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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

Church Mirror 2010 kicks off from the Free State
2010-10-04

Prof. Kobus Schoeman

 Prof. Kobus Schoeman, Head of the Department of Practical Theology at the University of the Free State (UFS), is one of the project leaders of Church Mirror, a unique research project in the family of Dutch Reformed Churches in South Africa.

Over the years Church Mirror has been established as an important source of information for the Dutch Reformed Church. The church is provided with information by means of surveys that assist in reflection on the church as well as congregations’ role and functioning.

The 2010 survey will be no exception. The survey is conducted on the instruction of the General Synod and in collaboration with the Department of Practical Theology at the UFS. This year, the project is also extended to other churches in the Dutch Reformed Church family for the first time.

The questionnaire forms part of the National Church Life Survey, which is done internationally. The questionnaire is completed by everybody who attends a church service on a specific Sunday. Questions that are asked include, “What do the members of the congregation think of their congregation and church services?”, “Are outsiders welcome?” and “Do we care about the community?”

The first survey was done amongst churchgoers at a service in 2006.

Church Mirror is an important research project to outline the profile of mainstream churches in South Africa and it can play a major role in congregations’ planning and reflection upon themselves.
 

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