Welcome to the Division of Student Affairs

    Two students studying in front of a laptop
    Group of students walking from the Main Building
    Students socialising around a table

    The value proposition of Department of Student Affairs (DSA) is to create a socially just student-life experience that is conducive to student academic success, student engagement and critical thinking. Accordingly, the DSA’s thoughts, intentions, actions and reflections will be based on the following values:

    1. Humanity

    The DSA places the highest value on the humanity of its students and staff. This means that we treat all students and staff with dignity and respect, irrespective of their sexual orientation, (dis)ability, gender, race, class, language, ethnicity, place of origin, religion and spirituality, and other multiple identities that our students and staff may embody.

    2. Ethics

    The DSA regards it as critically important that students and staff be guided by ethical principles. That means that their daily lived experiences should focus on one fundamental question: How can I live an ethically good life? Thus, a student or staff member should always strive to do what is ethically good for himself/herself, other people, the UFS and society in general.

    3. Critical Diversity Literacy

    The DSA’s programmes and activities will foreground the concept of critical diversity literacy (CDL). This way of thinking seeks to identify, deconstruct and disrupt power structures in order to create possibilities for social justice. In this regard, the DSA will study how power and privilege produces and reproduces itself, because we believe that relevant knowledge and deep understanding facilitate the ability of all students and staff members to play a truly meaningful role in the transformation of the UFS and make its institutional culture genuinely inclusive. So, the vital source/origin of the DSA’s modes of being and ways of perceiving is located in the notion of CDL.

    4. Social Justice

    The DSA undertakes to facilitate just student lived experiences. All students and staff members will be guided by the intersectionality framework towards a deeper understanding of the value of critical diversity. Critical diversity transcends observable differences in order to investigate how power, privilege, dominance and oppression operate to unfairly advantage certain groups of people whilst unfairly disadvantaging other groups.

    5. Integrity

    The DSA believes that integrity is a value of the highest importance. Although we accept that rules, regulations, policies and procedures are necessary to enforce minimum standards of human behaviour, we also believe that all these efforts will come to nothing without personal integrity. Therefore, integrity is the value we wish to inculcate among our students and staff. It is only through this fundamental value that a socially just society will be possible. This conviction is based on the knowledge that a person of integrity is, among other things, honest, truthful, trustworthy, reliable and virtuous – all personal traits without which a just society could not exist.


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