Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2017 2018 2019 2020
Previous Archive
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

UFS announces the closure of Reitz Residence and the establishment of an institute for diversity
2008-05-27

Statement by Prof. Teuns Verschoor, Acting Rector of the UFS

The Executive Management of the University of the Free State (UFS) today announced a unanimous decision to close the Reitz Residence, effective at the end of the current university semester, and establish an institute for diversity on the same premises.

Four students from the Reitz Residence were responsible for making the now infamous Reitz video, depicting four female colleagues from the University and a worker of Prestige Cleaning Services who were lured into participating in a mock initiation ceremony during which they were humiliated and demeaned.

University management repeated its strong condemnation of the video, made in apparent protest against the University’s integration policy implemented at 21 residences accommodating some 3 400 students on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein.

The Reitz video reopened racial wounds, and is deeply regretted. It was an isolated manifestation of resistance to the impact of ongoing transformation initiatives at the University. The video and other acts of public violence and vandalism on the campus have undermined the efforts of the University to foster diversity in student and staff life and create an inclusive institutional culture on the campus.

The actions of a relatively small group of students also inflicted severe damage on the University’s reputation and standing in the local and international academic community. The UFS management had therefore decided that closure of the Reitz Residence was an unavoidable strategic imperative and an important gesture of reconciliation towards all South Africans who had been offended.

The University has apologised unreservedly for the video. Two of the students who were still residents in Reitz were barred from the campus and subsequently terminated their studies at the UFS, while the other two students had already completed their studies last year.

In an endeavour to make restitution and to offer a lasting contribution to transformation, both at the UFS and in the country as a whole, the UFS has committed itself to establishing an institute for diversity on the premises of the former Reitz Residence.

Reitz will therefore be closed as a residence from 20 June 2008. The UFS has appointed a fully representative special committee to assist current Reitz residents in finding alternative accommodation.

The Institute for Diversity is envisaged as a centre of academic excellence for studying transformation and diversity in society – a living laboratory for combating discrimination and enabling and enhancing reconciliation in societies grappling with the issues of racism, sexism and xenophobia.

The declaration of Higher Education South Africa (HESA) published on 28 March 2008 highlighted that racism, intolerance and discrimination are societal phenomena present on many campuses. However, these issues are not restricted to institutions of higher learning, and are symptomatic of a broader social malaise.

In responding to the challenge faced by the University regarding its own transformation issues, as well as those faced by the country, the UFS will study the anti-transformational impulses on the campus as a microcosm of much broader socio-political challenges. The University will transform itself over time into a beacon of hope, combating racism and other forms of discrimination in South Africa and elsewhere in the world.

The Institute for Diversity will add impetus to the University’s existing transformation programme. Six strategic clusters, including a transformation cluster, were created in 2007 as part of the University’s long-term strategic planning.

The University has already provided seed capital of R1 million to design and establish the Institute. Planning will take place during 2008/09, with the Institute being formally opened in the 2010 academic year. An international fund-raising drive to raise an initial target of R50 million will be launched shortly.

Note to editors: The Reitz video was apparently made late last year, but only entered the public domain on 26 February 2008.

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  
27 May 2008


UFS e phatlalatsa ho kwalwa ha hostele ya Reitz le ho thehwa ha Institute for Diversity

Phatlalatso ka Prof. Teuns Verschoor, Morektoro ya tshwereng mokobobo wa UFS

Kajeno bolaodi ba Yunivesithi ya Freistata (UFS) bo phatlaladitse qeto e ananetsweng ke bohle ya ho kwalwa ha hostele ya Reitz mafelong a sehla sena sa pele sa dithuto (semester), le ho thehwa ha Institute for Diversity meahong eo ya Reitz.

Baithuti ba bane ba hostele ya Reitz ba ile ba eba le seabo kgatisong ya video e mpe moo basebetsi ba bane ba bomme ba yunivesithi le mosebetsi wa khamphane ya Prestige Cleaning Services ba ileng ba hohelwa ho ba le seabo mme ba tlontlollwa le ho nyenyefatswa hampe.

Bolaodi ba yunivesithi bo boetse ba nyatsa ka mantswe a bohale video eo e ileng ya hatiswa ka maikemisetso a ho ipelaetsa kgahlanong le leano la diphethoho dihosteleng tse 21 tsa yunivesithi Bloemfontein tseo e leng bodulo ho bathuti ba ka bang 3400.

