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18 April 2019 | Story Rulanzen Martin

The Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice IRSJ) has initiated a Social Justice Week at the University of the Free State (UFS), which started on Friday 12 April  until Wednesday 17 April 2019. 

Ten key events took place during the week. It ranged from dialogues, workshops, talk shows, debates, and interactive displays and events on issues of multilingualism and diversity, social innovation, engaged scholarship, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, gender sensitisation, sexual consent, sexual preparedness, universal access, disability, anti-discrimination, and security.

There was also a round-table discussion on 17 April 2019 with various UFS stakeholders on off-campus student security as well as an inter-institutional discussion on the same topic. The UFS Debating Society will take on the topic of the UFS Language Policy, while Olga Barends from the Free State Centre for Human Rights will host a dialogue on sexual consent.

The IRSJ has also designed and implemented SOJO-VATION: Social Innovation/ Social Change, which strives to create a foundational platform where ideas of social justice, innovation, and engaged scholarship at the UFS and in society can be hosted. SOJO-VATION partners with the Office for Student Leadership, Development, and Community Engagement.

The collaborating partners for the Social Justice Week includes various UFS stakeholders such as the Sasol library, the Gender and Sexual Equity Office, UFS Protection Services, the Free State Centre for Human Rights, the Student Representative Council (SRC), the Office for Student Leadership Development, Kovsie Innovation, GALA, the FFree State Centre for Human Rights, SRC Associations, the Office for Student Governance, Kovsie Innovate, Start-Up-Grind, EVC, EBL, Community Engagement, the Institutional Transformation Plan (ITP) Dialogues Office, Residence Dialogues, UFS Debating Society, Debate Afrika!, the Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS), and the Gateway Office. 

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Graduates should make a difference as leaders and be agents of change
2017-06-22

Description: Mid-year graduation read more 22 June 2017 Tags: Mid-year graduation read more 22 June 2017

More than 5 000 degrees will be conferred over six days
and eleven ceremonies at the UFS mid-year graduation
ceremonies.
Photo: Johan Roux

Livestream of Graduation Ceremonies

“Make the choice to make a difference as the leaders of the future.” These words of Dr Susan Vosloo, Cardiothoracic Surgeon and member of the University of the Free State (UFS) Council, echoed the call to graduates on the first three days of the UFS mid-year graduation ceremonies. The ceremonies are taking place in the Callie Human Centre on the Bloemfontein Campus from 19 to 26 June 2017.

Dr Vosloo, also an alumna of the UFS, was one of six guest speakers at the biggest set of graduation ceremonies in the university’s history. A spirit of excitement is part of the festivities, as a total of 5 258 degrees will be conferred over six days in eleven ceremonies. The graduation week will conclude on 26 June 2017, when 460 master’s and doctoral degrees will be conferred – 72 of these are doctoral degrees.

Stand up and be counted
Dr Vosloo urged the graduands at the afternoon session on 19 June 2017 to stand up and be counted. “What we need are leaders who treasure integrity, dignity, accountability, transparency, and who will focus on the common challenges which we all face today.”

Dr Khotso Mokhele, UFS Chancellor, also encouraged the graduates to be agents of change who shouldn’t conform to the current system. “Decide that it is your country and that you will decide what it should be. Then it will not be the corrupt experiment which the current government turned it into. We wish you well. Go and be the agents of transformation.”

Ambassadors of the UFS
Prof Francis Petersen, UFS Rector and Vice-Chancellor, asked the graduates to make a contribution: “Be excellent ambassadors of the UFS, and make the UFS, your families, and our country proud by your strong, innovative, ethical, and excellent contributions.” He was the guest speaker during the morning and afternoon sessions on 20 June 2017.

He also said that they should never forget the supporting role others played in their success, whatever form it took.

Do it for those who fought for SA
Justice Connie Mocumie, Judge of Appeal at the Supreme Court of Appeal, encouraged the graduates to go out and contribute to the development of the country. She was the guest speaker at the morning and afternoon ceremonies on 21 June 2017.

“It is important for you to continue being experts in your area of expertise,” she said.

“Today is the beginning of better days to come. Do it for the legacy of those who fought for our country in pursuit of a better South Africa.”

Dipiloane Phutsisi, Principal and Chief Executive Officer of the Motheo TVET College in the Free State, said everyone is destined for greatness. “In the words of Dr Martin Luther King: Everyone has the power for greatness, not for fame but greatness, because greatness is determined by service.” She was the guest speaker at the morning session on 19 June 2017.

Click here to see a list of Deans’ and Senate medals awarded.

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