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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

International delegates attend SACOMM conference at UFS
2016-10-12

Description: SACOMM conference  Tags: SACOMM conference

From the left: Prof Colin Chasi, Chairperson of the
South African Communications Association,
Dr Dalme Mulder UFS Lecturer; Dr Wilmien Marais,
UFS Lecturer; Prof Johann de Wet, former head of
UFS Department of Communication Science
Prof Tom O’Regan, University of Queensland (Australia)
and Prof Milli Rivera, Head of the UFS Department of
Communication Science during the conference on the
UFS Bloemfontein Campus.
Photo: Rulanzen Martin

Communication from within and below: Social Transformation and Inclusiveness. That was the theme of the 2016 South African Communication Association (SACOMM) conference, hosted at the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) from 3 to 5 October 2016.

“Through this theme, participants were invited to submit papers that examined the role of communication in today’s tumultuous climate,” said Prof Mili Rivera, Head of the Department of Communication Science at the UFS.

A total of 140 delegates from other South African universities, as well as international delegates from Zimbabwe, Nigeria, the United Kingdom, United States, and Australia attended the conference. It was the second time in ten years that the UFS hosted the conference.

Organisation to mentor and support emerging scholars
Various staff members and students from the UFS Department of Communication Science presented papers during the three days.

Annette van Baalen and Dr Dalme Mulder, both lecturers in the department, won the best paper award in the Corporate Communication division. A number of emerging scholars also presented papers. “The organisation is committed to mentoring and supporting emerging scholars in the field of Communication Science,” said Prof Rivera.

Association must be agent of change in curriculum
Delegates discussed the role of the organisation (SACOMM) as an agent of change in terms of decolonising the curriculum. The focus was on training journalists to cover crises in a fair and balanced manner. The book The Art of Persuasive Communication - A Process (4th Edition) by Prof Johann de Wet, former head of the UFS Department of Communication Science, was also launched during the conference.

The next SACOMM conference will take place at Rhodes University in 2017.

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