06 February 2018 Photo Rhona Klopper
First-years embrace UFS welcoming celebrations
Students assemble for the first-years’ welcoming ceremony.

The first-years’ welcoming ceremony at the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) inspired hope among the crowd of students and parents that gathered in front of the Main Building for the evening.

The ceremony, which took place on Saturday 3 February 2018, began with a thrilling dance performance that enlivened the audience immediately. It was followed by eager cheers and chants by the various residences that attended the event in numbers. First-years enjoyed themselves as they got the chance to meet and engage with their peers as each residence had a stall setup in front of the main building.

“It is here where you will learn not just about your degree, but also about society,” were the words of Bloemfontein Campus SRC President, Asive Dlanjwa. Dlanjwa as the first official speaker for the night, did what he is well known for, which is to assemble, unite, and instil confidence among the students.

“Your degree is only as effective as the lives it changes,” Dlanjwa said.

The Dean of Student Affairs, Pura Mgolombane, said: “The university’s main objective is creating and humanising students.” He urged them to look around and see the beauty and diversity of Kovsies, and learn from it.

“To know the University of the Free State
is to understand the heart of its core,
and particular set of values,
where those values
inform our decisions
and govern our behaviour.”
—Prof Francis Petersen

The Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, concluded by urging first-year students to always ask questions, challenge themselves, argue their points of view, and wrestle with the complex issues of the day in order for them to reach new frontiers in both their academic and personal lives.

“You have the freedom to decide who exactly you want to be. Don’t lose yourself while you’re here,” Prof Petersen said, closing affirmations before the Gateway concert got under way.

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