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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

New SRC constitution for UFS main campus agreed upon by all organisations
2005-07-20

University of the Free State Fact Sheet

1. The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) unanimously approved an amendment to the SRC constitution for the main campus to allow for the introduction of proportional representation (PR) alongside a first-past-the-post electoral system.

2. This decision was taken by the UFS Council on 10 June 2005 at the same meeting where it also approved the establishment of a Central SRC for the three campuses of the UFS.

3. The new main campus SRC constitution is the result of consensus reached during a lengthy negotiation process involving diverse student formations such as Sasco, the ANC Youth League, the Young Communist League, the ACDP, HEREXVII, KovsieAlliance, as well as the democratically elected SRC members of the main campus. Independent persons such as Mr Jack Klaas and Mr Kobus van Loggerenberg facilitated the negotiation process.

4. The consensus reached during this process, and the subsequent decision by Council, represent a major breakthrough for student governance and transformation of the UFS main campus and constitutes a legitimate basis for the democratic participation of all students at the UFS main campus in the governance of the university.

5. The introduction of the proportional representation system follows earlier calls by some student formations, notably Sasco and the ANC Youth League, for such a system to be introduced at the UFS main campus in Bloemfontein.

6. In terms of the amendments to the main campus SRC constitution, nine of the 18 SRC members are to elected by means of proportional representation and nine on the basis of an direct, first-past-the-post election.

7. The following portfolios of the main campus SRC will be contested by individual candidates on the basis of “first past the post”:
• president
• secretary
• academic affairs
• legal and constitutional affairs
• student development
• arts and culture
• men’s internal liaison
• ladies internal liaison
• media, marketing and liaison

8. The following nine portfolios will be contested by affiliated organizations on a proportional representation basis.
• two vice-presidents
• treasurer
• dialogue and associations
• transformation
• campus affairs and recreation
• sport
• international affairs
• community service

9. These two decisions regarding student governance represent a breakthrough in that, for the first time in many years, all SRC constitutional changes were processed and approved by the June meeting of the Council, well in time for the scheduled August SRC election; in addition, all relevant student organizations have been part of the process and all have accepted the outcome of the process.

20 July 2005
 

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