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26 February 2019 | Story Eugene Seegers | Photo Eugene Seegers
Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Daniella Coetzee, South Campus Principal, Tshegofatso Setilo, Director Access, Prof Prakash Naidoo, Vice-Rector Operations
Prof Francis Petersen, Prof Daniella Coetzee (Principal: South Campus), Tshegofatso Setilo (Head: Access Programmes), and Prof Prakash Naidoo (Vice-Rector: Operations) on the South Campus for the welcoming of first-years.


“Welcome to the South Campus of the University of the Free State!” Addressing a packed Madiba Arena, Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, said he was happy to see not only first-year students, but also parents and guardians, student leadership, and support staff from both the Bloemfontein and South Campuses.

 “I would like to congratulate each of our first-year students for making the decision to come to Kovsies to further your studies here. But I would also like to thank you for making this choice,” he continued.

Prof Petersen further emphasised that the students’ experience and success as individuals are important to the UFS as an institution; therefore, academic and support staff are on hand to guide them through their journey to becoming well-rounded individuals. “We will surely take care of you,” said Prof Petersen. He also reassured parents and guardians that their loved ones would be well looked after.

The Rector also focused attention on the role of student-leadership structures, such as the newly-formed Institutional Student Representative Council (ISRC) and South Campus SRC, members of which were present in the audience. He thanked them for playing a key role in the student constituency, highlighting their support and guidance to help first-years cultivate a sense of belonging at the UFS.

Turning back to first-year students, Prof Petersen stated that they have the unique opportunity to study on a campus specifically focused on developing their full potential, a campus where they can realise their dreams. “Your arrival on the campus marks a new chapter in your life. This chapter is slightly different, as you are the author thereof. The previous chapters in your life were largely written by others—your parents, guardians, families, teachers, and others. You will now be the main author in the next chapter of your unique story.”

“At Kovsies, we believe in developing students in their totality as human beings, not just the academic side. May your time with us equip you to make a success of your life after university!”

Prof Petersen’s Message to First-year Students
  1. Take responsibility for your academic programme.
    • Keep your focus. Study and study hard. You will reap the rewards and see the advantages of making success in your studies a top priority.
    • Make sure that you have enough time for your studies; balance your social life and your time set aside to study.
  2. Realise and remember that you are not alone.
    • If you find things difficult, seek help.
    • Our Department of Student Counselling and Development has trained staff and tailor-made programmes that can assist you.
    • Look after your mental health—and look after each other’s mental health.
  3. Make the most of your time at Kovsies.
    • Join one or more of the student organisations; why not try something new?
  4. Embrace difference and diversity.
    • Get to know students who are different from you.
    • You will lose valuable opportunities to grow if you only associate with your own all the time. It is important to get to know students who are different from you. It could be someone from a different part of the country, or from another country, a different ethnicity, a different religion, someone who has different views from yours, or who has different interests and perspectives.

News Archive

UFS keeps the power on
2015-06-24

 

At a recent Emergency Power Indaba held on the Bloemfontein Campus, support structures at the university met to discuss the Business Continuity Intervention Plan to manage load shedding on the three campuses of the UFS.

Currently, 35 generators serving 55 of the buildings have already been installed as a back-up power supply on the three campuses of the university. According to Anton Calitz, Electrical Engineer at the UFS, the running cost to produce a kWh of electricity with a diesel generator amounts to approximately three times the cost at which the UFS buys electricity from Centlec.

Planned additional generators will attract in excess of R4 million in operating costs per year. For 2015, the UFS senior leadership approved R11 million, spread over the three campuses. Remaining requirements will be spread out over the next three years. University Estates is also looking at renewable energy sources.

On the Bloemfontein Campus, 26 generators serving forty-one buildings are in operation. On South Campus, two generators were installed at the new Education Building and at the ICT Server Room. Lecture halls, the Arena, the Administration Building, and the library will be added later in 2015. Eight generators serving 12 buildings are in operation on the Qwaqwa Campus. In 2015, the Humanities Building, Lecture Halls and the heat pump room will also be equipped with generators.

Most buildings will be supplied only with partial emergency power. In rare cases, entire buildings will be supplied because the cost of connecting is lower than re-wiring for partial demand. According to Nico Janse van Rensburg, Senior Director at University Estates, emergency power will be limited to lighting and power points only. No allowances will be made for air-conditioning.

“Most area lighting will also be connected to emergency power,” he said.

Where spare capacity is available on existing emergency power generators, requests received for additional connections will be added, where possible, within the guidelines. The following spaces will receive preference:
- Lecture halls with the lights, data projectors, and computers running
- Laboratories for practical academic work and sensitive research projects
- Academic research equipment that is sensitive to interruptions
- Buildings hosting regular events

According to Janse van Rensburg, all further needs will be investigated. Staff can forward all emergency power supply needs to Anton Calitz at calitzja@ufs.ac.za

Staff and students can also manage load shedding in the following ways:

1. Carry a small torch with you at all times, in case you are on a stairwell or other dark area when the lights go out. You can also use the flashlight app on your phone. Download it before any load shedding occurs. This can come in handy if the lights go out suddenly, and you cannot find a flashlight. Load-shedding after dark imposes even more pressure on our Campus Security staff. We can assist them with our vigilance and preparedness by carrying portable lights with us at all times and by assisting colleagues.
2. Candles pose a serious safety risk. Rather use battery- or solar-powered lights during load shedding.
3. Ensure that your vehicle always has fuel in the tank, because petrol stations cannot pump fuel during power outages.
4. Ensure that you have enough cash, because ATMs cannot operate without electricity.
5. The UFS Sasol Library has study venues available which students can use during load shedding.
6. When arranging events which are highly dependent on power supply, especially at night, organisers should consult the load-shedding schedule before determining dates and preferably also make back-up arrangements. If generators are a necessity, the financial impact should be taken into consideration.

The senior leadership also approved a list of buildings to be equipped with emergency power supplies.

More about load shedding at the UFS:
Getting out of the dark
More information, guidelines and contact information

 

 

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