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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. 

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Kovsie fencers dominate the Free State Fencing Closed Competition
2015-10-19


The ultimate clash of the fencing titans Photo credits: Robynne van Zuydam.

Willem Brink and Wanda Verster fenced their hearts out at Free State Closed Competition, winning gold medals in the men’s and women’s category, respectively. These University of the Free State students dominated opponents from the Vrystaat Amateur Skerm Klub (VASK).

Fencers from the VASK retaliated bravely in defense of their honour on Saturday 12 September 2015, with Jurgen Schroder taking home a Silver medal. His team mates, Ruan Coetzee-Schroder and Shaeffer Georgiou, shared the Bronze medal. A winning performance placed VASK’s Danielle Ceronio and Stella Heyns in the Bronze realm.  Kovsie Fencing’s Kayla de Gouveid shared the spot with Stella as a bronze recipient.

It was a clash of the titans as 27 participants formed opposing teams. The University of the Free State (UFS) team, who hosted the competition, showed the guests no sign of mercy as they triumphed.

Wanda was impressed by the UFS’s performance. “The students performed very well, especially considering that most of them started fencing just this year.”

“Willem Brink, who finished with gold, started fencing in 2012.  He finished with a Bronze medal at the Free State Closed competition held earlier, in May 2015 The first fencer to reach 15 wins,” said the Kovsie Fencing representative.

The club will represent our university at the University of Pretoria (TUKS) Open where fencers from the entire country will compete on 25 and 26 September 2015.  The club is also preparing for the University Sports South Africa (USSA) tournament and the Limpopo Open that take place in November and December, respectively. These competitions serve to pave the way for the July 2016 nationals, where Kovsies hope to make their mark as champions.

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