Checking in

27 February 2006

Welcome to your happy new home: House committee members Ronelle Ogle and Rachel Njotge (both standing) and subwarden Buhle Zuma created a party vibe when they welcomed new students to Groote Schuur Residence a few weeks back.

Everyone - students, parents, staff - is a little on edge when residences open their doors and the new intake moves in. This year has been no different.

There've been the expected mishaps, like servers going down in the throes of registration, students not getting the room or residence they (or the aforementioned parent) had hoped for, and just too many students rocking up at residences, offers of accommodation in hand.

But wardens, sub-wardens, residence administrators and house comms have taken it all in their stride. Fuller Hall, where teamwork was the buzzword, made sure it had all its 2006 ducks in a row by late last year, workshopping what went wrong and right in 2005 and planning accordingly.

Forest Hill, the university's largest residence with almost 700 students, has mastered the art of mixing and matching students, overcoming cultural and personality clashes to forge a common residence identity. House comms, like the ones at Groote Schuur Residence (in picture), form the vanguard of the residence welcoming parties.

They host a slew of functions - mountain hikes, ice skating, pyjama parties, fire dances - where strangers begin lifelong friendships. "We just become really tight friends," says Tsholo Mpshe, house-comm member, of the "sisterhood" at Fuller. And residences become home.

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