when a ‘Time Tent’ was opened and displayed various artefacts and SRC photographs which dated back to the formation of the Council in 1910. Current students and SRC members, staff and Alumni were also offered the chance to place a note inside a time capsule, which will be opened in 50 years’ time and will hopefully give future students some idea of how governance took place at Rhodes in 2011.
On 12 and 13 May SRC Alumni were welcomed back to Grahamstown and given tours of campus. A Meet and Greet was held during the evening.
On Friday 13 May a Colloquium between the Administration and the SRC (both present members and past) was held. This dealt with various issues that had affected the SRC through the ages and was chaired by Professor Paul Maylam, the head of the History Department. A Crystal Ball for all guests and the university leaders on every level was held in the evening.
On 14 May the farewell ceremony for Alumni was held in the Time Tent, where they had the opportunity to share their experiences from their time as Councillors. From 3:00pm an overalls and ‘lumo’ party was held on the Great Field, allowing the current student body to take part in the celebrations.
Throughout the celebrations the first of 101 trees were planted around the Grahamstown community, in line with the UN Billion tree planting campaign, which hopes to plant a billion trees worldwide.
The centenary celebration was also an opportunity for the SRC to identify, and attempt to address issues currently facing its ability to address the needs of students.
“One such problem is continuity: year after year 15 new people are elected into office, each new administration brings a new way it wants to do things in the SRC, and what sometimes happens is that the plans of the previous administration get lost and forgotten - and there is only so much which can be achieved in their one term in office; therefore, we are trying to establish ways of improving this,” said Forsyth.
By Robyn Kirk
Photo: SRC councillors Boipelo Bonokwane, SRC President, Allan Magubane and Jean-Michel Gaud blow out the candles on the birthday cake at the Great field party.
Photo by: Roxanne HendersonSource:
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