by Vibhath Jayasinghe
Now, I know what you’re thinking – ten articles to match ten years of RotaractArts, man, the Editorial Team has really outdone themselves this time and you’re absolutely right. Big achievements deserve big celebrations. We made the conscious decision to take the time to fully embrace and appreciate the growth of RotaractArts from its’ initiation to where it stands today. Every President along with their respective Board of Directors have taken the greatest of efforts to ensure the success of the club over the years. It took everyone involved to get here and we felt that this shouldn’t in any way go underappreciated. With that in mind, and as the closing chapter of the decade, let me take the pleasure of walking you through the journey of the President of RotaractArts for the year 2019/2020.
Being the bookworm that she claims to have been, Rasanjanee Polgampala entered the university having been a rather closed off individual with a concise social circle and a minimum exposure to the world of extra-curricular activities during her time in school. However, having been conscious of her introverted nature, she was determined to change through the years that she’d spend under the university’s’ roof, to explore new challenges and to garner new skills by seeking out new horizons and opportunities. It was during this phase that she made the deliberate choice of joining Rotaract. It’s very clear that through the challenge of having to meet the demands of the organization, she soon blossomed into a powerhouse of talent and flair. Rasanjanee describes Rotaract as a welcoming safe haven for people of all walks of life and levels of skill and how the existence of the four avenues of Club Service, Community Service, International Service and Professional Development subscribes to that very notion, as there’s an avenue that aligns with every personality be it introverts, extroverts or other.
As President, she claims that the biggest achievement during her time in office has been the retention of active members in the club and extending the impact of the organization not only to the university and its immediate surroundings but to areas far and wide as well. Under her tenure the club expanded upon ‘Espoir’, a project conducted in hopes to provide resources to under-privileged schools by initiating a series of English teaching sessions for the school children. Alongside this, the International Service avenue partnered up with Rotaract clubs in both Sri Lanka and India to push forward ‘Friend Me, Don’t Bully Me’, a campaign that aimed to combat of bullying. During her term, Rotaract Arts was also represented in all the Rotaract Road Trips. In addition to this, they pulled off the biggest and most successful ‘Baila Night’ to date, roping in over 350 attendees, an all-time high for this signature annual Club Service event.
She’ll tell you how thankful she is for the long-lasting friendships that she has made through the means of Rotaract, how it has gifted her with skills ranging from that of leadership to communication, teamwork and diplomacy among others and how above all else, how it helped her escape the academic stress that haunts every university student. But what she won’t tell you is the countless hours of academic time that she has lost, the amount of assignment deadlines that she has missed and all the sleepless nights that she has gone through all on behalf of the organization. It takes a leader to make such sacrifices willingly, especially with the added burden of being an undergraduate. Placing the betterment of the organization before her own is only more reason to acknowledge the caliber and commitment she represented as President. So much so that she was recognized as the ‘President of the Month of August, 2019’ by the District in recognition of her efforts and work ethic. So, while she thanks Rotaract for having made her university experience colourful and exciting, we thank her for being the Organization’s selfless guiding light throughout the Rotaract year of 2019/2020.
To the (outgoing!) President of Rotaract Arts in salute;
“Rasanjanee is a whirlwind of organized chaos, she’s someone who’ll complain the sh*t out of something but get it done nevertheless. RotaractArts couldn’t have asked for a better President, we could’ve (wink), but not the club.”
(Director – International Services)
“Rasanjanee gets things done. She has a clear focus of what she wants for the club and she inspires the members to have the same”
(Director – Community Service)
“I am always amazed by how organized she can be and I adore her and respect her for her humble personality. She’s one of the best leaders I have met so far”
(Director – Professional Development)
“I didn’t like Rasa (at first, I mean), I thought she was proud and uncaring. Oh, how wrong I was. The years I’ve spent at Uni with her proved that it was the complete opposite. Rasa was the best President we could’ve asked for, because she makes sure everyone and everything we do counts and that makes us want to work with her”
(Director – Club Service)
Cheers to ten years, fellow Rotaractors, and here’s to ten more!
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