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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

Out of the ordinary lunch with Prof Jansen
2015-08-17

Prof Jansen and the twins pose for pictures after enjoying a laugh and chat at the lunch event.

Numerous sets of twins and a set of triplets were entertained by, and enjoyed lunch with, the Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the university, Prof Jonathan Jansen.  Wednesday 12 August 2015 marked an extraordinary day in the Kovsie history book.

The Reitz Hall in the Centenary complex was filled with echoes of laughter as Prof Jansen told “twin jokes” he had Googled earlier for the occasion. Save for the humour, he said that twins and triplets represent a unique bond.  “After all, we should be striving for a way of being together,” he said, speaking about the quest for national solidarity.

Sitting in groups of six, and after the introductions, the duos and trio were soon engaged in conversation.

Anita and Mikita Miza, who were sharing a table with Marike and Ilna Marais, told stories from their childhood.

“We did not realise that we were twins until we were in grade one,” said Anita, who is studying the same course as her sister. Mikita is in the second year of her BSoc Science degree, while her twin is a year ahead. She had to remain in Mtata, their hometown, for a year while Anita began her first year. “It was the longest year of my life,” said Mikita.

Marike and Ilna are first years in Physiotherapy and Optometry, respectively. When asked by Prof Jansen what they never share, the non-identical twins were quick to reply: “clothes,” although they still share a room. When they were in high school, fellow learners struggled to believe that Marike and Ilna are twins, because of their distinctly different looks.

The lunch united strangers, who have a unique common bond, and acted as a platform to tell interesting stories that are seldom heard.

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