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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

Alumni inspired to keep flying the Kovsie flag high at reunion weekend festivities
2015-09-01

Dr Khotso Mokhele and Adv Roelf Meyer

The University of the Free State hosted alumni from all over the country on the Bloemfontein Campus during a weekend of exciting events, talks, and tours around the campus on 28 and 29 August 2015.

The celebratory events were kick-started with a leadership symposium hosted by Dr Marcus Ingram, Director: Institutional Advancement with Adv Roelf Meyer. The symposium was attended by current student leaders and the SRC Presidents Alumni Association. In his dialogue with the audience, Adv Meyer shared his experiences and personal growth in the process of bringing about democracy in the country with student leaders as change agents. “If you really want to contribute to change, it is not only an intellectual exercise; it is also a heart and soul thing,” he said.

The anchor event was the inaugural Chancellor’s Distinguished Alumnus Award Luncheon hosted by Chancellor, Dr Khotso Mokhele. Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector, welcomed guests by highlighting the latest extraordinary achievements of UFS students and academic staff.

Keynote speaker of the day, Ms Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, Executive Director of Inyathelo and a renowned politician, spoke of the role that universities have in preparing women for leadership roles and how they, in turn, can prepare society for female leadership.  She commended the UFS’s advancement efforts supported by the Kresge Foundation, which supports young people, to keep them in universities. “I am proud to say that the UFS’s efforts in advancement have achieved its goals.”

In his remarks, Dr Mokhele said “what draws a student back to his/her Alma Mater is the quality of the experience they had on campus.  This campus contributed to the transformation of this country through alumni such as Roelf Meyer and Kobie Coetsee.”  He said this initiative should create a lived experience for students on the university campus.  The Chancellor presented the Distinguished Alumnus Award to Adv Roelf Meyer, for his outstanding contributions to the human interests of South Africa, and his current work of facilitating peace processes around the world.

In accepting the award, Adv Meyer introduced Youth Zones, a project which he has been involved with for the past five years, empowering and supporting 40,000 youths in the Free State. In accepting the award, he said “I was a first-year student in 1960, my year group represented the most emphatic group of this university. There are many who came before and after us who well deserve this award, therefore, I accept it on behalf of all alumni.”

To wrap up the weekend’s festivities, former SRC President, Richard Chemaly, hosted the Faculty of Law alumni cocktail event at the CR Swart Auditorium.
Speaking at the event, Prof Caroline Nicholson, Dean of the Faculty of Law, said “A faculty cannot exist without its alumni, we need you to carry us.  Your continued support and collaboration is truly appreciated.”

Alumni and staff enjoyed further entertainment by well-known musical groups, Freshly-Ground and The Muses.

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