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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

Strong support for march against gender violence
2013-02-27

 

A huge group of students, led by the Student Representative Council, took part in the "Enough is Enough: Are you man Enough?" march on the Bloemfontein Campus.
Photo: Johan Roux
25 February 2013

   YouTube Video: "Enough is Enough" Harlem shake

   YouTube Video: "Enough is Enough" protest

Enough is enough. The UFS took a vocal and visual stand against gender violence and rape with a march joining the national protest movement. With banners reading: ‘No to rape,’ ‘Stop sexual terrorism’ and ‘Enough is enough’, hundreds of Kovsie men and women took part in the Enough is Enough: Are you man Enough march held on the Bloemfontein Campus. Led by Mr Rudi Buys, Dean of Student Affairs, staff and students, mostly men, told the world what they think about the scourge of violence and rape in the country.

Addressing protestors, Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector, highlighted shocking rape statistics, saying that it is dangerous to be a woman these days with a woman raped every minute somewhere in the country. “Women can hardly breathe without being worried.Culture has deceived our young men. The country is experiencing a tragic time. We need to raise our children, mostly boys, to respect women from an early age. They must also learn how to deal with their emotions – boys must learn how to cry.”

Joining Prof Jansen on stage was the Student Representative Council (SRC) presidents of three universities in South Africa – William Clayton from the UFS, Horne Hallendorff from the University of Cape Town and Clinton du Preez from Stellenbosch University. “Enough is indeed enough and men should take their role seriously to ensure that we say NO to gender violence and rape against women,” Clinton told protestors.

At the request of the Dean of Student Affairs, all the men that were present kneeled as a sign of apology of the selfish acts of men against women.

The university will continue the fight against gender violence with a series of dialogues creating awareness, but also facilitating broader understanding of gender violence.

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