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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

RC members of Armentum not expelled from residence
2009-05-29

According to a memorandum of agreement that was concluded between the University of the Free State (UFS) and the Residence Committee (RC), the Senior Bond Committee and seniors of the Armentum Residence, the parties involved agreed, among others, that the RC members of this residence would not be expelled from the residence.

This follows an incident during which a first-year student from Armentum, Alex Marais, was injured because of alleged initiation and admitted to the Bloemfontein Medi-Clinic.

According to the agreement, the RC members will resign from their positions and not make themselves available for the next RC election, with the exception of Mr M.J. Pretorius, the RC member for Rag. He will stay on as unelected member of the interim RC. The UFS undertook to pay the RC that is stepping down their honorariums honorariums in August.

The UFS also gave permission to the Residence Head of Armentum, Adv. Bradley Smith, to appoint an interim RC for the remaining period of office of the current RC.

The Senior Bond must also undertake to submit the current rules of the Senior Bond Committee to the Acting Rector, Prof. Teuns Verschoor, before 1 June 2009. The Senior Bond Committee undertakes to comply strictly with these rules, also during Senior Bond activities.

In addition the Senior Bond Committee and the current Residence Committee must submit the following information to Prof. Verschoor before the reopening of the UFS for the second semester :
- The current orientation practices with regard to first-year students.
- Proposals on how the practices can be adjusted to render them enforceable within humane, reasonable, fair and humanitarian limits in order to implement and comply with the objectives of orientation, the exercising of control and the laying down of rules.

The compensating fine that was levied against the tuition fees accounts of senior students of Armentum, which would have been used to contribute to the medical costs of Alex Marais, is now cancelled.

This settlement is final and the parties will not lay any claims against each other as a result of this incident in future.

Media Release:
Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
Email: radebemt.stg@ufs.ac.za
29 May 2009

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