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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

Campus-wide poll to determine preferences among current staff and students for language models
2015-10-20

Language poll postponed until Thursday 22 October 2015

Due to the closing down of all UFS campuses on Wednesday 21 October 2015, the language poll has been postponed until Thursday 22 October 2015.

 

Invitation to take part in a campus-wide poll to determine preferences among current staff and students for language models.

As mandated by the Council on 5 June 2015, the senior leadership of the University of the Free State (UFS) has committed itself to a formal review process of the current language policy through a comprehensive process of consultation with all university stakeholders.

Since 19 August 2015, the following public sessions have taken place across all three campuses:

  • Public dialogue for staff and students, Qwaqwa Campus, 19 August 2015
  • Staff submissions, Bloemfontein Campus, 20 August 2015
  • External stakeholder submissions, Bloemfontein Campus, 24 August 2015
  • Public dialogue for staff and students, South Campus, 26 August 2015
  • Alumni submissions, Bloemfontein Campus, 27 August 2015
  • Expert panel discussion for staff and students with Q&A, Bloemfontein Campus, 31 August 2015
  • Staff, students, and external stakeholder submissions, Qwaqwa Campus, 9 September 2015
  • Panel discussion and public dialogue for students, Bloemfontein Campus, 10 September 2015
  • Expert panel discussion for staff and students with Q&A, Bloemfontein Campus, 11 September 2015
  • Student submissions, Bloemfontein Campus, 15 September 2015
  • Staff and student submissions, South Campus, 16 September 2015
  • Convocation submissions, Bloemfontein Campus, 30 September 2015

Further, written and online submissions from the entire university community were put forward until 18 September 2015, while the Convocation had until 30 September 2015 to submit. During the process, the Language Committee has met weekly and discussed the viability, benefits and challenges of various language model options, taking into account institutional, regional, national and global concerns, documents and information.

Following the university’s commitment to open, democratic practice, the UFS calls upon all its current staff and students to participate in a campus-wide poll in order to assist the Language Committee in determining possible preferences among current staff and students for language models. The possible models have emerged from the broad consultation process.

Please note that the campus-wide poll is NOT a formal voting process or referendum and will form only one part of many deciding factors that will be referred to the UFS Council on 20 November 2015 for their deliberations regarding the future of the language policy at the UFS. The poll, conducted by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), will be indicative of the preferences of staff and students for possible language model options, with specific focus on language of instruction. 

The poll will take place at the following venues from 21-28 October 2015, 08:00-16:30, including the weekend:

Bloemfontein Campus: Kestell Residence Gazellie

Qwaqwa Campus: VIP Lounge

South Campus: Conference Hall

To take part in the polling, a valid staff or student card must be produced. Polling will take place on the basis of one poll per current staff member/student.

We look forward to your participation in the poll and hereby thank the entire university community for their ongoing interest and responsible engagement with the review process.

 The UFS Language Committee

 

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