Commercii 2021 passes on the leadership baton

Posted on November 26, 2021

The Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences (EMS) at the University of Pretoria (UP) bid farewell to the 2021 Executive Committee of Commercii and welcomed the new incoming committee.

Commercii is the Faculty’s student society that seeks to build the bridge between the University and students, and acts as a voice for students. It provides added support to BCom and BAdmin students to ensure their academic success while empowering them with opportunities that will contribute to their holistic development.

Last year, during the onset of COVID-19, support to students was more important than ever. Commercii played a significant role in assisting students with challenges they experienced during the pandemic. Despite the changes brought on by COVID-19, the 2020/2021 committee had a successful term of office and made a positive impact on UP’s student community. Amongst some of these successes were network opportunities, which saw students receiving bursaries from corporates such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, pad drives, exam preparation workshops, work readiness programmes and debating competitions with other universities.  

At a hand-over event hosted by the EMS Dean’s Office on 23 November, outgoing Commercii Chairperson, Sevashen Thaver, encouraged the incoming committee to continue with the legacy of service excellence and to be exemplary leaders.

“As leaders, our most powerful weapon is to lead by example and looking at this team, I definitely think you will succeed. The bridge you will construct during your term will be unbreakable. The bridge you will build upon should be based on transparency, selflessness, integrity and service,” said Thaver.

He shared leadership advice with the new group of student leaders as they embark on their new roles. “It is vital during this step that you keep a few things in mind. The first one is that the essence of leadership is influence and not authority. You have been elected to be in this position because of your influence and your ability to build temples out of sand. Use your voice to empower those who feel they are not worthy of being heard. Build the bridge between talk and action. It is important that from the beginning you have a clear picture for your purpose and your goals in each one of your positions,” he added.

Professor Margaret Chitiga-Mabugu, Dean of the Faculty of EMS, expressed her gratitude to the 2020/2021 committee for their support and unwavering dedication towards their fellow students during times of great despair. “Thank you for your service. Thank you for your selfless leadership and thank you for amplifying the voices of our students and prioritising their needs,” expressed Prof Chitiga-Mabugu.

Commercii’s incoming Chairperson, a third-year BCom Law student, Kopano Legote, said that as student leaders, they need to be responsible while providing support to students.

“Now we have a responsibility to act in the best interest of students. We have a responsibility to uphold the name of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. We have a responsibility to fulfil Commercii’s vision to create future leaders for a better tomorrow. We have a responsibility to achieve Commercii’s mission and to create opportunities for our students' empowerment and development,” she said.

Dr Onkgopotse Madumo, Commercii’s guardian and a Senior Lecturer in the School of Public Management and Administration, urged the new group to be service-oriented and act as EMS brand ambassadors.

“You must remember that as executive members of Commercii and chairpersons of various sub-houses, you will become the face of the Faculty. When students look at you, they will see the Deanery and staff members in the Faculty. You will be representing us. You must wear the leadership badge with honour and humility. When you are a leader, you should not only focus on the privilege you have, but also on humility,” Dr Madumo said.

- Author Refilwe Mabula
Published by Nonkululeko Kubeka Moyo

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