Double Pandemic for UCT Student Societies: South Africa’s Future Leaders Struggle On

Student leaders are concerned about the state of societies on campus. Image: @uctinvestsoc via Instagram.

When the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) student societies make the news, it is generally in a light that fails to account for their vital functions to democracy. They are the fun part of university where you can “meet people” and “learn more about yourself”. What these reports and impressions fail to communicate, however, is the hard work of student leaders, the limited support they receive, just how far from fully functional a significant number of these organisations at UCT actually is — and the important role South Africa’s student societies have to play in our democracy.

With evidence that student societies promote pluralism, leadership for social change and civic engagement, it’s a poor state of the nation when student societies in South Africa are struggling simply to stay alive. This is exactly the case with a number of such organisations at UCT. As their societies suffer from low student participation, student leaders for the 2020/2021 term reflect on their experience. What got them into this rut? What could help societies out of it? And how can their societies realise their full potential?

The Shock of Sign-Ups at Virtual Plaza Week

The student society issue became stark when these organisations noticed low sign-up rates on the Virtual Plaza which was hosted from 24 February 2021. Societies displayed a video and written advertisement on a dedicated page of UCT’s internal communication portal. This mimicked the in-person fair where societies traditionally recruit most of their members.

Data obtained from student societies indicate a decrease in membership numbers between 2020 and 2021.

The number of students signing up for societies decreased significantly. For example, the Investment Society (InvestSoc), which boasts of being the largest student executive society in South Africa, recorded a 34% drop in membership numbers (from 633 members in 2020 to 418 in 2021). Her Campus UCT recorded a 44% drop in members, from 178 in 2020 to 100 in 2021. Although some society executives did not have access to exact data from 2020, their observations indicated that their societies had experienced a decline in sign-ups.

Virtual Plaza was only a taste of things to come. Across the board, societies found that the majority of their members simply failed to turn up at the events or initiatives they hosted. Society leaders estimate anywhere from 5% to 25% of members attend events.  Altum Sonatur struggled to recruit writers and the Moot Society had difficulties getting participants for their mock trials. TedXUCT struggled to get students to participate in their talks.

Student societies unanimously blame the nature of the virtual, online space for low recruitment and event attendance rates. Leo Karamanoff, the 2020/2021 Secretary-General of Effective Altruism, says they would have appreciated “more of an effort from the university to recreate Plaza Day.” 

The physical venue is ideal for recruiting new members; the lack of it means “you’re recycling the members that you have”, according to Vuthlarhi Shirindza whose historic society involvement has been extensive. In 2020/2021, she served as both Deputy Chairperson of the Rural Support Network (RSN) and Lead Organiser of TedXUCT.

Students for Law and Social Justice UCT have hosted virtual events. Image: @slsjuct via Instagram.

In-person events are more conducive to student participation. “Young people feed off each other’s energy in-person,” says Daniel Hukamdad, the 2020/2021 Secretary-General of UCT Students for Law and Justice (SLSJ) and the incoming Chairperson of UNASA-UCT.

Brighton Tandabantu, who was Chairperson of the Space Society (SpaceSoc) for 2020/2021 and has been involved with various societies, mentions the allure of physical activities like launching rockets and the drawcard of event catering.

In-person events also facilitate social media posts.“People want to show their support on social media and that they’re just raising awareness,” says Faeeq Gamiet, 2020/2021 Vice-Chairperson of the UCT Palestinian Solidarity Forum (PSF). “At a discussion, you’re not going to take a selfie and say, ‘I support some discussion.’”

SRC  Societies and Day Houses Coordinator for 2020/2021 Retshedisitswe Molefe acknowledges that not having in-person events was “a big issue”  and said that she had tried to liaise with the university to allow in-person events, but changing lockdown levels made this difficult.

Pre-pandemic Problems with Participation

However, there are indicators that low student participation predates the pandemic.  “Students are growing despondent with the value of societies year-on-year. Some societies are inefficient and do not have a lot going on in some years, and this can discourage students from signing up for societies in future because they think all societies are like that,” says Khanya Mamba, the 2020/2021 President of InvestSoc.

