The orientation ceremony held at the Arts quadrangle attracted over 500 students addressed by the college leadership led by the Principal CHUSS Assoc. Prof. Josephine Ahikire. The students were also addressed by officials from the college administrative units, the students Guild, Makerere University Guidance and Counselling Centre, the Makerere university Police station, and other institutions partnering with the university.
Every year, the college welcomes and orient new students on university policies, rules and regulations to aquiant students with the university environment. This also creates a platform where students interact with the college administrators, leaders and students’ Guild to clarify on matters pertaining to their stay and study at Makerere university.
The students were furnished with information and advice on a number of issues ranging from the admission, fees payment and registration, the University academic calendar and change of program. The were also advised on matters of social life, personal security, the general conduct while at the university, and the new norm of online teaching and learning.
The freshers were also cautioned against examination malpractices, engaging in strikes, drug abuse and sexual harassment among others that would put their lives and studies at stake.
The Principal CHUSS Assoc. Prof. Josephine Ahikire welcomed the new students to Makerere University saying, they were a special and blessed group joining the university during the celebrations to mark 100 years of the university existence and service to humanity.
“ So, you come in the celebration mode but also you are blessed that you come to a very innovative college CHUSS. Humanities and Social Sciences will give you mileage in life because, we say that in the 21st Century, the key skills that will survive are critical thinking, critical writing and conflict resolution.
When the machines have taken over everything, those are the skills that will survive and the skills are resident right here. Please use your time efficiently and aim for the best and you will change the world”, Assoc. Prof. Josephine Ahikire advised.
The Principal reminded students that COVID 19 is still there, urging them to always put on the mask and sanitise to make sure they are safe. Prof. Ahikire also asked CHUSS students to keep clean on grounds that, a clean environment improves academics and wellbeing.
“We see you as the future of Uganda and we become proud to be builders of the foundation and to give you what we are expected of as our core responsibility. We take pride having you to go through our hands and ensuring that you enjoy your academic life”. Dr. Kikooma Julius.
Dr. Kikooma informed students that unlike the previous two years, the country and the university was in the era of onlinesation adding that, they must be ready to embrace social media and new technologies.
“Two years ago, it was business as usual with physical classes but now we are having blended teaching and learning via Odel, emails, whatsapp etc”
Kikooma said the university had put in place mechanism to ensure that students engage in online model of learning in addition to having school eLearning coordinators . Kikooma urged students to embrace the new technologies and be mindful of the ethicates of using social media and other online platforms.
The Dean School of Liberal and Performing Arts Assoc. Prof. Patrick Mangheni reminded students that they have come to acquire a foundational degree that will provide them with a set of knowledge, skills and attitudes and that this, was fundamental.
“The Arts will prepare you to make a contribution to society. They are many people who did arts and are prominently changing lives. Know your purpose, know your social groups, have academic friends and aim at academic excellence”, The Dean advised
Representing the Dean School of Women and Gender studies, Dr. Grace Bantebya advised students to desist from any acts of sexual harassment. She said the university has adopted a policy of zero tolerance on sexual harassment and has put in place mechanism of addressing the issue.
Dr. Bantebya said, for the past one year the school has been running a project on kicking sexual harassment out of higher education institutions. She implored students to attend the planned activities.
“Makerere is not silent, it wants to protect you and be active people so that you protect yourself. There is a policy on Sexual harassment and make sure you read it. We have also established a student online system where you can report online in privacy and we get to you and help you. There are also many clubs aimed at raising awareness on sexual harashment”. Bantebya said
Speaker after speaker advised students on different aspects of life.
The Chief Security Officer Makerere University Police Station ASP assured students that Makerere was safe and secure but cautioned students to desist from engaging in strikes and joining bad groups or else risk facing the university Disciplinary Committee, arrest and arraigning in courts of law.
“ Every one of you came here alone. Don’t join here and get misled. Security starts with you in halls of residences, in the lecture room. Judge, don’t join trouble”, The police officer warned.
The Manager Makerere University Counselling and Guidance centre Dr. Henry Nsubuga advised students to seek support and services at the center when faced with tragedies, social, economic and any other problems and always seek and confide in friends, religious leaders that can be of help in trying moments.
“ You might have a background that is wounded. We want you to seek professional services because they are objective and free. If you were on drugs, you may be shy and can’t speak or struggling with grief. You come, because we want you to become better in different aspects, short of that, we would not have built for the future”, Dr. Nsubuga implored.
The College Registrar Ms. Joana Kayaga emphasized registration as critical after the closure of the admission process.
“Registration is making you a bonafide Makerere university student. Without it, you are not a Makerere student. Feel free to decline or accept the admission offer. You accept the offer by registering and even if you want to withdraw, you must first register and you should pay 60% fees and functional fees,” Ms. Kayaga advised.
Kayaga informed students that Sem I begins on 5th February 2022 throughout May while Sem II will end in September 15th 2022 , calling upon students to utilize their time productively as the program is intense.
The Registrar also informed students that change of program had already commenced but cautioned that change should not be just for the sake of it but with advise.
The registrar also informed students that the university deals with processes with all activities guided by rules, regulations and policies which they must acquaint with.
“ Let there be harmony, promote peace and if you have grievances, follow processes, consult leaders and put your issues in writing”, She advised.
The College Bursar Ms. Joseline Biganja advised students to approach the right people when dealing with fees payment and ensure that they keep their records safely for reference and future use. To make any payments, the Bursar said students must first get the payment reference number before proceeding to the bank.
“Avoid habits that may lead to misappropriation of fees. Make use of notice boards for acquiring information and respond timely. Beware of online schemes that purport to multiply money. Use the portal to generate the payment reference number”, Biganja advised
The Vice Guild President Makerere University Mr. Ssewanya call upon students to turn up for mass vaccination against COVID 19 slated for Saturdays and Sunday.
“As you come to the mighty university, participate in politics to expand your social horizon because this college is well-known for producing prominent leaders. The student office is room 68 and offers services free of charge and let no one ask for money.