WELCOMING CEREMONY SETS THE TONE FOR THE FIRST YEAR STUDENTS AT VUT
By: Tebello Theledi – 24 February 2023
Dr Sibusiso Mchunu: Director Student Support Services addressing the students.
In their numbers and not drawn back by the heavy down pours of rain, the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) newcomers flocked the Desmond Tutu Great Hall for their First Year Experience (FYE) Orientation Welcome Ceremony on Saturday, 18 February 2023.
It is official, the 2023 first year cohort has now become part of the vibrant, multicultural MaVUTi student community of 18 000 students. The purpose of the FYE Orientation Welcome Ceremony was to solely welcome and integrate the first-time incoming students for the year 2023 to their new academic home.
Setting the tone and welcoming the students to the ceremony was the acting director of Student Life and Governance, Mr Lucas Mahooa who painted a homey picture in an inclusive environment in the heart of every participant.
This ceremony was the first of its kind since the unprecedented disruptions inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his address to the students, the Executive Director of the Student Support Services, Dr Sibusiso Mchunu welcomed the students in his capacity as the dean of students and on behalf of the VUT Management. “Welcome to VUT, where you have access to a wide range of student support services and campus facilities that play an important part of your student experience. The academic life only features 30% of your student experience, the rest is your co-curricular and extracurricular activities to support your learning and development,” Dr Mchunu admonished the students.
Prior to the welcoming ceremony, the previous week saw the first-year students visit their different faculties where they gained valuable insight in their chosen programmes, taking tours of the campus and engaging with their lecturers, classmates, current students, and different support departments.
Introducing the Student Representative Council Body to everyone present was the SRC President, Mr Maanda Masendi who motivated the students on how they can turn their challenges to opportunities. He further shared with the audience his daunting experience of being enrolled as a first-year student with close to no resources to start his academic journey but managed to thrive through hard work and resilience. “Work hard and remain focused on your studies,” Mr Masendi said.
Each SRC Portfolio was introduced to the students and assurance was made to the students that every member of the student council is readily available to provide support and guidance every step of the way throughout their academic journey.
Various speakers provided words of encouragement and motivation to the students to dedicate themselves to a life of continuous self-improvement and growth. It is without doubt that the First Year Students went back to their residences with a vision of successful outcomes in their academic journey at the VUT.
In no time, the students were on their feet dancing to the tunes of well-known national DJ, Tyler ICU, and many other performances.