12 May 2021
The Africa University Student Representative Council (SRC) purchased sporting and recreational equipment for the Highland Park Student Union (HPSU) Building games room to enrich and enliven the space that is intended for community bonding and building. The ceremony which also allowed for members of the community to pray over and commission into use the equipment as per tradition at Africa University also allowed for the student leadership to inspire and motivate their cohorts to embrace servant leadership and service above self.
Opening the proceedings, Interim Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Pamela Machakanja who delivered remarks on behalf of the Acting Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Mageto said,
” We are marking an iconic moment in the life of our student leadership. What they have done here today is an important contribution towards our collective vision of creating a world class university and is also a testament to our belief of shared governance and shared responsibility. The impact of the quality of life our students experience has a bearing on the quality and caliber of the students we will eventually graduate. Enhancing the spaces where our students live goes a long way towards the raising of leaders for Africa. “
Prof. Machakanja went on to speak to the value that recreational activities bring to creating well- rounded and holistic young persons, competent in critical social skills that are essential for the creation of peaceful communities.
“The equipment sourced by our student leadership speaks volumes to their caliber and clarity of vision. Participation in sports enhances life- long learning, engenders an appreciation of differences and teaches conflict resolution which are key skills necessary for the development of society. We are proud of you and what you have accomplished especially given the challenges that you have faced in your leadership journey.”
The 2020/21 SRC were the first in the history of the university to be elected online due to the Pandemic that forced the closure of university campuses worldwide. As the university migrated it’s operations online, so too did the SRC with student support systems being offered through various digital platforms from online counselling to virtual community integration events. The SRC leadership also faced an increase in the number of students who had dynamic welfare challenges that threatened to hamper their academic progression from not being able to meet data costs for learning, dealing with the psychological and emotional stresses of parents and guardians suddenly out of employment to deaths of family members from COVID 19. Guided by the university Executive leadership, the SRC managed to overcome and meet their mandate to their constituency of providing reliable, dependable and solution – oriented governance .
SRC President Michael Ike Ndu said,
“Coming into office in a digital era was daunting. We have had to learn a different language of leadership through this pandemic that is compassionate, patient, serves with purpose and is determined to rise above the odds. To the students of Africa University, thank you for trusting us . We sincerely hope that you shall enjoy using this equipment and acquire fulfilment out of it.”
Some of the equipment purchased by the council included 2 pool tables, 2 table tennis tables, 10 basketballs and soccer balls, 6 rugby balls, 5 handballs, and assortment of board games , a 70 inch Smart TV , a printer for the development of publicity materials for student events and 4 waters coolers .
Dean of Students Mr. George Miti said of the experience working with the SRC,
“This SRC has delivered so much quality to the student body. It has been such a pleasure working with this leadership and teaching them as they have grown in competence and skill in governance issues. Though facing one of the most challenging times, they dove in head on and have done incredibly well.”
The HPSU Building was a generous gift of love to the Africa University student community from the Highland Park United Methodist Church in the USA that was completed in July 2020. The student entertainment room is the first in the building to be fully furnished with the students of AU leading the way in designing and reimagining the utilization of their social areas.