The combination of thumping noise, buzzing activity and the wide-ranging variety of information that characterises O-week has struck the right note.
Tshepo Ndlovu, SRC Treasurer, said that the week is intended to “orientate, help new students adapt and give them a different perspective of the university to what they might have.”
The week, which included a variety of fun activities organised by the SRC, also incorporated an academic component facilitated by each of the faculties. Among other things, each faculty offered its students an introduction to faculty rules, computer skills, campus tours, university organisation and counselling.
Karen Sheng, a first-year BSC Eng (Industrial) student said of the faculty’s orientation programme, “I was nervous about going to varsity, but O-week helped me feel more comfortable and at ease.”
Tiisetso Maphanga, another BSC Eng (Industrial) student, shared this view, saying, “As a first-year student you’re nervous about transitioning from high school to university. O-week calmed those nerves and gave us the tools to survive in our field of study.”
A student who was particularly inspired by the vice-chancellor’s speech at the Welcome Day on Sunday, 13 February was first year MB BCh student, Wesley Wilkes. According to Wilkes, the speech was “encouraging” and affirmed that the group had indeed achieved something thus far, by making it into the top 10% of the population who have access to tertiary education.
Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Loyiso Nongxa, is quoted on the Wits website thus: “The future of our children and grandchildren is in your hands today.
“Once you graduate it is to you we turn to treat our children when they are sick, your advice we will seek to warn us against impending financial crises and you that we will rely on to design bridges that will not collapse.”
Known for its tradition of academic excellence, Ndlovu said the university tended to be perceived as being a very “dry” and “uptight” institution where there is no fun. “We dedicate ourselves to organising fun events for students and were happy with the turn-out. Students supported (our events).”