Another issue is the membership fee which most societies require. Some societies are free, while most charge between R100 and R200, with the highest, the Ballroom Dancing Society, at R700 in 2021. Molefe calls on the university to provide more funding, in addition to that which the SRC offers, for students to join societies. Visibility is also a long-standing issue. Shirindza indicates that before COVID RSN struggled to stand out against its larger, better-known,  and better-sponsored counterparts. Students were reluctant to be a part of an initiative they were not familiar with.

Julia Rowley, 2020/2021 Copy Editor of Varsity, indicates that the newspaper’s visibility and usefulness have historically been imperfect: “Because it is a student organisation, obviously we can’t publish and be as active as a regular news organisation.”

Students work in the UCT library. Image: @uctlibraries via Instagram.

However, most student leaders agree that the academic workload is the single biggest deterrent from society involvement. “It’s definitely being overburdened academically,” says Molefe.

Even before the pandemic, says Tandabantu, event attendance was lacking, with the exception of opening events. After that first event, the academic workload would increase and participation would drop. 

An anonymous society leader agrees, “People sign up to clubs because they’re interested in the subject matter — even I do this — but participating requires another level of time commitment.”

The workload means that students are cautious of “overcommitting” to societies, explains Jered Shorkend. In 2021, he served as Secretary-General for Altum Sonatur; Social Media & Marketing Manager for the Moot Society; and was a member of the formally unregistered Writer’s Club before resigning during the first semester. He received the warning himself at both the Humanities and Law orientation sessions. In his first year, he was not a part of any societies; he admits to having cautioned his first-year mentees, as well, and says that four of his five mentees are not signed up to any societies.

Tandabantu posits that, while students could improve on time management, the university may have a role to play in teaching the skill. “Because how do you expect someone to get better at time management if they’re not already good at time management?” 

Hukamdad says something similar: that students fresh from high school struggle to adapt to the round-the-clock, unstructured nature of university work.

From Bad to Worse: Too Overwhelmed to Participate

There is no doubt, though, that the academic burden and its impact on student society participation have been exacerbated by the pandemic and online learning. “Lecturers in different departments can’t read the room and realise that the students are quite stressed right now and they mustn’t overburden them some more,” says Shirindza. Most interviewed leaders feel this is a systemic issue at UCT (because of how widespread the issue is) and that students who cope well are the exception.

Interestingly, Tandabantu indicates that, whether or not the academic workload is objectively too much, the perception that it is, seems to cause a mentality of being overwhelmed that can prevent participation in student societies. This sentiment came up in every interview.

A pamphlet on depression symptoms from the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) echoes these sentiments: Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed. Feelings of hopelessness and pessimism. Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness and self-reproach. Decreased energy, fatigue and feeling run down.

The academic workload and its impact on mental health is an issue that predates the COVID-19 lockdown. SADAG indicates that before the pandemic, as many as 12% of university students in South Africa suffered from moderate to severe symptoms of depression. However, the pandemic has worsened these concerns. Global evidence indicates a significant rise in depressive symptoms during lockdown, particularly amongst young people.

This has a political impact,  write academics Landwehr, Ojeda and Tüscher in an article for Items, a publication of the American Social Sciences Research Council. “Citizens who suffer from depressive symptoms—even if it is not full-blown diagnosable depression—are more politically disengaged than their healthier counterparts. Depression makes citizens less active, less interested, and less confident in politics.” They point out that, in Europe, a citizen with severe depressive symptoms has just a 0.69 probability of voting, compared to the 0.86 chance of those without depressive symptoms.

The struggle that UCT’s societies are having with student participation may then correlate with broader political issues. In September, the Daily Maverick spotlighted concerns that young voters in matric and at university would be unlikely to register and vote this year due to elections coinciding with exam season, a period in which students are very stressed and focused on their academics.

It is not only a disinterest or disillusionment with elections that prevents youth from voting, says Tandabantu: “Some students would focus on elections and stuff like that, if they had their houses in order, with regards to their responsibilities like school.”

Impeding Pluralism

The low rates of student society participation are also worrying because they threaten the pluralistic values which are so integral to democracies. It goes to follow that societies that struggle to get students to events, must struggle to get students to lead the society and will in turn die out.

Effective Altruism UCT posted an advertisement for the 2021 virtual AGM. Image: @ea_uct via Instagram.

