10 December 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Supplied
Student Awards
The UFS rewarded student leaders for their hard work through the Division of Student Affairs (DSA) Student Leadership Awards (SALA).

The University of the Free State (UFS) Division of Student Affairs has recognised and awarded a number of student leaders in the areas of student life, arts and governance through the 2019 Student Affairs Leadership and Achievement Awards (SALA). 

Through SALA, the DSA aims to recognise and promote outstanding student leadership, thereby alleviating the threat of financial exclusion, which has been identified as a major challenge that students are currently facing. “With these awards, the department is making a small contribution towards mitigating such a challenge, especially for those students who are always at the forefront of student life, serving others while they themselves face similar challenges and contradictions,” explained Dean of Student Affairs, Pura Mgolombane.

The SALA committee convenes to select the student leaders to be awarded according to a definite rubric, which also determines the amount to be allocated. This year, the basic amount allocated was R6 000, whereas the highest amount was R25 000. The financial aspect of SALA is meant to assist students to pay for their tuition fees, with the money being paid directly into the student accounts. 

The rewards honour and incentivise students who have held leadership offices and impacted either the UFS Bloemfontein, South or Qwaqwa campuses and/or the student community of the university in a generally positive manner.

According to Mgolombane, the founder of the UFS Next Chapter organisation, Tshepang Mahlatsi, was one of the student leaders who was recognised as a leader deserving of an award amounting to R25 000 for his participation as a leader in various aspects of student life, from leading within UFS residences, to the Faculty of Law, and as an avid mental-health advocate. 

A total of 31 student leaders from the Bloemfontein Campus, 11 from the South Campus, 18 from the Qwaqwa Campus, and nine other students from all three campuses who outshone their peers, were SALA recipients in 2019. 

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