Are there opportunities for students to assume positions of leadership at UCT? Even if you are not at res?
There are a myriad of leadership opportunities available at UCT, both in and out of residence. They range in importance and demand, and require different levels of selection processes. This response will detail most of them, but there are other opportunities not mentioned too.
Perhaps the primary leadership body of UCT is the Student Representative Council (SRC). This council, made up of 15 students, is voted for by the entire student body, and effectively acts as the representative body for communication between students and university management. The SRC has huge influence over student proceedings and the potential to change UCT policies, but involves a significant selection process, including an extended period of campaigning around campus, speeches and interrogations.
The sub-councils of the SRC focus on specific parts of the university under the SRC’s delegation and leadership. A breakdown of the sub-councils and their range of control, as well as more information on the SRC, can be seen here: http://www.dsa.uct.ac.za/sites/default/files/image_tool/images/412/forms/Student_Governance_Model_2013.pdf
Other than the SRC and its subdivisions, there are a range of leadership opportunities around. Individual societies at UCT each have their own leadership structures, with executive and sub-committees managing the core functions of the societies. Within the sporting structures, there are individual captains of teams, as well as club captains, chairpersons and committees.
Academically, there are councils for each faculty, such as the Commerce Students’ Council (CSC), as well as class representatives for individual lectures, who are in charge of voicing the concerns of students within those particular lectures.
With regards to residences, there are separate leadership structures for residences too. At the top level of leadership, residences are run by House Committees, within which there are separate portfolios and an executive body. There are then residence councils for most portfolios, made up of the portfolio-holders in each residence. For example, the Secretaries/Secretary-Generals of each residence come together to form the Secretariat Council. House Committees typically set policies for the residence (bound by the residence’s constitution as set by Student Housing), while Sub-Wardens, who are effectively students operating as the Warden’s sub-committee (the Warden being a member of staff at UCT), ensure that these policies are carried out. Underneath these leadership structures, there are several bodies of leadership that vary from residence to residence, including sub-committees, mentors, dining hall monitors, receptionists, tutors and librarians.