From spending countless hours under a gazebo on campus, to visiting lecture halls to finally hosting an opening event, the 2020 membership outreach has been a roller coaster ride for the 2020 committee. So much was done in order to obtain the final membership count of 68 members. But let us not focus on the numbers and speak a bit about what the membership drive looked like this year.

Plaza Week (3 – 5 February 2020)

Every year, the University of Cape Town allows its societies to showcase themselves on the main plaza for students to see where they’re passions may lie and sign up. The committee this year had a stall and spent the 3 days trying to reel in students to join. The first day went mildly with 15 sign ups.

Solar Robot that was on display to attract the attention of passerby students.

The second however was much better with 20 people joining along. It was also a good day as we managed to showcase a robot that was designed based on a past project run by our Women in Engineering Chapter last year. It drew crowds and interest was sparked. With plans to do more on this in the year, students were not hesitant to join. It was so energizing to see so many people coming to sign up. On the last day we managed to hit the 50 mark and being such a milestone we were happy with our efforts.

The 2020 Committee working at the stall during plaza week. (credit: Dr David Oyedokun)

Classroom Visits (12 February 2020)

The current chairperson, went on to speak to two classes, 1st year and 4th year engineering, on the morning of the opening event. Briefly presenting the societies goals and the opportunities available under IEEE, interest was sparked and that led to more students attending the event to sign up.

Opening Event (12 February 2020)

This was the final event in the drive used to introduce non members to the society and its potential and benefits. It was an even bigger privilege to have the IEEE SA Section Chairperson, Dr David Oyedokun, speak to the attendees about IEEE.

Dr David Oyedokun presenting to the students that attended the Opening Event. (credit: Arthur Adinda)

He gave encouraging words to the students and gave out some prizes to some of the more curious attendees who had questions! After his talk, the current branch Counselor, Dr Joyce Mwangama, spoke about IEEE Women in Engineering.

Dr Joyce Mangama speaking on IEEE WiE. (credit: Arthur Adinda)

Presenting its opportunities as well as the joy of volunteering that she has had and that one can have, she left little to no doubt that more students would be subscribing to our branch’s chapter. The last presentation was given by the Event Lead, King’oo Njoroge on some of the events we have planned for the year as a Student Branch for our members. At the end of it all, we opened up the floor for people to come and socialize and hang out both with the speakers and the committee. This time also allowed more members to sign up and get their memberships sorted out while they had some food and drinks.

There have been so many lessons learnt from this time by both the new members and the committee. There is no doubt that some people were stretched but overall everyone has been happy with where the society is weather they have just joined or have been a part of it for the last 4 years. The 2020 committee is dedicated to making sure that the year turns out to be a success. The team has put so much effort and their work is very commendable. There is no doubt that the branch this year is not only in safe hands, but also in very capable hands.