Student societies were required to submit details of their 2021/2022 committees to the DSA by 8 October 2021. Most interviewees indicated that their societies managed to elect the maximum number of executive committee members allowed by their constitutions; at least two societies did not manage even the four required by UCT policy. For a minority of societies, electing a new executive was a contested election (InvestSoc had 22 applicants for 7 available positions). Most elections were uncontested and two societies said that they had to actively convince members to run. “We engineer a group,” says the anonymous chairperson of a special interest society. If, as academic Ron Daniels argues in his new book What Universities Owe Democracy, universities teach students about democratic practices, these elections, where votes have foregone conclusions, are probably not the best example.

The threat of extinction is real. This is likely the fate of 39 societies that are listed amongst the 103 on the Student Societies & Organisations webpage of the University of Cape Town and/or the subscription fees list (displayed on the 2021 Virtual Plaza). These 39 societies did not attend Virtual Plaza and did not respond to attempts to contact them. Many of these societies, if they have social media accounts, stopped posting before the advent of the pandemic in March 2020, indicating a long-standing structural issue. For example, the Swazi Students Society last used its Instagram and Twitter accounts in 2017 and the Black Law Students’ Forum was last active on Facebook in 2016.

Each society that disappears is a blow to pluralistic society. Because it contends that people of varied backgrounds, beliefs and lifestyles can live together and participate in politics on an equal basis, pluralism is considered an essential component of democracy.  Indeed, an Indonesian academic recently suggested that the existence of pluralism on university campuses allows diverse students to feel accepted and could contribute to nation-building in a  country that is struggling with calls for the secession of one of its provinces.

South Africa’s diverse student societies “lend themselves to the diversity of our very cosmopolitan, multicultural society,” says Hukamdad from SLSJ. “Societies on this university should try to reflect the character of South African society, which is forward-looking, pluralistic and values engagement. It is important, particularly at UCT, to have societies that students can engage with to further their education and to benefit them in many ways because, after graduating, all of us have a personal mandate to be beneficial to society at large.”

Prospective members visit the UNASA-UCT stand during the 2019 Plaza Week. Image: @unasauct via Instagram.

In order to have a “progressive” culture on campus, “there should be a space where we can discuss within the UCT community which is the best approach to achieving the goals we want as a society and as UCT itself as an institution,” says Adam De Atouguia of student societies’ role in democratic South Africa. He was the 2020/2021 Marketing & Communications Coordinator of TedXUCT before resigning near the end of the first semester, and 2020/2021 Secretary for the United Nations Association of South Africa chapter at UCT (UNASA-UCT). Raising awareness of issues alone is also very helpful in stimulating such debates, he says.

In What Universities Owe Democracy, Daniels makes the case that the pluralistic nature of universities allows students from different backgrounds to engage with each other, an important skill for citizens of democracies.

This rings true for De Atouguia. “You could be a millionaire, or you could be on NSFAS funding. Allowing two separate, entirely different worlds of financial stability to both achieve the same thing makes for an inclusionary organisation and society.”

Rowley shares that sentiment. One of the skills she’s learned at Varsity is “empathetic” leadership: for example, “how to work with people who don’t have the greatest internet access, but still want to be a part of the team.”

South Africa’s history of socio-economic inequality makes encounters with diversity and nation-building integral to the political project. This is backed up by academics Paul Garton and Matthew Wawrzynski in a 2021 journal article, Student engagement and social change: collective leadership development in South African Higher Education. They write that experiencing a sense of belonging develops social change leaders.

Student societies in South Africa are integral to providing students with a sense of community. Tandabantu says that SpaceSoc members derive value from interacting with fellow astrophiles. Rowley stresses that she made true friends while serving on the Varsity team. “It’s sort of like a family where you found, like, your people,” says Shirindza. “It really integrates you into the university culture.” In the context of online learning, these connections are even more important, says Shorkend.

The survival of student societies is essential if South African universities are to fulfil their nation-building obligations. The leadership of students, then, is also essential. But why do students largely not volunteer for election?

It comes back to the academic burden and the prevalence of depressive symptoms. Running a society is hard work for any student — never mind a student suffering from depressive symptoms. The work can also be solitary and overwhelming.

“Once somewhere you go for fun and leisure becomes a responsibility — say, you have to be the chairperson when you were just doing this for fun — then it can get a bit overwhelming,” says Molefe. She finds that students are focused on their academics and don’t perceive the “extra responsibility” that comes with society leadership as “getting them closer to their degrees.”

The commitment society leadership requires in the face of academics is off-putting. “I think the 2020/2021 exec didn’t run in the 2021/2022 elections because they realised how time-consuming it is if you’re not dedicated,” says Anwar Adams, Chairperson of PSF for 2020/2021.

The pressures of leading a society are such that a number of committee members are unable to complete their terms. Four interviewed leaders quit their positions due to academic and/or personal stress, although one acknowledges that she was also not satisfied with the value the role would provide for her future career. The SRC also suffered four resignations, the majority of which were due to academic stress, says Molefe.

For those leaders who do carry out their term, it remains a stressful experience. “I am relieved to be leaving,” says one anonymous leader, complaining of internal team conflict.

Weak Student Societies Threaten South Africa’s Future Leaders

Members of the Rural Support Network during a placement at in Mseleni in 2019. Image: @uct_rsn via Instagram

The challenges UCT’s student societies are facing may have long-term political repercussions for South Africa. The 1997 White Paper on Higher Education makes it plain that universities are spaces for active citizenship development, creating “constructively critical citizens” who are committed to contributing to South African society. Higher education consultant Birgit Schreiber writes in her 2014 article, The role of student affairs in promoting social justice in South Africa, that one way for universities to encourage social justice and develop active citizens is by promoting co-curricular activities.

Indeed, a number of UCT societies are founded on the basis of doing societal good. With the Rural Support Network, medical students work to encourage health advocacy and rights awareness in rural areas. Surgical Society members were frontline workers during the pandemic. Students for Law and Social Justice run a legal clinic.

Even societies not centred on so-called outreach activities engage in community service beyond UCT. While Tandabantu asserts that “serving students is in itself serving society”, SpaceSoc also facilitated and paid for the production of a student-made workbook on space themes for 100 primary school learners in 2020. This aimed to raise awareness of space as a career and a hobby in a marginalised community. UNASA-UCT, amongst other initiatives, held a pad collection drive. TedXUCT teaches public speaking to high school learners in poorer communities.

According to Hukamdad, societies like SLSJ help students to understand their future role in society. “We help law students understand that becoming a corporate lawyer and making money at one of the Big Five is not the only career trajectory; you can also further social issues of transformation, justice and rule of law, which is obviously important given the fact that we do live in the most unequal society in the world.”

Similarly, Rowley indicates that Varsity trains its writers to incorporate perspectives of underrepresented groups, such as the homeless population, and that many Varsity alumni are now media professionals. “When these people move on to become actual media professionals, hopefully, they will carry these values with them. Perspectives like that are needed in the South African media, especially with the extent of poverty and inequality that we have.”

Another repercussion of the student society crisis is its possible impact on the future civic engagement of students. Boris Urban and Leann Kujinga, academics at the University of the Witwatersrand, indicate in a 2017 journal article, Towards social change: South African university students as social entrepreneurs, that adult civic engagement correlates with experience and growth acquired during tertiary education.

Society leaders argue that their organisations are prime environments for growth. For example, De Atouguia joined TedXUCT to conquer his fear of public speaking. An anonymous student leader enthuses: “Being involved in societies has really broadened my horizons, and helped facilitate a lot of my personal growth and development.”

A word cloud of the most common terms that came up in interviews with student society leaders.

Committee members credit their positions with teaching them leadership skills like team management, project management, time management, presentation and communication skills, and confidence. Indeed, the UCT Plus Programme, which asks students to reflect on how their society leadership experience will impact their careers and their commitment to community service, functions as an acknowledgement from the university that participation in student society leadership is of benefit to students in their careers and contributions to South African society.

“It’s in student societies that we get leaders and get to see the potential that South Africa and the youth have,” says Molefe.

Most society leaders interviewed raved about the value of their society leadership experience (even if they struggled through it) and how it would benefit them going forward. While some leaders were sceptical as to the macro impact of their organisations beyond the university community, research is clear that these societies are of value even to those students and citizens who are not members because of the quality of future leaders and active citizens they produce. This makes it of crucial importance that student societies in South Africa are supported and student leaders are encouraged to make the most of their positions.

A Lack of Oversight on Student Societies in South Africa

The struggle of student societies begs the question: whose responsibility is it to ensure that societies thrive?

Existing university structures provide one answer. Society chairpersons elect members to the societies sub-council which is chaired by the SRC Coordinator of Societies and Day Houses. All student governance structures are the mandate of the Department of Student Affairs (DSA).

