My name is Sharon Mogale, I am a 6th year medical student from Bronkhorstspruit, Gauteng. Together with my two brothers, I was raised by my grandparents. I am the current Student Representative Council (SRC) International Students Coordinator and the former Chairperson of the Health Sciences Students’ Council (HSSC).
2020 was a path in my journey I never thought I would ever go through - it brought joy, grief, pain, and success. Being a medical student during a pandemic was challenging in the sense that it provided an opportunity for us to be a part of the response to assist in alleviating the burden. We were also challenged with not being able to study in an environment that we were accustomed to, whilst many were navigating grief at the same time.
As the Health Sciences Students’ Council Chairperson, I was instrumental in leading my team, and we successfully represented students during a challenging time. Some of the influential achievements we had as the HSSC include:
Setting up a satellite office early in January with the SRC to assist with the signing of financial aid allowances.
Creating a Mobile Data Transfer initiative.
Influencing the development of the Faculty’s first WhatsApp chatbot to deal with student queries in the Faculty.
Six of our members completed over 100 hours of student leadership service on UCT Plus.
We facilitated the creation of an online survey that reviewed online learning after five weeks in the faculty. This was presented at the Teaching and Learning Committee at UCT.
Our leadership was inspired by other students in the Faculty who took it upon themselves to bring change: the students who collected 67 messages for health workers on Mandela Day, the students who raised funds to transport other students during lockdown, and the students who volunteered in COVID-19 relief efforts. As the young American poet, Amanda Gorman, said: "The new dawn blossoms as we free it. For there is always light if only we are brave enough to see it, if only we are brave enough to be it." We chose to be that light for ourselves and our communities, and I do not think we have ever been more united as a Faculty.
Chair of Health Sciences Students’ Council
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