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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

Student Court is ready to exercise its legal power
2015-09-07

 

Student disputes at the University of the Free State (UFS) will be regulated henceforth by the Student Court that has been re-established at the Bloemfontein Campus. The Student Court will offer practical training to law students thus strengthening their theoretical knowledge to produce employable graduates.

The Student Court was launched on Friday 21 August 2015, cultivating a self-determined studentship and citizenship, of which South Africa can be proud.

Advocate Barry Roux, Oscar Pistorius’s defence attorney, Judge Lebotsang Bosielo, of the South African Supreme Court of Appeal, Profs Caroline Nicholson, Dean of the Faculty of Law, and Teuns Verschoor,  Chairperson of the UFS  Disciplinary Board, attended this auspicious event.

During his keynote address, Adv. Roux said the Student Court serves as a stepping-stone in the practice of integrity, respect, and preparedness within the law profession.

“Young professionals have a mandate to excel. No matter what, stick to honesty and the truth. If you want to be a role model and make your family proud, do more.” he advised.

Judge Lebotsang Bosielo urged students to use “the rare opportunity to practise and uphold the law with austerity.”

“You should broaden the knowledge of substantive law, law of evidence, procedural law, and the Constitution of South Africa. Opportunities such as the Student Court enable law students to strengthen the practice of theory beyond the parameters of the lecture rooms,” he emphasised.

The re-establishment of the Student Court was initiated by Lindokuhle Ntuli, Student Representative Council (SRC) member on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. The UFS Council approved the proposal for the court in 2006, but it had remained inactive since then. It was not until 2014 when Lindokuhle assumed office that the concept was revived.

“As an independent body, the Student Court is ready to exercise its legal powers with the aim of establishing a student community and a culture of student governance committed to justice, equality, and accountability,” he said.


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