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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

Spring graduation an event second to none
2013-09-16

 

Chester Missing 'accompanied' by Conrad Koch
Photo: Lelanie de Wet
19 September 2013

  Photo Gallery
Chester Missing: YouTube video
Graduation ceremony: YouTube video

This year’s Spring Graduation on the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State was a truly unique event.

From the moment Shenley Pretorius, a blind singer, opened her mouth to sing, a sensational ceremony unfolded in front of the 650 graduandi, their family and friends. The political analyst, puppet Chester Missing, was ‘released’ from his suitcase and – true to form – unleashed a pandora’s box of hilarity into the crowd. From beginning to end, the programme provided an occasion to be remembered for years to come.

Fifteen-year-old Shenley Pretorius, a Grade 9 learner at the Prinshof School for the Visually Impaired in Pretoria, performed her self-composed song, ‘I see you with my soul,’ sending shivers into the audience, followed by a version of Lady Antebellum’s ‘Never Alone’.

After her performance, a bustling Conrad Koch prepared the audience for his puppet, Chester Missing’s stream of whimsical satire. The on-stage antics of this cheeky ‘political commentator’ had the crowd crying with laughter with the now-famous twerk and did not disappoint with his ample mockery of politicians and celebrities. From President Jacob Zuma, Helen Zille, Julius Malema, Zwelinzima Vavi, Larry King to the cellphone manufacturer, Blackberry – nobody was spared.

In his speech, Prof Jansen highlighted the achievements of current and former Kovsie students. Sharing the stage with Prof Jansen was just such an example – former UFS student Johan Cronje. Recently, Cronje palmed in a bronze medal in the 1 500 m at the World Championships in Moscow.

"Don’t worry about where you came from. Worry about where you are headed to. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can or couldn’t do." With these words, Prof Jansen sent the new Kovsie graduates into the world.

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