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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 security measures for Rag fundraising
2012-01-25

The University of the Free State will no longer allow first-year students to sell Ritsems or to shake their cans for change at traffic robots in Bloemfontein in an effort to raise funds for Rag Community Service.

This decision follows after an evaluation has been done in 2011 and 2012 concerning the safety risk for students during this type of sales at road crossings.
 
The new security measures have specifically been implemented for this type of sales since last year.
 
The measures included, among others, that students should be obliged to wear brightly coloured safety jackets during sales, continuous supervision of first-year students by senior students to ensure that students keep to the rules of the road, and limiting the sales hours at robots.
 
Through notices in the media, an appeal was made on motorists to keep a lookout for students raising money for Rag Community Service. The measures were implemented and the effects thereof for students’ safety during sales at robots monitored since last year. This follows after a student, Ms Hanje Pistorius, was hit by a reckless driver in 2010 and she subsequently lost her leg as a result of the accident. 
 
Although, from all appearances, the new measures are a positive contribution to protect students even more, the UFS decided to abolish the sales and fund-raising actions at traffic robots. As reckless drivers would not necessarily take notice of the extra measures, the risk to students at robots stay unchanged. 
 
"The UFS sets the safety of its students as first priority and considers it in the best interest of students to not expose first-years to the risk during our Rag programme,” says Mr Rudi Buys, Dean: Student Affairs at the UFS.
 
Night fund-raising and the selling of Ritsem in the city’s suburbs will, however, continue. 
 
Although the UFS do not expect the new measures to be detrimental to fund-raising efforts, Rag Community Service currently considers new supporting proposals for the raising of funds for community projects in order to address any possible reduction in funds. 
 
Mr Buys also has an agreement with Ms Pistorius to assist Rag Community Services in the planning of new projects.
 
The Night fund-raising in suburbs will take place on Tuesday 24 January and Thursday 26 January and the UFS calls on residents to assist students and help them in the important task at hand.
 
Three Rag processions will take place on Saturday 28 January 2012. At 10:00 two Rag procession will be leave for Heidedal and Mangaung, where the Kovsie Rag Community Service will hand out food parcels.
 
The main Rag Procession will leave the UFS at 18:00 and will move towards the Old Greys sports ground for the Rag concert with Die Heuwels Fantasties and DJ Black Coffee.

Media Release
25 January 2012
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za

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