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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

Alleged attacks on students
2008-03-12

The management of the University of the Free State (UFS) notes with concern the two alleged incidents of attacks on students on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein

The one incident involves two black female students where a liquid substance was thrown at the students and the other incident involves an alleged attack on a black male student by white male students.

According to reports in the media today (Tuesday, 11 March 2008), the incidents involved students from the Reitz Residential Units. “These incidents, which happened about a month ago, occurred in the vicinity of Reitz, but at this stage I cannot say for certain that students from Reitz were involved in the alleged attacks,” says Dr Natie Luyt, Dean of Student Affairs at the UFS.

Both cases were reported to Dr Luyt and are being investigated by the university’s Protection Services Division. The cases are still under investigation.

“I am concerned about incidents of this nature and strongly disapprove of students behaving in such a manner,” says Prof. Frederick Fourie, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS.

According to Prof. Fourie the UFS already is in the process of reviewing the disciplinary process for students to make it more streamlined and accessible. “The introduction of a hotline to give students the opportunity to report incidents is being considered. We are also looking at the possibility of appointing an ombudsman for diversity. The recent introduction of a system of full-time live-in residence wardens at men’s residences is also intended to improve supervision. This system will be in place shortly, as soon as the necessary accommodation has been provided,” says Prof. Fourie.

Prof. Fourie has urged students to report any unlawful incidents on campus immediately to the Protection Services Division. “If we do not have incidents on record, proper investigations cannot be conducted,” says Prof. Fourie.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: 051 401 3422
Cell: 072 207 8334
E-mail: fishera.stg@ufs.ac.za  
11 March 2008

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