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29 January 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Anja Aucamp
Prof Francis Petersen speech
“We can create an institution that operates and lives in the times of embracing and celebrating diversity, inclusivity, and academic excellence by ensuring that students own their time at university,” said Prof Francis Petersen.

25 January 2019 marked the official welcoming of the University of the Free State’s (UFS) first-year students, as they moved into their respective residences and were warmly welcomed on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus. This day also marked the start of the registration process for first-year students.

According to first-year Psychology student Keisha Claasen, who moved into her residence earlier on 25 January, her first experience of the UFS was daunting but exciting, as she had never been in a similar environment. According to Given Gwerera, who dropped his son off at the Karee residence earlier the day, “the UFS is an institution with great culture and an overall good academic record.” He further explained that he trusts his son to make full use of the opportunities presented to him, as he has a cool head on his shoulders.

On the evening of 25 January, an eager group of millennials, joined by their parents, took the first sip from their cup of varsity life as they assembled on the Red Square of the Bloemfontein Campus to meet the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, members of Rectorate, the deans of all faculties, and the Student Representative Council (SRC) of the UFS.

“2019 will be a year of continued change; the UFS is thrilled about the prospect of bringing about opportunities for adaptation and realignment to the future,” said Prof Francis Petersen.

He further explained that the university prides itself in moulding its students into well-rounded individuals who will develop into globally competitive graduates as required in a diversity of landscapes. Prof Petersen urged first-years to remain open to the technological developments that go with globalisation, because of its permanent effects on society today.

First-years were further advised to take advantage of the rich pool of academic research and knowledge that is characteristic of the university and is piloted by UFS scholars, by engaging with and learning from them.

The inspiring night concluded on a colourful note, as the audience enjoyed an artistic laser show in front of the Main Building. Caption:

“UFS academics conduct research that forces the world to take note,” said Prof Francis Petersen at the official first-year welcoming ceremony on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus.

News Archive

Armentum RC disbanded and expelled
2009-05-14

The Residence Committee (RC) of Armentum Residence at the University of the Free State (UFS) has been disbanded and expelled.

This decision was taken as a result of the RC’s involvement in the incident of alleged initiation that took place in the residence last week and as a result of which a first-year student, Alex Marais, was admitted to the Bloemfontein Medi-Clinic.

Due to the coming exams they are, however, allowed to stay in on the residence until the end of the first semester of 2009. If they are involved in any actions that contravene the rules of the UFS during this period, they will be expelled from the university.

“This decision was not taken lightly. An in-depth investigation was carried out and discussions were held with various parties in the residence. Because the RC was aware of the initiation practices that were taking place and even participated in it, disciplinary action was taken against them,” said Prof. Teuns Verschoor, Acting Rector of the UFS.

“The RC was aware of the fact that initiation practices are not allowed at the UFS and what the consequences can be if students do participate in such practices. It is a pity that we had to take a step like this,” he said.

The RC members are given the opportunity to retain their places in university accommodation and to be resettled in a residence that will be stipulated by the UFS. A work committee must immediately be appointed in Armentum to manage the residence until a new RC is elected in August 2009.

A remunerative fine will be imposed on the tuition fee accounts of senior students of Armentum, which will be used as a contribution to the medical costs of Alex Marais. All students currently residing in Armentum will be required to reapply for accommodation in the residence for the second semester and sign a declaration indicating that they are aware of the rules and will adhere to it.

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
14 May 2009

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