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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

Walking and running routes launched on UFS Bloemfontein Campus
2015-09-16

Photo: Hatsu Mphatsoe

On Casual Day, Friday 4 September 2015, the UFS Health and Wellness Centre and KovsieSport launched a healthy lifestyle on the Bloemfontein Campus with the focus on Walking and Running routes. The theme of the event was set by the many flying tutus, together with outrageous outfits that were to be seen in the crowd of anxious and excited runners.

There are a total of six walking and jogging routes, stretching over the central and western parts of the Bloemfontein Campus. Colour-coded arrows indicate the various routes, ranging from a three-kilometre route (green) to an eight-kilometre route (black). The 2,5 km route is accessible for people with wheelchairs.
 
According to Arina Engelbrecht, who is spearheading the Wellness programme, a board will be erected in front of the Callie Human Centre later on, explaining the various routes. All the routes start and finish at the Callie Human Centre.

This initiative is receiving support from management, who requested that a healthy lifestyle be encouraged amongst students and staff. With this project, staff and students can train and exercise in a safe environment. The routes are also wheelchair friendly, and will be expanded to cycle routes in the future.

Various departments showed their support in numbers, bringing together teams that competed. Staff and students were excited to see what bends and turns lay ahead of them on the trails. Prof Nicky Morgan: Vice-Rector: Operations, cut the ribbon at the official opening of the routes. Morgan himself was extremely excited about the event, as he navigated his way energetically between the runners and walkers.

In his opening speech, Pieter du Plessis, Executive Assistant to the Vice-Rector: Operations, talked about the importance of keeping healthy by doing something as simple as walking, an inexpensive method of keeping healthy.

Arina commented: “We received some great feedback from the masses that attended, and many said they will continue to make use of the routes.”
 
This event forms part of the human project of the UFS, and will also create awareness amongst staff and students about persons with disabilities.

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