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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

A campaign that rocks
2012-08-28

Ms Elizabeth Msadu
Linda Fekisi 
27 August 2012

The 2011/2012 Student Representative Council and Wellness Office on our Bloemfontein Campus launched the “We are your rock” campaign during Women’s Month. The campaign is a support system primarily aimed at female students. It addresses issues such as intimate partner violence, prostitution and students who go hungry. The campaign also caters for those in need of career and academic advice.

The idea for such an initiative was born out of a meeting between Dr Dina Darker, a pastor’s wife at the Kovsie Student Church, and Ms Elizabeth Msadu, a social worker at the Wellness Office. “Dr Darker was concerned about rumours regarding improper behaviour of female students and wanted the input of a social worker on the subject,” says Ms Msadu. “Many girls are in relationships with older men, which result in a high level of unplanned pregnancies that often end in abortions.”

How the initiative works is that a student in need will write her name and contact number on a rock or a piece of paper and put it in a box placed in our Women’s Memorial Garden. Ms Msadu empties the box once a week and contacts the student in need. She describes her experience thus far of the campaign as “interesting, exciting and an eye-opener”.
 

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