Bloemfontein Campus Review of Residence Building Names

From August to October 2021, the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) is engaged in the implementation of a project focused on the review of the names and symbols of student residence buildings. Interested members of the broader UFS community (staff, students, and alumni) are invited to engage in this process as follows:

Educational Materials

  • Click here to access information on the CR de Wet Building Name Review Project.
  • Click here to access information on the Bloemfontein Campus Residence Name and Symbol Review Project.
  • Participate in the dialogue on the CR de Wet Building Name Review, which will take place on Wednesday 11 August from 17:30 to 19:30 on Microsoft Teams.
  • Participate in the institutional dialogues: 16-19 August 2021 (taking place virtually on Microsoft Teams each day from 16 to 19 August 2021, 16:00-19:00). Please click here.to register for the dialogues, after which links to the dialogues will be sent to your email address.

Participate in the Review Process

The UFS will mail digital survey links as follows:
  • Review of the CR de Wet Building name: Members of the UFS community are invited to participate in the review from midnight on 11/12 August until midnight on 17 August 2021.
  • Review of the Bloemfontein Campus residence building names: Members of the UFS community are invited to participate in the review from midnight on 19/20 August until midnight on 24 August 2021.

Project Timelines

Broader Bloemfontein Campus Residence Building Names

9-13 August: Junior residences and day residences will host various dialogues within their houses, focusing on exploring their names and symbols. Senior residences with associated names or conceptual frames, as well as alumni, are encouraged to join these dialogues.

16-19 August: A range of institutional dialogues will take place that focus on key reflections regarding the current names of residences. These dialogues will take place daily from 16:00-19:00 and will be convened and moderated by Student Representative Council representatives.

20-24 August: The Bloemfontein Campus community, inclusive of students, staff, and alumni, are invited to participate by expressing their thinking regarding the current building names through an online review platform. Where participants feel that the current name/s do not align with constitutional and UFS values and the desired institutional culture of the UFS, they are encouraged to promote a new name/s as per the guidelines that will be provided for naming. Residence students will also be afforded the opportunity to critically reflect on and review their residence symbols.

23 September: Findings from the review process will be communicated to the UFS community. 

December 2021: The decisions of Council on the review and possible new names will be communicated to the UFS community.

The CR de Wet Building Name Review Project

3-12 August: Students and staff in the Faculty of Health Sciences will engage in dialogues focusing on reviewing the name of one of its buildings, the CR de Wet Building, which houses the staff offices as well as lecture and practical venues of the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and the departments of Family Medicine, Occupational Therapy, Optometry, Biostatistics, Physiotherapy as well as Nutrition and Dietetics.

10 August: The broader UFS community is invited to also engage in a dialogue that focuses on reviewing the name of the afore-mentioned building.

11 August: Alumni of the former Huis Christiaan de Wet Hostel will engage in a dialogue that focuses on reviewing the name of the afore-mentioned building.

12-17 August: The Bloemfontein Campus community, inclusive of students, staff, and alumni, are invited to participate by expressing their thinking regarding the current name of the building through an online review platform. Where participants feel that the current name needs to be changed, they are encouraged to promote a new name as per the guidelines that will be provided for naming.

23 September: Findings from the review process will be communicated to the UFS community. 

December 2021: The decisions of Council on the review and possible new name – where the review indicated a need for change – will be communicated to the UFS community.

From Dialogues to Deciphering

As part of the Bloemfontein Campus Residence Name and Symbol Review Project, four institutional dialogues will take place virtually each day from 16:00 to 19:00 for the period 16 to 19 August 2021.

Convened and moderated by various portfolios of the Bloemfontein Campus Student Representative Council (SRC), the focus will be on the University of the Free State (UFS) community grappling with the following questions around the current names of residence buildings:

  • Dialogue One, 16 August, convened and moderated by Vusumzi Gqalane: How can the ‘old’ (1904) and the ‘new’ (1994) heritages of the UFS be balanced to promote the university as a higher education space in South Africa which aligns with constitutional as well as UFS values?
  • Dialogue Two, 17 August, convened and moderated by Mpho Maubane: How would the extension of the current indigenous knowledge building names into other African languages create a sense of meaning and belonging for all?
  • Dialogue Three, 18 August, convened and moderated by Michael Mnguni: If students and communities understood where and how black history has been incorporated into the institution through residence building names, how would it alter the perceptions of exclusion?
  • Dialogue Four, 19 August, convened and moderated by Sibongiseni Mncela: How can students living off-campus collaborate more meaningfully on the higher education project of human and societal development?

Leading up to these institutional dialogues, residences will be hosting various house dialogues in the week of 9 to 14 August, focusing on exploring the meaning and significance of their names, and whether these names and the current house symbols align with and reflect the constitutional values of dignity, equality, and freedom, as well as the UFS values of care and ethical conduct.

Following the various house and institutional dialogues, the UFS community will be invited to express their thinking regarding the names of the residence buildings through a virtual review platform from 20 to 25 August. The invitation will be emailed to the UFS community and will also be available on the project’s Blackboard platform.  The overall objectives of the project are to ensure that all its constituents engage with the desired institutional culture of the UFS, and that this vision is reflected in the names and practices of residence buildings on the Bloemfontein Campus going forward.

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