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Dealing with the trauma of sexual assault

University life is supposed to be one of the most enjoyable times of a person’s life. Unfortunately, for some this is the time they may fall victims to sexual assault.
 
The term sexual assault has shockingly become normalised in society and has become a common threat to university students. The University of the Free State (UFS) through its sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and sexual violence policy strongly condemns any form of sexual abuse. Dr Melissa Barnaschone, Director at Student Counselling and Development (UFS) says the university cares for the health and wellbeing of students and provides necessary support for victims of sexual assault and trauma.
 
It is unfortunate that sexual assault comes with many misconceptions that often shift responsibility and blame from the perpetrator to the victim. “It is important to always remember that it is not your fault; do not blame yourself,” says Dr Barnaschone. Helpguide.Org: Trusted guide to mental & emotional health says sexual assault leaves psychological wounds and sometimes long-lasting health challenges. Such trauma can severely affect a person’s ability to cope with daily academic, social, professional, and personal responsibilities.
 
Any sexual violence is a crime and as a victim, you are not to blame. Healing is achieved when you start to believe that you are not responsible for what happened to you. Visit Helpguide.Org for more information on post-traumatic stress disorder, trauma recovery tips and other related topics.

On this video clip, Dr Barnaschone shares some guidelines to deal with sexual assault and trauma: 

News Archive

Student leaders 2012/13 announced
2012-08-30

Ready for the task - Sabelo Khumalo, SRC President of the Qwaqwa Campus and William Clayton, SRC President of the Bloemfontein Campus.
Photo: Johan Roux
31 August 2012

The 2012/13 elections for the Student Representative Councils (SRC) of the University of the Free State were completed successfully and show meaningful support for the changes in student governance adopted by students across campuses over the past two years.

The SRC elections at the Qwaqwa Campus were completed on 23 August 2012, while the elections at our Bloemfontein Campus took place on 27 and 28 August 2012.

The SRC Elections at our Bloemfontein Campus showed a voter turnout of 4516 votes (30.8%), with the elections at the Qwaqwa Campuses showing 1753 votes (46%) – both campuses reached the required quorums and the IEA (Bloemfontein Campus) and IEC (Qwaqwa Campus) declared the elections free and fair and announced the results as a true reflection of the will of the student bodies at the campuses.

The full SRC at Bloemfontein Campus now consists of 62% black and 38% white, and 53% female and 47% male members.

In the Qwaqwa elections, SADESMO achieved 46, 38% of the vote, with SASCO, PASMA and NASMO each achieving 30,23% and 8,39% and 14,26%, respectively.

The successful elections at Bloemfontein Campus show that the detailed transformation of student governance introduced by students at the Campus in 2010 and adopted by the university in 2011, succeeded in mobilizing greater participation of students in governance and representation. These changes in the main included a shift to independent candidacy for elective portfolios (12 seats) and organizational candidacy in nine sub-councils that holds ex officio seats on the SRC. Changes also included the establishment of student representative seats in faculty governance and management forums and the adoption of a reviewed Central SRC Constitution. Ex officio seats hold full and equal constitutional authority in the SRC.

Students at Qwaqwa Campus introduced additional portfolios to its SRC, including ex-officio seats for academic affairs, arts and culture, commuter students, Rag Community Service, religious affairs, residences and sports.

A joint sitting of the Campus SRCs will establish the Central SRC 2012/13 on 9 September 2012.

As a further opportunity for participation in and the development of student governance and representation, the current Central SRC herewith also announces its recent adoption of a student governance advisory programme, namely the UFS Student Elders Council (SEC).

The SEC is established as a combined programme between the Central SRC and the Dean of Student Affairs and will consist of selected senior student leaders from all campuses who completed their terms of office, apply and are appointed to the Elders Council by the Central SRC.

The Council will serve as an advisory structure to the Central SRC and other student structures in support of the continuous development of student governance and representation of the student body at the university.

The SEC will advise the Central SRC to be constituted following the constitution of the respective Campus SRCs.

The SRC members at the Bloemfontein Campus are:

President: Mr William Clayton

Vice-President: Mr Bonolo Thebe

Secretary: Ms Karis-Robin Topkin

Treasurer: Mr Pieter Coetzee

Arts & Culture: Ms Chanmari Erasmus

Accessibility & Student Support: Ms Gene McCaskill

First-generation Students: Ms Tanya Calitz

Legal and Constitutional Affairs: Ms Nokuthula Sithole

Media, Marketing & Liaison: Ms Neo Chere

Sport: Mr Tshepo Moloi

Student Development & Environmental Affairs: Ms Thabisile Mgadi

Transformation: Ms Koketso Mofokeng

Dialogue & Ex officio: Associations Council: Mr Anesu Ruswa

Academic Affairs & Ex officio: Academic Affairs Council: Ms Nombuso Ndlovu

Residence Affairs & Ex officio: Residences Council: Mr Johann Steyn

City Residence Affairs & Ex officio: Commuter Council: Mr Michael van Niekerk

Postgraduate Affairs & Ex officio: Postgraduate Council: Mr Fadeyi Akinsuyi

International Affairs & Ex officio: International Council: Ms Tumelo Moreri

Student Media Affairs & Ex officio: Media Council: Mr Jamal-Dean Grootboom

RAG Community Service & Ex officio: RAG Fundraising Council: Mr Jaco Faul

RAG Community Service & Ex officio: RAG Community Service Council: Ms Keneue Mahloana

The SRC members at the Qwaqwa Campus are:

President General: Mr S Khumalo

Deputy President: Mr P T Lenka

Secretary General: Mr D Khethang

Treasurer General: Mr S I Sithole

Media & Publicity: Mr S N Ntombela

Politics & Transformation: Tbc

Student Development & Evironmental Affairs: Tbc Academic Affairs: Mr T Molawude

Arts & Cultural Affairs: Mr T Nkohli

Off-Campus Students: Mr B Mtshali

RAG, Community Service & Dialogue: Ms S F Mlotya

Religious Affairs: Ms D C Khau

Residence & Catering Affairs: Ms Z Mzolo

Sports Council: Mr S Mngomezulu

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