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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

An incident-free recess for the UFS
2010-07-19

The improved security measures at the University of the Free State (UFS) have resulted in an incident-free recess on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein during the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the annual Volksblad Arts Festival.

The UFS provided accommodation for international spectators visiting the country for the World Cup and recently also hosted the hugely popular Volksblad Arts Festival without any security glitches.

These successes could be attributed to the hard work of staff members from various divisions at the UFS to ensure that the security was improved.

“The main question we had to deal with was: should our Main Campus be fenced off? This matter had been under discussion for quite some time. In order to ensure the feasibility thereof, a second impact study was done by a consulting engineer,” said Prof. Niel Viljoen, Vice-Rector: Operations at the UFS.

“This study has shown that, given the nature of activities on the campus and the access configuration, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to effectively control access to the campus, especially as far as visitors were concerned. Any type of access control measure would result in delays at the gates, which could have a major impact on the traffic flow, delays, costs and emissions.”

“It is important that our staff and students feel safe on the Main Campus, whether they are walking on campus or working in their offices. In that way we can ensure an environment that is conducive to staff and students to work and study,” he said.

Various measures are being implemented to make the campuses safer. These include, among others:

  • The installation of alarms in buildings on the Main Campus. The project for the South Campus has been completed and the installation of a new alarm system on the Qwaqwa Campus will start soon.

     
  • Staff and students will be required to wear identification cards once the new identification system has been put in place. These cards will allow access to all buildings.

     
  • Fences around the Main Campus are being repaired and the areas around these fences are being cleaned. This project should be completed by August 2010.

     
  • Lights will be installed in badly lit areas on the Main Campus. The first phase of this project includes the area between the Mooimeisiesfontein, Welwitschia and Vergeet-my-nie residences. This project will also be completed by August 2010.

     
  • The walkways on the Main Campus will be patrolled more frequently and effectively.

     
  • Contracted security workers will be utilised more effectively.

     
  • The monitoring of security cameras on the Main Campus on a 24/7 basis. “For this purpose the security room of our Protection Services is in the process of being upgraded,” said Prof. Viljoen.

The possibility of placing security cameras and panic buttons in parking areas and walkways is investigated.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt@ufs.ac.za  
16 July 2010

 

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