Thursday, October 16, 2008

What do leaders learn?

I've een thinking about the Captivate Media Cnference held here at Rhodes a few weeks ago. It's meant to be a media conference that bridges student media and mainstream media. It started in 2004 at Stellenbosch University and Rhodes decided to run with the vision. My first thought was: well done Rhodes, truly this is where leaders learn.

Arriving at the conference though, I began to ask myself, what is this that we've learnt? What are these supposed leaders at Rhodes learning? What have they learnt? Let me contextualise my thoughts; the opening was scheduled to begin at 9.30 am and true to the universities "chilled" nature, the even started just after 10 am. I don't usually arrive early for anything on the weekend but I thought, surely we need to make an impression on other universities in attendance. One of the speakers was there way ahead of the students at Rhodes, forget the ones visiting. The talks eventually began after a reshuffling of lectures because one of the speakers had missed his flight. The first lecture was a forum on student media and was specifically about the newspapers on different campuses and the challenges they face. For those who plan to attend this conference next year, this is a really interesting talk. Murray, a student from UCT looked of the decline of the student newspapers as being due to the lack of continuity leadership within the newspapers. He made several valid points and I believe anyone who's spent their lunchtimes criticising Activate or even Oppidans Press should have been there and maybe they can judge with a little more insight.

On the whole, I do believe Rhodes taking this conference on and sustaining it for as long as they have is evidence of leadership but I propose a little more mentorship in terms of time management and professionalism. It's time the leaders at Rhodes learnt to be on time.

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