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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

UFS congratulates Wayde van Niekerk and other students for their national and international accomplishments
2015-09-17



Kovsies showing the world that success is inevitable
Photo: Johan Roux

Students from the University of the Free State (UFS) have not only conquered South Africa (SA), they have also left footprints in the world. During 2014 and 2015, our students have performed well in various fields.

A special celebratory event was held at the Bloemfontein Campus on Tuesday 15 September 2015. Members of the Rectorate, Student Representative Council (SRC), Grey College Secondary School personnel and former principal, Mr Johan Volsteedt, as well as UFS staff members and students gathered at the Callie Human Centre to congratulate those students who have recently represented the university with excellence atnational and global levels. Also present were representatives from the Department of Sports Arts Culture and Recreation (SACR) in the Free State and the Free State Sport Confederation (FSSC).

Sports leadership has proven to be one of Kovsies’ areas of expertise. From Wayde van Niekerk making international headlines as the 2015 Men’s 400m World Sprint Champion, to Nicole Walraven who was named as the SA under-21 Hockey 2015 Player of the Year, speaks the language of winners.

Wayde believes that his achievements are also for his family, friends, mentors, and the university community to rejoice in.“What I achieved is our achievement,” he said “the person I am today is because of the people around me.” Also supporting him at this event was MsAns Botha, his coach together with his family and friends.

Andricia Hinckemann’s commitment to promote environmental sustainability in light of the global warming crisis earned her the Miss Earth SA 2015 second princess status.

The UFS Debating Society also joined the ranks as highfliers when announced as South African National Universities Debating Champions for 2015. The UFS team competed in nine preliminary rounds. Devon Watson and NkahisengRalepeli from the UFS had to fight their way through nine preliminary rounds to the finals. Competing in the category English as a First Language, Devon and Nkahiseng brought yet another championship title home.

Success is music to our ears here at Kovsies, Veritas and Marjolein showed us that music can also symbolize success. These residence serenade groups took first and second place, respectively, at the 2015 ATKV National University Sêr competition.

Other students who have the world in their hands and are striving to make it a better place include Rolene Strauss (Miss World 2015), Elzane van der Berg (Deaf Miss South Africa 2014), the Shimlas (2015 Varsity Cup champions),KovsieNetball (2014 Varsity Netball champions and winners of 2014 National Premier League), KovsieTennis (2014 USSA Champions) and Varsity Sevens Champions 2015.

Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the university remarked upon the inevitable nature of success amongst our university’s students. “Whether they are in athletics, netball, or debating, Kovsie students do well in every aspect of their lives.”

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