From the moment an incoming Smutsman sets foot in our fine establishment he will immediately become very familiar with what the House Committee is all about. From O-Week and all of its on-goings, to outreach initiatives, to Inter-Res sports, to academic support, to formal (and a few not-so-formal) parties, the House Comm is behind most of what goes on in our magnificent home.
Read on to find out more about House Committee Portfolios, what there purpose is and what to expect from them!
Head Student: The role of Head Student is a particularly multifaceted one: facilitator, coordinator, motivator, ambassador and leader. Chosen by the newly elect House Committee at the beginning of the leadership term, the Head Student is tasked primarily with driving the House Committee team and leading it along a path that is in line with its vision, mission and core values. The Head Student does not typically take on any other House Comm portfolios, but rather, oversees the efficient execution of others.
The Head Student also serves as a representative of the House Committee on the Residence Management Team (RMT) and the Smuts Hall Alumni Association (SHAA), and as a representative of Smuts Hall on the Residence Council (The SRC SubCouncil comprised of each Residences’ Head Student) and Student Parliament.
Deputy Head Student: Second in command; the DHS works hand-in-hand with the Head Student in leading a successful House Committee. This man not only serves as a stand-in in the absence of the HS, but is instrumental to the process of decision making and monitoring the progress of other House Comm members in their respective portfolios.
Memorabilia: The HC representative responsible for this portfolio heads up the process of designing, purchasing and distributing all Smuts Hall memorabilia and merchandise throughout the year. Starting with O-Week caps, vests and shirts, this portfolio brings us the annual Smuts Hoodie, our iconic Smuts Ties, and leadership teams’ golf shirts, among other things.
I.T.: This portfolio rep ensures the efficient operation of WiFi and LAN services in the residence. In addition, the I.T. rep conducts a workshop for incoming Smutsmen to familiarise them with UCT’s online processes and services.
Secretary General: Working throughout the year as the communication facilitator within the team, as well as between the House Committee and the House, this member is often the busiest of all. In addition to being responsible for taking minutes in weekly House Committee meetings and making them available to other members for review, this Smutsman is the administrator of the Smuts Hall Vula Tab which is used as the central hub for all Smuts Hall communications. Sending out frequent Smuts Hall emails, creating and monitoring polls, creating and updating the calendar, and corresponding with external persons are but a few of the endless list of Sec Gen responsibilities. This man is instrumental to the successful operation of any House Comm and is often the go-to man should you have anything you want to know about Smuts Hall in general.
Maintenance: Smuts Hall -a national heritage monument- is a breathtakingly beautiful building and is close to 90 years old. As such it is our duty to maintain it and ensure that it is left in an even better condition by the end of our stay than how we found it on our way in. The maintenance rep oversees the upkeep of the residence, keeping close watch over any issues which may arise through an electronic logging system and attending to it as quickly as possible.
Treasurer: “The Money Man”; this House Committee member is at the very heart of just about everything that is House Comm related. The responsibility which comes with this portfolio is arguably the most weighty of any as the Treasurer is in charge of the annual Smuts Hall Budget. Acting as the link between the UCT Treasury and Smuts Hall, every single transaction starts and ends with this man. Furthermore, it is the business of the Treasure to ensure that the funds are spent in a way that provides the greatest benefit to all Smutsmen. For the majority of the year he will work in the background, ensuring that all the administrative finance duties required by the house are fulfilled. Though perhaps the most thankless role of all, we frequently remind ourselves just how vital a part of the team the Treasurer is and appreciate him for it.
O-Week: Smuts Hall prides itself with consistently providing its incoming Smustmen with a premier Orientation Week experience which gives them an inclusive and broad experience of life, not only in Smuts Hall and at UCT, but in Cape Town as a whole. It is the O-Week rep’s job to tackle the massive logistic undertaking that is planning, organising and executing O-Week. Working his prolific Sub-Committee, this man has the massive pressure on his shoulders of catering for a wide variety of needs and desires, and a huge diversity of Smutsmen, in order to provide them with an unforgettable introduction into life as a Smutsman. If you’re an incoming Smutsman you can look forward to seeing a lot of this man, but fear not; O-Week reps are invariably a brilliant mix of charisma and seriousness, embodying “work hard, play hard”, and you’ll have him to thank after the life changing experience that is O-Week! Go to the O-Week page to find out more.
