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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

Kovsies queue to know their HIV status


Kovsie staff member Alzena Brink was one of the thousands who were tested for HIV during the “First Things First” HIV testing campaign.

Photo: Amanda Tongha

Thousands of students and staff from the Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa Campuses made use of testing booths to determine their HIV status last week. Testing booths were set up on the two campuses as part of an HIV testing campaign.

The “First Things First” HIV testing campaign kicked off on the Bloemfontein Campus on Monday 16 April 2012 with students and staff queuing to find out their HIV status. The Qwaqwa Campus started their campaign on Wednesday 17 April 2012. The South Campus started its campaign on 24 April 2012.

The testing campaign is a national initiative and forms part of the Higher Education HIV/Aids Programme run by Higher Education South Africa (HESA).

Tarryn Nell, HIV Prevention Programme Officer at the university’s HIV/Aids Office, said close to 2 000 Kovsies were tested for HIV last week. “We hope to continue to test, making knowing your status a norm and part of culture.”
- Amanda Tongha

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