SAUJS wins best society award
The prestigious honours were conferred at an award ceremony on 10 October at the university’s Origins Centre. Key speakers included Vice Chancellor Adam Habib and acclaimed actor, director, and playwright, Dr John Kani.
“Out of all the societies at Wits, student governance picks out the ones that displayed excellent student leadership, ran engaging and relevant events, emphasised acts of volunteering, and created spaces of solidarity,” said outgoing SAUJS chairperson Liora Katzew.
Wits is one of the most diverse campuses in the world, she said, making navigating student politics a significant challenge. “Our thinking this year was about bringing people together. We wanted to create events that pull and engage a wide range of students.”
Before the awards were conferred, a litany of SAUJS’ achievements were shared. These included an event at Constitution Hill on reconciliation which involved the Wits Law society and Amnesty International; a Women’s Empowerment workshop with the chief financial officer of Peregrine Holdings; a partnership with the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre focusing on the dangers of “othering”; and various cash or cans campaigns to raise money for the Wits Food Bank.
“As a religious society, highlights included our daily minyan and the celebration of all chagim [Jewish holidays] like handing out matzah on Pesach, celebrating Purim with a photobooth, or handing out menorahs on Chanukah. In all these celebrations, we made an effort to welcome the broader Wits community.”
Her personal highlight was participating in the #AmINext campaign in which SAUJS was given the opportunity to say a prayer and speech at an interfaith gathering on campus against gender-based violence.
“This really shows that we fulfilled our goal to extend SAUJS beyond the so called bubble, and create a space for SAUJS members to be active agents of change.”