Part of the university experience involves taking advantage of opportunities to try different things, develop new interests and passions, and perhaps leave your mark in a positive way. As the world faces more environmental issues, it is important that we consider our impact. Students can get involved in the multitude of environmental positions, initiatives and outlets at UCKAR.
Collaborating for many years with local organisations and NGOs like WESSA (Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa), the University has become distinguished in its efforts regarding environmental awareness and sustainability. The RU Environmental Committee consists of three working groups – The Green Fund, Environmental Awards and Policy Implementation and Stephen Dorbor, the SRC Environmental Councillor for 2017. The SRC is holding with an environmental Extravaganza on Saturday 18 February, showcasing UCKAR’s environmental societies. There are many leadership positions available for those passionate about environmental activism and promoting a lifestyle with a reduced carbon footprint, as well as the annual
Environmental Awards. Nominations are open throughout the year for these awards.
Each residence on campus has an environmental representative, responsible for promoting awareness and encouraging activism and organising projects within their residence. Facing environmental issues such as water shortages – particularly in Grahamstown – these representatives play an important role in bringing about innovative and effective solutions to these problems, such as rainwater harvesting or Water-wise, a comprehensive collection of water-saving tips and practices.
There are a number of dynamic groups for environmental student action. If you’re passionate about protecting animal rights, ROAR (Rhodes Organisation for Animal Rights) needs your voice. You could take the scenic route with WildREACH, which promotes knowledge and awareness of environmental issues through excursions and wildlife projects. If community engagement is your niche, there are wonderful projects like Galela Amanzi (“Pour the Water”) who raise funds to provide access to clean water in underprivileged communities.
However, if you’re just in the mood to show support for the cause and spend a day in the sun, join in for the 2017 Green Fun Run! Featuring teams dressed up in their ‘greenest garb’, the annual event will take place on Saturday 11 March 2017 from 13:00 to 16:30. No matter your level of involvement, there are ways to participate in environmental awareness and activism for everyone. With the 2017 year just starting off, try something new by joining one of these ‘green’ societies.
Words by Rochelle Duvenage