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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

Vice-Dean for Natural and Agricultural Sciences appointed at UFS
2011-03-20

Prof. Regina Cornelia (Corli) Witthuhn

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) has approved the appointment of Prof. Regina Cornelia (Corli) Witthuhn as Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS). 

Prof. Witthuhn, who is currently the Vice-Dean of the Faculty of AgriSciences at Stellenbosch University, will join the UFS on 1 August 2011.
 
Her career as an academic started in 1999 when she joined Maties as a lecturer. Prior to this move, she had, amongst others, worked part-time as a science and biology teacher at the Secondary School Eunice in Bloemfontein while completing her Ph.D. in microbiology at the UFS.
 
This former Bloemfonteiner’s return is a real asset, because she has been the recipient of many prominent awards, which includes those given by the American Pathological Society (APS) for Best student oral presentation.
 
Her CV also reflects participation in scientific research projects like those performed at the Vrije Universiteit in the Netherlands and the Iowa State University in America. Besides her numerous presentations delivered on local and international level as at the IUFoST 2010, the World Congress of Food Science and Technology, hosted in Cape Town, she also hold membership of several organisations. This includes the South African Association of Food Science and Technology (SAAFoST), the South African Society for Microbiology (SASM), the South African Society for Dairy Technology (SASDT) and the Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM).
 
Prof. Witthuhn also acted as study leader for many students doing their magister and doctoral degrees in Food Sciences.
 
 
Media Release
18 March 2011
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za

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