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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

Prof. Jonathan Jansen receives an honorary doctorate from Cleveland State University
2010-05-27

 
 Prof. Jonathan Jansen


The Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State, Prof. Jonathan Jansen, was recently awarded an honorary doctorate by the Cleveland State University in the United States of America (USA).

The degree, an Honorary Doctor of Higher Education Administration, was conferred on him at the graduation ceremony on 15 May 2010 in Cleveland.
“I am deeply honoured and humbled to receive this wonderful gift from one of the most distinguished public universities in the world,” Prof. Jansen said in his acceptance speech.

“I am especially excited to share this grand moment with you, the proud graduates of Cleveland State University,”

“Both you and I live in countries that have made significant progress in human relations. Yet the long shadows of racial, ethnic and religious divisions continue to haunt so many parts of the world – from Rwanda and Zimbabwe, to the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Whether it is Ventersdorp in South Africa or Arizona in the USA, our world needs leaders who build bridges, and who work against the logic of hatred, division and retribution.”

“For this to happen, we need counter-cultural leadership from a new generation of graduates. You see, it is easy for me to take sides, to stand by fellow black South Africans against the other side, to see the world only through my injury. But counter-cultural leadership in broken communities means to do what is unexpected. You see, this kind of leadership in a man like Nelson Mandela whom they sent to prison for 27 years and when he emerged insisted on reconciliation with those who had imprisoned him,” he told the graduates.

Prof. Jansen was honoured for his outstanding contribution towards the transformation of education, politics and diversity for the citizens and students of South Africa and the world.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt@ufs.ac.za  
27 May 2010
 

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