eish! spoke to Siyabonga Hlophe, SRC chairperson and Vanderbijlpark Campus Student Campus Council (SCC) chairperson; Danielle Giorgi, the SRC deputy chairperson and the Potchefstroom Campus SCC chairperson; and Thabang Tlale, the SRC secretary-general and Mahikeng Campus SCC chairperson, about how they plan to lead during a pandemic.
The power of social media
With over 3,6 billion people using social media globally, Siyabonga aims to use this to his advantage. To comply with the current social-distancing protocols, he will use social media to communicate with students.
“Trying to lead during a pandemic is going to be very challenging, but I am up for the task. I will be more active on social media and will ensure that the line of communication between students and myself is always open,” says Siyabonga.
There have been a lot of changes, especially within the teaching and learning space, but the BEd final-year student says he will ensure that students are not academically or financially excluded.
Hailing from Ermelo in Mpumalanga, Siyabonga can be found reading books in his spare time.
Working for the next generation
Danielle is the rose among the thorns – she is the only female in the SRC’s top three leadership roles.
“The Potchefstroom Campus is well known for its caring culture and vibrant student life. I always remind my SCC that our student life has survived several challenges over the years and it will, without a doubt, survive the Covid-19 pandemic as well.”
She says that the pandemic offers the team an opportunity to rethink the format of their events and programmes “Changes should ensure that post-pandemic student life is even better than the one we have always known,” she adds.
Danielle was born and bred in the “City of Roses” – Bloemfontein – in the Free State. When she is not busy with her postgraduate diploma in business management, she is either reading, listening to music, or travelling.
4IR is the answer
The world has moved into the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and Thabang wants NWU students to move with it.
“One of the challenges that my leadership will face this year is that of first-year students adapting to online learning. Online learning has a number of opportunities and challenges. There are some students who will excel while others will not perform at their best. But we will try to help those who are struggling,” says Thabang.
Thabang says he will be available on social media for students who need his assistance.
The BEd final-year student from Zeerust in North-West says he loves cooking and reading in his spare time.
The NWU applauds Siyabonga, Danielle and Thabang for the plans they have put into place during this pandemic. The university looks forward to reaping all the rewards of their hard work.
If 2021 is anything like 2020, the recently elected Student Representative Council (SRC) leaders have their work cut out for them. They will have to find creative ways to lead, communicate and engage with students around the restrictions posed by Covid-19.
HOW THE SRC WILL LEAD
during this pandemic