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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

The book on ‘Reitz’ still not closed
2016-08-12

Description: IRSJ book  Tags: IRSJ book

Prof André Keet, Director: Institute for Reconciliation and
Social Justice (IRSJ) with the authors of Transformation
and Legitimation in Post-apartheid Universities: Reading
Discourses from ‘Reitz’,
JC van der Merwe and
Dionne van Reenen.

A new IRSJ book tackles issues of transformation.

Transformation and Legitimation in Post-apartheid Universities: Reading Discourses from ‘Reitz’ is the first in a series on critical studies in higher education transformation from the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice (IRSJ). In his introduction to this series, Prof André Keet, Director: Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice (IRSJ), highlights why a scholarly work of this nature was necessary: “Acts of resistance against structurally-anchored forms of exclusion within universities in both South Africa and elsewhere suggest that, despite our best efforts, the social structure of the academy … has remained more or less intact over the past several decades.” The book was recently launched during the fifth anniversary reflections of the IRSJ.

Transformation and Legitimation in Post-apartheid Universities: Reading Discourses from ‘Reitz’ explores and expands on the landmark “Reitz” incident. The authors, JC van der Merwe, Deputy-Director at the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice (IRSJ) and Dionne van Reenen, researcher and PhD candidate at the IRSJ, offer insights on how this incident and the events surrounding it represent a recurring pattern that continues to underpin many processes in post-apartheid South Africa.

Prof Jonathan Jansen, Chair of the Advisory Board of the IRSJ, and Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, says of the authors: “The courage of their convictions is reflected in this book. They have played, and will continue to play, an amazing role in shaping the discourse around transformation.”

Jamie Turkington, former editor of the IRAWA Post during the time of the ‘Reitz’ incident and facilitator during the five-year anniversary function, says: “This book will be beneficial for every student and every person involved in the University of the Free State since 1980 till now to read and absorb the valuable points therein. If you thought Reitz was over, it shouldn’t be; it is as relevant today as ever.”

"If you thought Reitz was over..."

Turkington adds that the book will serve as a “worthwhile conversation starter at UFS”, raising such questions as:
• How much legitimacy was the UFS able to acquire internally, within the university community, as well as in society at large?
• How do we chart a way forward from here?
• How do we keep the progress going?

As the book itself says: “Reitz serves as a reminder to higher education practitioners that our humanity is fragile in terms of who we are and what we can achieve. Transformation and legitimation, and the way higher education institutions handle these going forward, promises to be seminal in the foreseeable future of the sector.”

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