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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. 

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UFS hosts the nation's senior professionals in Student Affairs
2011-12-05

 

Some of the Senior Student Affairs Professionals present at the meeting were back row from left: Dr Llewellyn MacMaster, Dean of Student Affairs: Stellenbosch University; Profs. Bobby Mandew, Dean of Student Affairs: University of Johannesburg; McGlory Speckman, Dean of Student Affairs: University of Pretoria; and Ms Babalwa Ntabeni-Matutu, Department of Higher Education and Training. Front from left are: Dr Choice Makhetha and Ms Khanyisile Nyembenzi, SAASSAP Project Officer from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Photo: Stephen Collett

The Deans of Students of thirteen of the country’s universities recently gathered at the University of the Free State's (UFS) Bloemfontein Campus to attend the Deans’ Forum of the South African Association of Senior Student Affairs Professionals (SAASSAP).  

The heads of Students Affairs from universities such as Stellenbosch, Johannesburg and Pretoria discussed challenges facing higher education institutions and shared campus experiences during their meeting.
 
Dr Choice Makhetha, Acting Vice-Rector: External Relations at the UFS and President of SAASSAP, says the issues that were addressed included registrations and poverty on campuses. Dr Makhetha, who is serving a second term as president of the organisation, says they came up with strategies on how to support campuses in partnership with the Department of Higher Education and Training.
 
SAASSAP will host its 14th national conference next year from 24 - 26 October in Bloemfontein. The UFS and the Central University of Technology will host the conference together and it is expected that all twenty three member institutions as well as Student Affairs Associations from abroad will attend.

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