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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

‘Your capacity for change is limitless’
2013-09-13

 

Ready for the world - students taking part in the 2013 Leadership for Change programme getting ready to travel to universities in the USA, Europe and Asia.
Photo: Johan Roux
12 September 2013

 “You will change this campus, city, country, continent and the world, because you have the capacity for greatness,” Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the University of the Free State (UFS), said.

He addressed the 2013 group of first-year students in the Leadership for Change programme at a farewell function before they will leave for universities abroad. The first 104 students from the 2013 total of 144 will depart on 18 September and return on 3 October 2013. The second group of 40 students will be abroad from 11 to 25 January 2014. The students are from the Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa Campuses. They will be accompanied by mentors from the UFS.

The students will visit 17 universities in the USA, Europe and Asia.

The first 71 first-year students in the Leadership for Change programme were sent abroad for two weeks in September 2010 to get intense exposure to the academic, social, cultural and residential lives of students in the USA. In 2011 the student number more than doubled and universities in Europe were included. In July 2012 the programme brought students from around the globe to the UFS for the Global Leadership Summit.

Prof Jansen inspired the young leaders, saying, “If you learn leadership values in your four years of study, a change will come. Build the new value system and take it into the country. Your capacity for change is limitless.”

He encouraged them to learn to know the stranger, not only abroad, but also the beggar at the street corner. “Learn to be comfortable with the beggar, as well as with the professor in the classroom.”

A stringent evaluation and training programme preceded the group’s visit abroad, and Prof Jansen could not formulate their achievement better: “I cannot tell you how proud I am of you.”

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