By Sarah Botha & Viktoria Marinova
2009 has several new developments in store for Rhodes students both on and off campus. Such developments include the possibility of a new mall opening in town, the new Mandarin course being offered by the Department of Languages as well as the building of new residences on campus.
The new Plum Tree Mall is to be built behind Peppergrove Mall and will boast a glass elevator so that shoppers can easily move around the double storey building. When asked about the opening of a new mall, many students showed great enthusiasm. Danielle Bowler, a second year BA student, says “A mall is a fantastic idea. I think that the shops here have a monopoly which means that they exploit the students, so having a variety of shops will benefit us.” So by having a mall here it will mean that I’ll spend less money, which is great for my budget!” The mall will be opened later in the year.With regards to Rhodes University’s academics, a Confucius Institute is to be set up at Rhodes where Mandarin will be offered as a language from 2009 onwards. The introduction of this course is the beginning of the School of Languages’ goal to have a major in Chinese Studies by 2011. Students will have a chance to study an additional culture through the introduction of Mandarin. Rhodes students are excited by this opportunity. Carmen West, a second year BA student, says “A Mandarin course is a great idea since the Chinese are taking over the global economy. So being able to speak Mandarin will be a great professional skill to have. Hopefully, following the introduction of Mandarin, other languages like Spanish will soon be offered here too.”
With the University growing at a rapid pace, two new residences have been developped on the upper campus. A men’s residence, Joe Slovo, is now part of the new hall, Lillian Ngoyi and a new women’s residence is now situated in Kimberley West. These two residences will be finished for the influx of new students for 2009. According to Dr Iain L’Ange, Director of the Residential Operations Division, these two new residences will house approximately 104 students each. Dr L’Ange also said, “Subject to funding, 2010 may see new residences that will house 400 beds.” These possible residences will be built on University property, from Kimberley Hall up to the Post Graduate village. The ultimate goal for the Residential Division is to eventually house about 55% of the student body. 2009 promises the start of many new developments still to come.