Students got a taste of normalcy on 7 February when the Department of Residence Affairs and Accommodation (TuksRes) hosted a welcoming event for first year residence students. The event took place at the Tuks Rugby Stadium on Hillcrest Sport Campus and was attended by approximately 1500 first years, 230 House Committee members (HC), and 50 staff members, including Heads of Residence and Vice Principal: Student Life, Prof Themba Mosia.

Monday’s event was the first of its kind at UP since South Africa went into lockdown in 2020. “TuksRes is delighted and privileged to once again host student events that are in-person. As the past two years have restricted such interactions, the need and appreciation of such events are evident”, said TuksRes Manager: Residence Management and Student Life, Mr Lanché van Tonder.

Students received a warm welcome from both Prof Mosia and the Director of Residence Affairs and Accommodation, Mr Kgomotso Legari and residences entertained each other with their war cries and danced to the music of DJ Austin Cassim.

Student feedback:

  • First Year Guardian of House Nala, Carlie Jordaan, described the event as immaculate with the student’s moods being at an all time high. “The stadium was filled with excitement…it was like fun had its big comeback after two long pandemic years”, said Jordaan.
  • Lo-rize Pitzer, a first year at Erica, described the event as “a wonderful experience”.
  • Asterhof First Year Guardian, Estelle Bronkhorst, said “It felt amazingly unreal to be surrounded by all the resses once again. The Sterretjies were very excited. They were happy and so involved with all the activities and resses. None of us wanted to leave the event because it was so much fun, and when we met in our Rec hall afterwards they wanted to continue dancing. Overall it was just an amazing experience and we as Asterhof are so thankful.”

When asked whether students could look forward to more in-person events, Van Tonder stated that “considering the success of the online events and activities that were offered in 2020 and 2021, the online offerings will continue. This will be combined with both regular and new in-person activities this year”.

Van Tonder had this message for the 2022 first year residence students: “We are excited to welcome you into your new home away from home, and will do our utmost best to make this an unforgettable experience for you. TuksRes is here to support your holistic development, and is committed to see you grow into proud UP ambassadors in our residence environment. Remember to make it your #YearOfFun”.

Photos: Snethemba Nzuza

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