Morektoro ya tshwereng mokobobo wa UFS, Prof. Teuns Verschoor, o boletse hore video eo ya Reitz e boetse e butse maqeba a semorabe mme e seollwa ka matla. O re e ne e le ketsahalo e ikgethileng ya boipelaetso kgahlanong le diteko tse tswelang pele tsa ho tlisa diphethoho yunivesithing. O re video eo le diketsahalo tse ding tsa merusu le tshenyo ya thepa khamphaseng di setisitse diteko tsa yunivesithi tsa ho tlisa poelano hara baithuti le basebetsi, le ho theha moetlo o akaretsang ka hare ho yunivesithi.

O tswetse pele ka hore diketso tseo tsa sehlotshwana sa baithuti di boetse tsa senya yunivesithi serithi le lebitso mona hae le dinaheng tse ding. Kahoo bolaodi ba UFS bo nkile qeto yah ore ho kwalwa ha hostele ya Reitz ke ntho o kekeng ya qojwa mme e boetse ke mohato wa bohlokwa wa poelano ho ma-Afrika Borwa ohle a anngweng ke taba ena.

Yunivesithi e kopile tshwarelo mabapi le video ena. Ba babedi ba baithuti ba amehang kgatisong ya video eo, ba neng ba ntse ba dula hosteleng ya Reitz, ba ile ba thibelwa ho kena khamphaseng mme yaba ba tlohela dithuto tsa bona, ha ba bang ba babedi bona ba ne ba se ba phethetse dithuto tsa bona selemong se fetileng.

Prof. Verschoor o boletse hore ho leka ho kgutlisetsa maemo setlwaeding le ho tshehetsa leano la diphethoho UFS le naheng ka bophara, UFS e ikanne ho theha Institute for Diversity hona meahong eo ya Reitz.

Kahoo hostele ya Reitz e tla kwalwa ho tloha ka la 20 Phupjane 2008. UFS e thontse komiti e ikgethang e akaretsang bohle ho thusa baithuti ba dulang hosteleng ena hajwale ho fumana bodulo bo bong.

Institute for Diversity e tla ba setsha se kgabane sa dithuto tsa diphethoho le poelano setjhabeng – setsha se tla lwantshana le kgethollo mme se kgothalletse le ho matlafatsa poelano hara batho ba tobaneng le mathata a kgethollo ya mmala, ya bong le lehloyo la melata.

Tokomane ya Higher Education South Africa (HESA) e phatlaladitsweng ka la 28 Hlakubele 2008, e pepesa dintlha tse amanang le kgethollo ya mmala, tlhokeho ya mamellano le kgethollo ka kakaretso e le dintho tse teng dikhamphaseng tse ngata. Dintlha tsena ha di teng feela ditsheng tsa thuto e phahameng, empa le setjhabeng ka kakaretso.

Prof. Vershoor o boletse hore UFS e tla lekola dikgato tse kgahlanong le diphethoho ka hare ho khamphase jwaloka karolo ya diphepetso tse nammeng hara setjhaba ka kakaretso. O re yunivesithi e tla fetoha ha nako e ntse e tsamaya ho ba mohlala o motle wa tshepo, twantsho ya kgethollo ya mmala le mekgwa e meng ya kgethollo Afrika Borwa le lefatsheng ka bophara.

Institute for Diversity e tla thusa ho matlafatsa lenaneo la jwale la diphethoho la yunivesithi. Ho thehilwe di Strategic Clusters tse tsheletseng selemong se fetileng, tse kenyeletsang Transformation Cluster, jwaloka karolo ya merero ya UFS.

Yunivesithi e se e nyehelane ka tjhelete e kana ka diranta tse milione ho rala le ho theha institute ena. Ho rerwa ha yona ho tla etswa ka 2008/09, mme institute ena e tla bulwa semmuso selemong sa dithuto sa 2010. Haufinyana ho tla thakgolwa letsholo la matjhaba la ho bokeletsa tjhelete e kana ka diranta tse dimilione tse mashome a mahlano.


Tlhokomediso ho bahlophisi ba ditaba: Video ya Reitza e hatisitswe selemong se fetileng mme ya hlahella pepeneng ka la 26 Hlakola 2008.

Phatlalatso ya boraditaba
E entswe ke: Lacea Loader
Motlatsa molaodi: Dikgokahano
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
27 Motsheanong 2008








We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept