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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

SAFOS seeks to integrate folklore studies into education
2015-10-15

From the left are: Bahedile Letlala, Dr Elias Malete, Hannetjie du Toit, Dr Sara Motsei, Dr Edwin Mohatlane and Prof Mogomme Masoga.

The University of the Free State was proud to host the national conference of the Southern African Folklore Society which took place on 7-9 October 2015 on the Bloemfontein Campus. The focus of the conference was on how to integrate folklore studies into the 21st century.

Keynote speakers for the conference included Prof Antoinette Tidjani-Alou (Professor of French and Comparative Literature at University Abdou Moumouni), Prof Mogomme Alpheus Masoga (University of Venda), and Prof Mohlomi Moleleki (University of the Free State).

The speakers approached their subjects in great detail, tackling issues surrounding identity, social cohesion, and orality on the African context. One of the main co-ordinators of this event, Dr Elias Malete from the Department of African Languages at the UFS, highlighted one of the speaker’s topics, which focused on the importance of harnessing a collectivistic culture, as the African context does not entertain individualism. When asked about how such a conference fits into the UFS context, and where it could be applied, Malete mentioned the burning issue of the language policy review. He believes that: “The language should be inclusive, in as much as our theme says we cannot entertain individualistic approaches, but need to include everybody.” This is achieved through working with the Language Departments,” he said.

In particular, the topic presented by Prof Moleleki from the Department of African Languages, explored how the self-perception of an African, both as an integral member of his society as well as an independent individual, not only informs but also underpins his identity.

In all the topic discussed, the importance of coherence, transparency, and correctness was noted.

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