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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

Rag spreads the spirit of Ubuntu in Dinaweng informal settlement
2015-08-25

 

The Rag Committee teamed up with Prowess to create the first pop-up Street Store in Bloemfontein, as part of the Ubuntu Community Store Project. On 22 August 2015, the residents of Dinaweng had the opportunity to get hold of new and second-hand clothing free of charge. Soup and bread were also served to the children and the elders of the area, which is all too familiar to the media for its high unemployment, crime, and prostitution rates.

How do clothes represent Ubuntu?

From Tubatsi Moloi’s perspective, this is the team’s way of demonstrating that Ubuntu does not exist merely as a philosophy. The Rag Committee shows compassion to communities that lack resources essential to leading a dignified life.

“Ubuntu basically means uniting with the community by giving back and also thinking for those who are in need,” says the RAG Committee Executive.

Prowess, a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) run by Kovsie students, initiated the concept which targets homeless and needy individuals unable to purchase clothing. Students from all 26 Kovsie residences and personnel have since supported the initiative by donating to the inaugural Street Store through representatives of Rag in residences.

The Street Store will continue to empower impoverished communities within the Mangaung Metro, and champion these human projects in collaboration with external stakeholders.
“We will also be working with Twee-Toring Church, although it has not yet been confirmed when we will pay them a visit,” said Tubatsi.

Providing basic needs such as clothing has the power to reinstate the dignity of people. Rag and Prowess have taken it upon themselves to practice the ideals of Ubuntu in an attempt to ensure that the less fortunate lead dignified lives.

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