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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

Kovsie students receive American Cancer Society Award
2012-08-30

 
Kovsie students during one of their purple cake sales
30 August 2012

South Africa’s first student-driven CANSA (Cancer Association of South Africa) Relay for Live, organised by students from the University of the Free State, has received an International Award from the American Cancer Society.

Showing solidarity with survivors of cancer, those who have battled and lost loved ones to the disease, the Kovsie students were rewarded with the society’s 2011/2012 Heart of Relay Award for youth involvement. The award was handed out at a ceremony in Mossel Bay in the Western Cape.

The Relay for Life is a global initiative that has been running for 26 years. It is an overnight relay event where teams of people camp out around a track. Members of each team take turns walking and running around the track. They also participate in a Luminaria ceremony where loved ones lost to cancer are remembered.

Relay for Life events are held for the general public as well as tertiary institutions. The Relay for Life event, held on the Bloemfontein Campus at the beginning of the year, was the first student organised one in South Africa.

Leading up to the event, Kovsie students engaged in a number of cancer awareness campaigns. These included purple cake sales and a shava-thon event. All money raised was donated to the Cancer Association of South Africa.

Sibusiso Tshabalala, founding chairperson of the Kovsie initiative, says the students worked with the local chapter of the Childhood Cancer Foundation (CHOC). “The event was generally learning about cancer, sharing the idea of solidarity and bringing students together.” Sibusiso says a similar project is planned for next year.
 

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