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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. 

News Archive

Fun and camaraderie key to Vishuis rugby success
2017-09-27

Description: TEDxUFS   Tags: TEDxUFS

The forwards of Vishuis laid a strong foundation in
the K1 rugby final against Kagiso. This helped them
to secure a win of 38-16.
Photo: Marelize van Niekerk

They have not only been dominating the residence rugby scene at the University of the Free State over the past few years, but also nationally. Although they might experience added pressure as favourites, a key ingredient to Vishuis’ success story is their enjoyment of the game and their camaraderie.

According to Henco Posthumus, the Vishuis captain, they realise that it still remains residence rugby. “The guys pitch up at practice because they want to play, not because somebody begged them to.”

Comfortable triumph in final

Vishuis claimed their fifth Varsity Cup Koshuis title earlier this year, and will defend their national title after being crowned Kovsie residence champions on 8 September 2017. They beat Kagiso comfortably 38-16 in the K1 final, after leading by 31-9 at half-time.

Posthumus says the fun element is often forgotten, but not at Vishuis. He says it is not just about the first team either. “Almost every house member, no matter if he studies medicine or if he hasn’t played rugby before, is playing a bit of rugby on a Friday evening. That is also why we, as a fairly small residence, can field five teams.”

More than just a game

Although their proud record serves as motivation, it is about more than just rugby. “The guys grow together in different ways. It is an honour to see how they grow during a season, also spiritually.”

They have been lucky not to suffer many serious injuries over a number of seasons, Posthumus says. “We are privileged to have 110 years of history behind our residence, and people from within and outside buy into who we are.”

“Our (new) coach, Zane Botha, is also a valuable acquisition. He has taken our rugby to the next level.”

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