However, there is a clear disconnect between student governance structures and student societies.  Molefe, the outgoing SRC societies and dayhouses coordinator, indicates that she was in touch with societies but most society leaders do not mention the SRC as a support structure in their interviews. Tandabantu muses that perhaps the SRC worked “in the background”; along with most other interviewed leaders, the only direct contact he remembers is an announcement calling for societies’ constitutions. Molefe indicates that her communiqués were met with little engagement and that not all societies sent in constitutions. Molefe posits that sub-council members did not effectively communicate with their constituencies. Shirindza’s comments back this up: “I’m not sure what the sub-council actually does. But everything just seems so isolated, it seems like societies are working in isolation.”

Varsity’s website was inactive, allegedly due to issues with Student Treasury. Image: Screenshot by the author.

Societies seem to get more support, or contact, from the DSA. The DSA facilitates membership enrolments, organises Plaza Week and runs Student Treasury, which controls societies’ finances. However, the majority of interviewees were dissatisfied with the speed of the DSA’s responses and the red tape required to access their funds.

Shirindza complains that delays in processing fund requests meant that committee members had little choice but to cover expenses from their personal finances and then claim reimbursement. Rowley claims that, while Student Treasury works “fine most of the time”, Varsity’s website was offline for a period due to delayed hosting payments from Student Treasury. Student Treasury did not respond to a request to comment but Lindie Gayiza of the DSA’s Student Leadership division indicated that students often leave these processes to the last minute.

“DSA, including treasury, does not work on an island,” Gayiza says, referring to the various departments that are involved in the process and the numerous societies, clubs, residences, councils and development organisations the department must work with. She adds that UCT’s finance policy, particularly the requirement for auditing, means that “things cannot be done overnight.”. Molefe’s response is that student leaders simply need to familiarise themselves with the processes timeously.

Oversight to ensure that societies are living up to their mandates seems to be lacking. Three interviewed leaders complain of committee members not pulling their weights equally and not being held accountable for that. “As student leaders, you can do anything at all or you could do nothing at all,” says Shirindza.”But there isn’t someone who’s making sure that a society, say, hosts at least three events in the year.”

Students have complained about paying subscription fees to join societies, only for the society to soon “fizzle out” — if it even got started on hosting events at all. While an inactive society will “get put on pause”, Molefe says it is up to the individual society and members of the society to hold ineffective leaders to account.

Society leaders seem keen to be held accountable. “I think there needs to be direction from everyone involved when it comes to leaders, the committee and the DSA,” says De Atouguia. For example, he indicates that the DSA could help mediate the transition between annual committees better, by ensuring committees have their books in order before handing over to a new committee.

There is little response on the plight of student societies from either the SRC or the DSA. It is worth asking about the extent to which they are even aware of the problem, given the SRC’s lack of connection with societies and the DSA’s continued advertisement of “more than 100 student societies” (Gayiza says that inactive societies may still be trying to “revive” themselves). Molefe says she established a public relations portfolio to advertise student societies on Instagram, but interviewees seemed unaware of this initiative.

Regarding the SRC, it seems to boil down to a lack of political will, and a lack of monitoring and evaluation. Molefe insists that she was aware of the number of inactive societies. She indicated that, as was her mandate, she would attend societies’ AGMs; however, she expressed surprise when informed that the deadline for societies to submit details of their new executive committees (8 October 2021) had passed. Molefe admits that the societies sub-council met infrequently “because of lockdown” and that their main role, to monitor new societies, was rendered defunct by the decision not to accept applications for new societies in 2020. She claims that the SRC has addressed the issue of the academic burden with university management; “the university just doesn’t want to listen. The only way the university listens is through protests but students also get tired of protesting every time there’s an issue”. She admits, though, that the SRC could make a stronger case if they “put their minds to it” and presented strong statistical evidence of the issue. (The DVC for Teaching and Learning did not respond to a request for comment on the academic workload.)

A poster from the Night Vigil hosted by the SRC and PSF. Image: @uct_src via Instagram.

Only the PSF mentions active support from the SRC, which helped the society to organise a Night Vigil event. The leaders admit that the SRC was likely so proactive in assisting with the organisation of the night vigil because it shared the PSF’s commitment to justice in Palestine. “They were very supportive of our cause,” says Adams.

