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21 May 2019 | Story Thabo Kessah | Photo Ian van Straaten
Dr Thandi Gumede
Dr Thandi Gumede graduated with a PhD in Polymer Science. She is from Intabazwe, Harrismith.

The Qwaqwa Campus of the University of the Free State was a hive of activity on 17 and 18 May 2019, when over 800 degrees, diplomas, and certificates were conferred on deserving achievers. These included six PhDs and 14 master’s degrees across the four faculties.

Congratulating the graduates on both days, was Africa’s youngest PhD and Industrial Psychology lecturer, Dr Musawenkosi Saurombe, and Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor.

Be like heat

Dr Saurombe started her address by relating her school journey that saw her starting Grade 1 at age 5, thus later matriculating at the age of 15, having skipped Grades 3 and 10. She went on to emphasise the importance of building an honourable character.

“As a graduate, you will soon realise that your degree is useless if you do not have character,” she said to an attentive audience that continued to marvel at her remarkable school history. She encouraged graduates to be like heat that cannot be seen but can only be felt. “Noise can often be seen and heard, but it cannot be felt. However, while heat cannot always be seen, it is always felt. Be like heat and may your presence always be felt,” she said.

Do not focus on yourself

Prof Francis Petersen also encouraged graduates to look beyond their degrees by developing a set of critical values.
 
“For us as the university, this ceremony is not just about your degrees. It is about the values that you must live by,” he said. “As a graduate of the UFS, do not just believe what you are told. Ask questions and engage critically. Secondly, do not just focus on yourself. Remember that you are part of a community and it is your responsibility to make our world a better place for others. You need to be socially responsive to the needs of your community. Thirdly, remember that integrity plays a very important role. This will determine how others value you,” he said.

The two ceremonies also saw three current SRC members graduating. They are Lebohang Miya (BEd FET – Accounting and Business Studies), Duduzile Mhlongo (BA – Geography and isiZulu), and Mhlongo Sinemfundo (BA – Geography and isiZulu).

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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