Exceptional leaders shine at 2014 awards

30 Oct 2014 - 14:30

Humanities students Jessica Breakey, Keenan Hendrickse and Laurie Scarborough were among a select group of students who were celebrated at the 2014 UCT Student Leadership Awards. The event took place at venue on 13 October. 

The annual UCT Student Leadership Awards are held to acknowledge students who have demonstrated: strong leadership, a commitment to student governance and a promotion of the University of Cape Town’s mission, vision and values. There are four categories of award: Individual Awards; The Vice-Chancellor Student Leader Award; The Deputy Vice-Chancellor Student Leader Award and The Executive Director: DSA Student Leader Award. The event is organised by the university’s Department of Student Affairs. In the fourth quarter, UCT staff and students have the opportunity to nominate individuals and student organizations who they believe live up to the values of the various awards.

"This year I really wanted to redefine transformation at UCT, I wanted to change the way that people viewed it and to start new conversations around identity  on campus" Jessica Breakey

SRC Transformation Coordinator Jessica Breakey received the Executive Director's Award for her work in the area of transformation. Earlier this year, Breakey and fellow student Paballo Chauke launched #itooamuct a successful social media campaign addressing discrimination and perceived institutional racism on campus. Breakey is on track to graduating this year with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Film Studies, International Relations and Sociology. Fellow SRC member and Bachelor of Social Science student Keenan Hendrickse received the Deputy Vice Chancellor's Award for leadership and sound student governance. Keenan has been involved in student leadership at UCT for some time serving first as Humanities Student Council Chair in 2012, SRC vice-president in 2013 and as the convenor of the UCT Student Assembly in that same year. In 2014 he served as the SRC Secretary General. 

Varsity newspaper was also recognized under the category of: ‘Most Outstanding Team in Student Media: Varsity Collective.’ It is also noteworthy that the majority of Varsity 2014 editorial team are Humanities students. Outgoing editor Laurie Scarborough said that she was excited that the publication had received this official acknowledgement from the university. “Winning the award was a great moment for our team. We have worked really hard this year, but not only that, we have tried very hard to rebuild Varsity following a difficult editorial year in 2013. Being validated and acknowledged but the University for our work makes us more certain that we are back on the right track towards a high-quality publication,” she said.

Commenting on the event, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities Professor Sakhela Buhlungu said that he was pleased at number of Humanities recipients of the awards this year. “Student leadership is certainly not for the faint hearted and not everyone has what it takes. These students have excelled and we are incredibly proud of them. I look forward to watching them attain even greater feats in their professional lives” said Professor Buhlungu.