Shorkend says the Law Students’ Council has a long-standing arrangement with the societies focused on law and justice, like Moot Society, to reshare each others’ social media posts. It seems that student representation structures prioritise those societies with which they share specific concerns and values.

This sort of politicisation, as well as the short one-year terms of SRC members, affects the SRC’s authority; Shirindza and Tandabantu both envision the DSA, not the SRC, enforcing better accountability measures, such as regular check-ins with society leaders. Shorkend suggests copying the Humanities’ mentorship programme model, which gives mentors fortnightly check-in sessions and “special access to the faculty’s psychologist.”

In the absence of support from the university and student governance, some societies have found it elsewhere. Some society leaders indicate that organisations like TedxUCT and UNASA-UCT that belong to larger, external bodies get more accountability and practical guidance from those organisations.

An anonymous Writer’s Club leader indicates that societies with a lot of support external to the DSA and student governance do well: societies which have partnerships with external parties are even able to “attract business opportunities for their students.” These are the societies that get better student engagement, she feels. She also mentions an academic club of which she was a member receiving staff and financial support from the related academic department: “The lecturers would promote the society during lectures.” She credits the English department with being incredibly supportive of the Writer’s Club by offering lecturers as event speakers, for example.

Student media also has a role to play in supporting healthy student societies in South Africa, yet these organisations are rarely covered. Rowley’s explanation is that the poor coverage is a combination of student societies’ poor visibility and the subject interests of Varsity’s section editors.

An Environment for Student Society Participation in South Africa

Students took part in a protest of Palestinian Solidarity which was co-organised by the UCT PSF. Image: @uctpsf via Instagram.

It is worth asking why the population that has led #FeesMustFall, anti-GBV and Palestinian Solidarity protests, struggles to make it to society events or stand up for society leadership.

There is a “moral component” involved in protest that isn’t obvious in society involvement, says Shorkend. The anonymous leader from the Writer’s Club agrees, “People join societies because they have a passing or general interest in this sort of thing. It’s more of an auxiliary, whereas stuff like gender-based violence affects our daily lives.”

Shirindza indicates that students want to be involved in pressing issues and that some societies could do better, especially in terms of community service initiatives, to build connections between their particular interests and broader societal issues. 

But the academic burden rears its head here, too. Multiple society leaders emphasise that a protest is generally a once-off commitment for a short period of time whereas society leadership roles span an entire academic year.

Listening to student society leaders, it is hard to disregard students as apathetic or disinterested in societal concerns. Tandabantu points out that often students are leaders in multiple societies, as he has been. Many of the interviewed leaders had held multiple positions, often simultaneously. This is a testament to the dedication of some students who somehow navigate the enormous mental pressure of university to make a difference in their student community and broader South African society.

Students attend a SpaceSoc event in early 2020. Image: @uctspacesociety via Instagram.

These leaders have a strong desire to contribute to national development. “Every person that I’m surrounded by on senior leadership actually cares about media, the stories that we’re putting out and how they’re affecting the UCT community,” says Rowley.

This drive to lead has tangible results, whether that is in creating communities for students isolated by the pandemic or in supporting charitable causes through a pad drive. Research shows the far-reaching impact of student societies on South Africa politically. Yet, student leaders feel that societies at UCT have not yet reached their full potential. “They’re doing a lot but they can do even more,” says Hukamdad.

Student leaders are hopeful that a return to in-person learning will help rebuild their societies. However, as it has in many sectors, the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted a long-standing issue and the fall-out of failing to address it. If UCT is to fulfil its role in South African democracy, it needs to cultivate a supportive environment in which more of these dedicated future leaders can grow.

“It’s never a thing of not wanting to; it’s often a thing of, ‘I’m actually too exhausted to want to want it,’” says De Atouguia of the academic workload’s impact on students’ poor participation in societies.

Students do care. They just need the conducive academic support, oversight and collaboration to put their care into action and leadership.

This article was originally written as an assignment for an honours-level UCT journalism course at the end of 2021. I was then a student member of SpaceSoc, Her Campus UCT, the Writer’s Club and Effective Altruism UCT. I was also a committee member of SpaceSoc for 2019/2020.

Jenna Solomon

Jenna is a journalism, African studies and social development graduate. She writes about active citizenship and lifestyle in South Africa.

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