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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

UFS architects receive SAIA award
2003-11-07

Two staff members of the University of the Free State’s Department of Architecture received a merit award from the South African Institute for Architects (SAIA) for the unique way in which they designed their home.

Prof Jan and Mrs Petria Smit’s home in Waverley, Bloemfontein is built against a hill and designed in such a way that the natural surroundings are retained. The house is built on various levels and open spaces and a lot of light is used. The children’s rooms are for example not built up to the ceiling in order to break walls out if more space is needed.

For the two architects the natural surroundings in the cityscape depict an African mask because the strong face-like public image is sheltering the inhabitants behind it.

A total of 12 architectural projects country wide received merit awards from the SAIA. Some of the projects include the South African Apartheids Museum, Unilever’s Head Office in Durban, the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature in Nelspruit and the Westcliff Estate in Johannesburg. The Smit residence is one of only two residences that received merit awards.

From these projects the PG Group SAIA Award for Excellence will be awarded in August 2004. This is the highest accolade that the SAIA and the architectural profession can accord to a building.

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