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07 May 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Charl Devenish
Noko Masalesa
Noko Masalesa, Director of Protection Services, in conversation with students and stakeholders to plan a safe way forward.

Safety and security are human rights that constitute social justice. At the centre of the agenda at the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Social Justice Week held on the Bloemfontein Campus from 17-22 April 2019 were discussions about off-campus safety. Stakeholders agreed on an upgrade to security measures in order to ensure the success and wellbeing of the student population.

A call to students

Prof John Mubangizi, Dean of the Faculty of Law, in his capacity as representative of the UFS Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, expressed his view on institutions of higher learning no longer functioning as ivory towers. “For any initiative to succeed, collaboration is necessary between key roleplayers,” he said.

He aptly pointed out that: “We cannot underscore the importance of safety and security, not only for the university but also for the communities around us. What the university does benefits the community and vice versa. I pledge the university’s commitment to play a leading part to ensure that the collaboration works,” said Prof Mubangizi.

Beefing up security: Who is involved?

In view of the collaborative effort Prof Mubangizi alluded to, the engagement was twofold. First was the roundtable discussion facilitated by Protection Services which then escalated into a public dialogue where students had the opportunity to interact with external delegates.

The South African Police Services, Community Police Forum, Private Security, Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, Provincial Commissioner, and Deputy Minister of Police were well represented in this critical conversation. Internally, members of Protection Services, Housing and Residence Affairs, Student Affairs, Institute for Social Justice and Reconciliation, Student Representative Council, and the Department of Criminology heard the plight of off-campus safety faced by students.

Changes in the horizon

The discussions culminated with recommendations which will see the future of student safety take a different direction. According to Skhululekile Luwaca, former SRC president, these include “the municipality’s commitment to immediately address issues such as street lights and enforcing by-laws, ensuring an integrated accreditation system, and drafting a policy for off-campus accommodation, running more crime awareness campaigns, and giving police patrols more visibility.”

In addition to resolving to set up a student safety forum with all the stakeholders, the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality has invited the UFS to join Reclaim the City – a safety forum where practical solutions to crime are devised and implemented on a weekly basis.


News Archive

Armentum and Emily take honours in first combined SingOff attempt
2017-08-24

Description: SingOff Tags: McDonald's SingOff, Emily Hobhouse, Armentum, Villa Bravado, Harmony, Soetdoring, Vishuis 

Emily and Armentum were crowned as best combined group,
and were also the overall winners of the 2017 McDonald's
SingOff finals.  Photo: Johan Roux


A few months before the McDonald's SingOff finals, they almost didn’t have a group. But on 19 August 2017, Emily Hobhouse and Armentum were the big winners in the Kovsie Church.
In the second annual SingOff – with many new additions – combined serenade groups could take part for the first time. Emily and Armentum were crowned best combined group, and were the overall winners. Armentum followed up their 2016 performance when they won their first ever serenade competition as best male residence.
According to Tato Mpeteng, RC Arts and Culture of Armentum, the praise must go to Zoë Adonis. “She is a Music student and the RC Arts and Culture of Emily. She was our coach. She didn’t ask for any fee, and we put her under a lot of stress. She sacrificed a lot,” he says.

“We almost didn’t have a SingOff group two months ago, because we didn’t have participants.”
Villa Bravado was the best male residence and finished second overall, while Kagiso was second in the combined group category. Harmony took the honours as best female group, with Soetdoring the runners-up. Vishuis was the second-best male residence. 

Click here for a highlights video of the 2017 McDonald’s Bloemfontein SingOff Competition.
Click here to watch all the performances from this year’s SingOff Competition finals. 

SingOff 2017 results: 

Best social media campaign: Arista and Khayalami 
Best McDonald’s promo: Kagiso 
Best costume design: Harmony 
Best male soloist: Katlego (Villa Bravado) 
Best female soloist: Luthando (Emily Hobhouse) 
Most entertaining show: Villa Bravado 

Male 
Best prescribed song: Villa Bravado 
Best own composition: Vishuis 
Second place: Vishuis 
First place: Villa Bravado 

Female
Best prescribed song: Harmony 
Best own composition: Harmony 
Second place: Soetdoring 
First place: Harmony 

Combined groups
Best prescribed song: Emily and Armentum 
Best own composition: Emily and Armentum 
Second place: Kagiso 
First place: Emily and Armentum 

Overall 
Second place: Villa Bravado 
First place: Emily and Armentum

 

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