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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

Kovsie Open Day a resounding success
2010-05-05

 
 Photo: Gerhard Louw


The Kovsie Open Day 2010 that took place on the Main Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein last week, was attended by more than 6 000 prospective students and their parents. This event was a resounding success. Thus report our prospective students, their parents, campus personnel, as well Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor at the UFS.

Parents and learners from across South Africa were firstly welcomed by Prof. Jansen, the Deans and Moses Masitha, the President of the Student Representative Council (SRC) in the Callie Human Centre. Thereafter they were afforded the opportunity to visit the various exhibitions in the faculties and residences. Parents and learners could also complete application forms for entrance to the UFS in the tent of the Division Corporate Relations on the Red Square. Liesl Cronje from Magaliesburg, who wants to come and study B.Sc.Agric. at Kovsies, was named as the winner of R3 000 by Corporate Relations after her application form had been selected in a lucky draw.

Residences and student organisations also had information points on the grass in front of the Main Building, where more information was given out to prospective students. Armentum, Vishuis and Karee won the first, second and third place respectively with their information points. The ladies’ residences Vergeet-my-nie, Emily Hobhouse and Soetdoring respectively boasted with the best information points.

The first official Kovsie slogan competition was also held and Madelief was appointed as the winner.

This day was held to provide prospective students and their parents with the opportunity to become better acquainted with the distinctive quality that the UFS offers its students. Staff and students also provided learners with the necessary information to enable them to make the right decisions regarding their career and studies next year.
 

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