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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

Video made by a student residence
2008-02-27

Statement by the Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS), Prof. Frederick Fourie

A video, made by residents of the Reitz men’s residence on the Main Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein, surfaced this morning (Tuesday, 26 February 2008) and was brought to my attention.

The Executive Management (EM) of the UFS condemns this video in the strongest possible terms as a gross violation of the human dignity of the workers involved.

We have immediately started with a most urgent investigation into this matter. The students involved have been identified and we are going to take steps to suspend them.

We are also going to lay criminal charges with the South African Police Service against the students concerned.

I am deeply saddened that students apparently see nothing wrong in producing such an offensive and degrading video. I have publicly said several times that the UFS is not a place for racism.

The UFS does not want such actions and people who indulge in it, on our campus.

The fact that it is openly linked to the integration process in UFS residences is also most disturbing.

I want to apologise to our colleagues who were unwittingly involved in this video and to the broader South African public.

Our staff unions Nehawu and Uvpersu have also condemned this incident.

The university is going through a difficult time with its efforts to racially integrate its residences and to create a new residence culture based on diversity, respect, human dignity and human rights.

These kinds of actions make it all the more important that we succeed with establishing such a new institutional culture on the campus.

I appeal to all staff and students to remain calm and to act in the best interests of the university.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
26 February 2008

 

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