The future leaders of Stellenbosch University participated in the annual SU Leads conference this past weekend.
The conference encouraged students to critically engage around their role in building a more equal and inclusive society. Themes included exploring the past, activating agency and co-creating the future, according to JC Landman, Media Officer at Student Affairs.
He added that the conference offers student leaders the tools they need to navigate various challenges on campus successfully.
Laura Chandler, House Committee member of Nemesia said: “What I see as SU Leads greatest strength is its ability to serve as a unique platform to enforce awareness of the issues on our campus.”
Corrie Bilbo Jonker, Vice-Primarius of Helderberg, said while this was his third and best SU Leads so far, he felt “that some people use this platform to push their own agenda”.
David Baker Effendi, head mentor at Helderberg, said that he was “impressed by the overall quality and depth of the sessions”. However, he did feel that some sessions failed to involve every member, but that most were well facilitated sessions.
Chandler added that while the conflict that occurs may be intimidating or come from questionable views, it “does result in honest opinions being shared and from this we receive an accurate indication of where stellenbosch has to grow. And this year was no exception.”
Despite criticism from some student leadership, Landman said that: “The team takes great care in selecting facilitators and making sure that all presenters understand the Stellenbosch context when we invite them to the conference.”
“We will never shut down student voices and we try our best to create a safe space for all students to engage around critical issues. Staff offer support to all students who require a debriefing space,” he added. -Dalaine Krige