By Bianca Silva
I’m sure that by now all the first years have had more than enough welcomes to last them the duration of their degrees, so I would prefer to introduce all the new-comers to our sixty-one year old campus newspaper. This old boy is rather interesting especially now that he’s had a bit of a make over.
He’s got nothing on Hugh Hefner, age or finance wise, but we’d like to think that unlike that pyjama dwelling exception to normal, Activate has more than enough stamina to keep up with current events, entertain and provide a platform for debate.
Activate has changed hands, names and looks many many times over and although this paper may not have witnessed as much as 82-year-old Hefner nor have we been in the publishing business for as long but we have seen some pretty cool things.
Activate has witnessed Rhodes University become the first university in South Africa to set up a sustainable electronic mail-link between the local area network and campus. We now refer to the services stemming from that discovery as Resnet and we even have a meal server amongst other things.
Activate has watched as a group of biotechnology students discovered a fungus containing the enzyme laccesse in 2004 which can be used in water purification as well as performing as catalyst in the manufacturing of anti-cancer drugs. Last year we watched as Rhodes took a step towards minimising the fuel crisis by running some of their tractors for the very first time off bio-fuel, which was produced from the residual cooking oil straight out of dining halls.
Unfortunately we missed the “most important zoological find of the century” by just nine years. Professor Smith of the Rhodes University Chemistry department identified Marjorie Courtney Latimer’s discovery in East London in 1938 as the legendary, pre-historic Coelacanth.
And lastly whilst Hefner has nothing on Father Time, Activate has interviewed our very own Father Time amongst other campus celebrities.
The most exciting thing is that we have no idea what we will see next, so I hope you keep reading us as we come out every two weeks during term. And you may want to keep an eye out for new developments, our make over is just a rather large first stepping stone to more exciting things but I can’t tell you too much more than that, I just wanted to engage your curiosity.
You can trust that just like Mr Hefner, no matter how many more candles appear on the cake, being young at heart is a given for us. Another thing we both have in common is a hopefully shiny a future full of freedom of the press.