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Hall Warden's Welcome speech

Date Released: Thu, 25 June 2015 14:21 +0200

Good evening ladies and gentlemen


You have all just joined the Lilian Ngoyi or Nelson Mandela Hall family, families that are filled with fun, exciting, diverse and exceptional people: you have just made lots of friends for life!

  • As Mrs Wicks mentioned, my name is Greg Wilmot and I am the Hall Warden for Lilian Ngoyi Hall and Warden of Joe Slovo House.
    • I am Counselling and Sport Psychologist in Private Practice but have fingers in numerous other pies such as the University Counselling Centre and a PhD through Stellenbosch.

Importantly, this evening provides an opportunity to introduce ourselves to you and to offer reassurances to Moms and Dads, Guardians and most importantly to our new students.

Firstly, I would like to start by assuring you that there is no initiation at Rhodes University.

Serenades is completely optional, students are not required to participate. I would like to encourage all the students to get involved in the various House and Hall activities during O week, including serenades, but only if you feel comfortable doing so.

That said, entering University is a great opportunity to safely feel ‘uncomfortable’. The OWeek and University experience is the best way to challenge ideas and beliefs you have about the world, South Africa and yourself. The dozens of available activities and events available to you provide an invaluable platform to grow into dynamic, creative, hard-working and conscientious young adults.

However, there is one condition; The onus lies with you, the new students, to embrace the available opportunities!

Orientation week is a time set aside to introduce you to Rhodes life, both academically and socially. A number of activities and talks are been presented to help you prepare for the years ahead, both at Rhodes and in terms of your career.

These lectures and activities are designed:

  • to help you choose the right degree and subjects that comprise your degree;
  • to help you adjust to living in our large family, both in terms of your Hall and your Residence and
  • and to explain the various support mechanisms available to you to ensure you get your degree in minimum time
    • Ø For example what can be expected from the residence leadership teams (Wardens and Sub-Wardens, Senior students and house committees);
    • Ø How do I use the Residence washing machines;
    • Ø …and what can be expected from the health care, careers and counselling centres.

Utilize these opportunities. If you have any questions do not hesitate to ASK! I can assure you that someone in the audience would also like to hear the answer!

Importantly, the Wardens have seen and heard it all. Do not feel embarrassed or shy to discuss anything with them. We are here to help and are used to being woken up at all hours of the night.

We look forward to getting to know you all, watching you grow and learn and in what will seem like the blink of an eye graduate as well rounded Nelson Mandela or Lilian Ngoyi Hall students.

The house committees, Sub-wardens and Wardens also have many years of experience. They will be able to offer an explanation of DPR's, Plagarism and the dreaded G7 rule. We do not know everything, but we know who to ask!

Just as importantly, Rhodes offers a diverse extramural program, from hockey to fly fishing, chess to taekwando. From debating and stand-up comedy to community engagement and wine-tasting.

Design your academic program, sport and club activities carefully. Remember that (depending on your degree) you are here for at least 3 years, followed ideally by some postgraduate study.

Pace yourself! Do not sign up for every sport and every club this year! You are here to obtain a degree. Academic achievement is the primary measure of a successful Rhodes student.

We do however expect you to grow as a person, to interact with a diverse group of students and lecturers, to participate (and excel) in community engagement, sport and society activities.

Enjoy your first year at Rhodes, get to know your new extended family, but remember your success is largely dependent on your academic performance! Here are a few words of advice which have already and will continue to hear throughout OWeek:

  • Attend ALL your lectures: Someone else has already summarized the important concepts, usually from multiple readings.
  • If you don’t understand what you just heard speak to the lecturer at the end of the lecture. Their new ideas and lecture slides might seem scary but they themselves are not!
  • Take notes in lectures: Us Psychologists promise that writing helps the learning process and retaining information.
  • Do your assignments: each and every one has been carefully crafted to stimulate and assist your learning.
  • By all means, work in groups. However ensure you are not just writing down the answer. You write examinations by yourself!
  •  Do not leave things to the last minute. There will be essays and practical examinations in the weeks leading up to examinations!
  •  As mentioned, lecturers love it when students come and ask questions. However if you have not been to lectures, not attempted the tutorials or essays you are unlikely to get an explanation of 'everything in the book'! Success at University requires a ‘hands-on’ approach!
  • On behalf of the staff and students of Lilian Ngoyi and Nelson Mandela Halls; WELCOME. Please take yourselves at home. The Jazz evening follows hereafter on the Drostdy Lawns. Parents are welcome.

Parents: Please do take this opportunity to chat to the Wardens.

Those students who are having issues accessing residence using the finger print system are please to speak to Genean or Loranda after this function.

Many thanks for attending and have a good evening!

Source:Lilian Ngoyi