Sport: Smuts Hall never settles for mediocrity and the sport field is yet another setting where Smutsmen are constantly striving for excellence. The Sport rep is the administrator of Smuts Hall’s four sports teams (See the sports page for more info). In addition, the Sport rep is responsible for organising the highly anticipate annual Smuts Interflat Indoor tournament which always proves to be an unmissable occassion!
Culture: The Culture rep is tasked with aiding in sustaining a holistic lifestyle for Smutsmen. The two main cultural events of the year are Smuller’s Got Talent, an annual talent show in which the best performers from Smuts and Fuller Hall showcase their incredible talent, and Res4Res; an incredible inter-residence drama festival of the highest order, which Smuts Hall were champions of in 2015! The culture rep is also the administrator (and often a member) of the Smuts Band which plays at various events throughout the year. See the culture page for more.
Outreach: Purely by virtue of being in Smuts Hall, you are in a position of privilege. As such it is of utmost importance that we recognize our responsibility to uplift those in our community in less fortunate positions than ourselves. The Outreach rep heads up all Smuts Hall social responsibility initiatives. Typically these initiatives include various outings to underprivileged communities where Smutsmen offer help in whichever way possible. In addition this man is in charge of Project Khensani, a project in which Smuts Hall gives back to the many staff which help make it such a spectacular place to live. 2016 will also see the introduction of a new long-term mentorship project whereby Smutsmen offer their leadership and experience to children of impoverished backgrounds.
Forum: The Smuts Forum is a platform for intellectual enrichment beyond the confines of academics. The Forum rep has the job of organising various events throughout the year which range from light hearted Pub-Quizzes to in-depth discussions which deal with complex societal issues. This portfolio is a very flexible and exciting one and is always changing in nature. Notwithstanding one thing that one can always expect from Forum is to be stimulated by thought provoking subject matter.
The George: Formally established in 1975 and named after the late Warden of Smuts Hall, Professor George Menzies, The George is Smuts Hall’s beloved pub and social hub. The George rep has the pleasure of seeing to the upkeep and weekly operation of the pub as well as the maintenance of our pool/table tennis/fusball equipment. In addition, The George plays host to two large events, the first being an annual George Opening Party is thrown in the first term which hosts thousands of students for a good time, and the second; the legendary Smuts Hall Beer Champs. If The George rep does his job, you can expect to have a good few stories to tell which you’ll have him to thank for, by the end of the year!
Catering: This role is largely administrative, with the primary responsibility being to serve as a link between Smustmen and the catering service, ensuring that all concerns, complaints and compliment are heard and dealt with. In addition, this House Comm member will be thank for organising every Smuts Meal that you’ll eat on the road; whether it be at an event during O-Week, on the Smuts Camp or elsewhere.
GCI: Perhaps the biggest challenge which we face as a generation is that of sustainability and how we can adapt our lifestyles to save our planet before it is too late. The Green Campus Initiative Rep therefore has the all important role of making the Smuts Lifestyle one that is consistent with eco-freindliness and sustainability, largely through awareness raising campaigns and recycling drives. Make his job – and indeed our planet – a little better by doing your part; turning off lights and taps not in use and being generally environmentally considerate.
Academics: The main reason you come to university is this man’s main consideration; your academic well being is most important to Smuts Hall and it is the Academic rep’s job to ensure it. Through the coordination of academic mentorship, in-residence tutoring and other initiatives, it is this man’s goal to get each and every Smutsman to achieve at his highest level and fulfill his massive potential. In addition, the Academics rep organises an annual Academic Dinner to recognise academic excellence and reward it.
Entertainment: Two of the annual calendars biggest occasions fall under this man’s capable organisation: the Formal and the Semi-Formal, the former being the biggest, classiest event of the year and the latter being a wonderful show of inter-flat competitiveness, camaraderie and a always a big party. This is another position which requires a massive amount of work and care to fulfill properly and is not to underestimated. Beyond that, the Entertainment rep concerns himself with Smutsmen always having a good time and having events to remember and memories to cherish.
Corporate Relations: This portfolio is a relatively young one and as such has a great deal of scope for what can be done within it. Principally this man has two jobs, fundraising/sponsorship-attaining and fostering an entrepreneurial spirit amongst Smutsmen. These aside, it is the House Comm rep’s prerogative as to what exciting direction they wish to drive this portfolio in.