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14 June 2018 Photo Supplied
Next Chapter Green Ribbon campaign addresses mental health
Members of Next Chapter and UFS Student counselling are working together to address mental health issues.

Next Chapter, a student support group at the UFS presented the Green Ribbon campaign, pledging their support to students and providing them with assistance in coping with life events that stimulate stress and contribute negatively to their mental health. The team aims to break the stigma surrounding mental health care, and continually assist students with mental health-related issues that they struggle with daily.

The Green Ribbon represents mental health awareness, which is a pressing matter for students and is the type of support students need in a stressful university environment. The campaign focuses on teaching students how to cope with life events that stimulate stress, and contribute negatively to their mental health.
 
A discussion by Dr Ancel George: practising clinical psychologist and lecturer from the UFS Department of Psychology, and Dr Mellissa Barnaschone: Director of UFS Student Counselling, took place, where talks were prominent about creating an inclusive environment for UFS students.

The panel shared a few tips on how students should work towards managing stress, and motivated them for the main mid-year examinations.
 
The follow-up Exam Cram Workshop, presented by Nadia Cloete and Lize Wolmarans, that combined time and stress management, took place on 2 June 2018, and saw students receiving advice on how to approach various issues during the examination period.
 
Mental health awareness does not end with the campaign and Next Chapter’s slogan “Your story continues” encourages students to regularly wear and commemorate the green ribbon in support of continual mental healthcare.
 
Should you have any enquiries or input for the ongoing campaign, contact the Next Chapter team on ufsnextchapter@gmail.com, or further email Tshepang Mahlatsi, founder of Next Chapter on tshepangmahlatsi767@gmail.com

News Archive

Expansion to Physics building officially opened on Bloemfontein Campus
2016-05-06

Description: New Physics building  Tags: New Physics building

The newly-opened addition to the Physics Building on the Bloemfontein Campus.
Photo: Charl Devenish

An extension to the Department of Physics at the University of the Free State (UFS) was officially opened on the Bloemfontein Campus on 20 April 2016.

“This started off about five years ago when we were talking about not having enough room for large classes. Prof Matie Hoffman suggested that we build a large lecture room on our parking space,” said Prof Hendrik Swart, Professor in the Department of Physics as he addressed guests at the official opening ceremony.

“A year later, we received a Sarchi Research Chair [South African Research Chairs Initiative] on Advanced and Luminescent Materials. We needed more office and laboratory space. The two ideas were combined and presented to the university’s senior management,” he added.

When the university was founded in 1904, Prof James Lyle was appointed to head up the Physics and Chemistry departments. Five years later, a single room was allocated for the Physics laboratory in the main building upon its completion. In 1947, the old Physics building was designed and constructed. Fast forward 69 years, the department has reached another milestone. Facilities accommodated by the expansion include a new telescope for astrophysics experiments, a basement for storing old equipment, as well as a sliding trap door which allows heavy goods to be elevated into the building from the ground floor. The telescope is one of the many unique features of the building given its capacity to expose graduate students to the basic techniques of radio astronomy, especially in light of the fact that the SKA (Square Kilometre Array) project which is in progress.

“Our department is extremely strong at this stage, and a bright future lies ahead,” said Prof Koos Terblans, the Head of Department. The opening also served to celebrate the 103 publications achieved by the department last year.

Dr Lis Lange, Vice-Rector: Academic is proud of the heights reached by the department to date. “The Department of Physics is undoubtedly one of the jewels in the crown of our university, and we are very proud of its developments. Universities are built on legacies, and they are also about change, which is what this department has been demonstrating.”

The expansions to the building with its top-class facilities, was constructed at a cost of R25 million – an infrastructure grant courtesy of the Department of Higher Education and Training.

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