By Bianca Silva
Come on folks, let’s paint the town red. Oh, wait, it’s still stained purple from last weekend. On that note I have to be honest, I was very surprised by the number of people who stayed at Rhodes for this year’s Tri-Varsity.
Friday afternoon was characterised by seas of purple hair and overalls, and dodging anyone who looked remotely queasy, a typical Tri-Varsity except I’m still wondering why people weren’t at Fort Hare? Activate had to miss the festivities because we were putting the paper together but judging by the number of people who stayed, it looks like the party was brought home. Tri-Varsity with minimal sport and one university present looked just like another crazy dress-up party. But you cannot deny that Rhodes has a lot of spirit.
All dressed up and nowhere to go? I know the arguments: “The road is terrible, we have nowhere to stay, it’s far away.” Those are all reasonable. Some made it to the sports but for the rest who stayed at home, I fail to see the significance of the past weekend. Perhaps I’m cynical but the whole thing just seems like an excuse to let off energy: a characteristic not uncommon in other areas of Rhodes life. On that note I have to mention awareness weeks. We are supposed to be aware of something almost every other week. I don’t feel any more aware of anything. I am, however, waiting for some dazed second year to start screaming, “Polly wants a cracker” after hearing the same things so often they can repeat slogans on command. The same people get angry over causes that will never be fixed with marches, posters or inviting an academic to dissect the issue. I guess it is a start though. There is the most amazing amount of spirit at this University and an amazing array of talent, but often there is no direction. There is also a distinct lack of awareness about the things closest to home. The street child who sleeps on your porch at night when you’re not looking or the reason so many digs have been broken into; the poverty and the number of people who are suffering just next door is insane. Charity may start at home but it seems we’ve jumped straight into trying to save the world and neglected the problems at home. Some societies have to be congratulated on their huge successes. SHARC, ROAR, Mascidane, OutRhodes, Rotaract, Amnesty and GRASS are just some of those who spring to mind. There is a great deal of enthusiasm for the right causes, but much of campus is directionless. Maybe the philosophy of the awareness weeks is repetition, just like advertising, except neither are solutions to apathy. I’m sure someone famous once said something similar but a windstorm is only useful if there is a wind farm or everyone has the opportunity to hide. Rhodes has enthusiasm, even if it looks like a storm. Can you imagine the potential if more people would want to harness their energy? Rhodes may want to remember that students are a lot like a windstorm, they move in and pass through quickly. They can be terribly useful or terribly destructive. The weather has a mind of its own, as do the students. I don’t see that ever changing but you can set up wind farms and hope. On a parting note: Activate is handing over to the new team. I hope you enjoy our handover edition and enjoy the new team. Thank you for your loyalty and I hope you keep reading. The new team will keep you on your toes, there is no doubting that. All the best. Ciao ciao.