Caught up in the demands of their studies, students are often slow to volunteer for extra-curricula activities. To counter this, the university's student leadership hosted a week-long drive to foster a sense of social responsibility among their peers.
From workshops on social entrepreneurship and sports coaching sessions, to a concert featuring a community development arts group, The Change Campaign from 22 to 26 August showed students that no matter what their interests, skills or talents, they can make a difference in their communities. This was well underscored by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who delivered a talk, Fighting Apathy and Addressing Social Injustices in our Communities, as part of the campaign.
The Change Campaign is run by the Students' Representative Council (SRC) and the Development Agency Sub-Council, made up of representatives from SHAWCO Health, SHAWCO Education, Ubunye, RAG, UCT Radio and Varsity newspaper.
Kathleen Taylor, SRC vice-president internal, says the drive is all about encouraging students to identify with and take on social issues that concern them to bring about change in their communities.
"Something had to be done to address student apathy and evoke a passion among students to not only care about their communities and the problems they face, but to actually do something about these problems," said Taylor.
This is not to discount the efforts of the very many students who do roll up their sleeves to serve the community. Nyasha Kadandara, editor of Varsity newspaper, believes that many students either don't know how they can get involved, or are wary of taking on too much.
The Change Campaign, however, would show students that being involved in socially responsive activities is part and parcel of their educational experience.
"We also want to show that there are many ways one can get involved: volunteering for an hour a week, picking up litter, playing soccer in the afternoon, or contributing to the newspaper."
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On Sunday, 26 December 2021, the University of Cape Town learned of the passing of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, 90. We say goodbye to a man who taught us the power of joy to fight injustice and evil.
“Archbishop Emeritus Tutu, as he graciously aged, never lost his vision for a just and free South Africa.”
– Archbishop Emeritus Njongonkulu Ndungane
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