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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

Darwin lecture focuses on the genetic foundation of evolution
2009-05-22

 
The Department of Genetics at the University of the Free State (UFS) recently made their contribution to the story of life and survival by presenting two lectures on The genetic foundation of evolution. Prof. Johan Spies, Head of the Department of Genetics at the UFS discussed the variation that was created by mutations and how this variation was enhanced by re-combination. He also pointed out that these methods contributed relatively little to the gene pool of a species and that the expansion of the gene pool primarily took place by means of chromosome evolution. The latter also contributed to the creation of isolation mechanisms to prevent hybridism. He further emphasised the multitude of deviations of mendelian heredity, which contributed to more variation within a species.

Prof. Paul Grobler, Associate Professor from this department, next pointed out how natural selection played a role to form new species. He used various examples to indicate how the process took its course, for example, lactose intolerance. He also reported out that the man on the street mostly believed that Darwin with his theory of the survival of the fittest meant that the physically strongest species would survive. It was more a case of the one that could reproduce the fastest and the most, that would survive, he stated.

Present at the occasion were, from left front: Ms Letecia Jonker, student, Prof. Grobler, Ms Paula Spies, lecturer at the Department of Genetics and Ms Zurika Odendaal, junior lecturer at the Department of Genetics; back: Prof. Spies.
Photo: Stephen Collett

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