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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

UFS to host first leadership conference for Grade 12 learners
2011-04-04

Our university is proud to announce that it will be hosting its very first Leadership Summit for Grade 12 learners.

More than 280 learners from all over South Africa and Namibia have registered to participate in the three-day event, which takes place on our Main Campus from Thursday, 7 April to Saturday, 9 April 2011.
 
Mrs Linda Greyling from UFS Corporate Relations said learners from as far afield as Amanzimtoti in KwaZulu-Natal and Wellington in the Western Cape had applied to learn more about leadership in our country.
 
The goal of the summit is to enable young leaders to develop their leadership capabilities by looking beyond their normal boundaries.
 
Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS,  will address the visitors on leadership while Mr Louie de Necker will speak about conflict resolution. Other highlights include a visit to the Boyden Observatory, picnic suppers, an introduction to residence life, a social evening, and a prize-giving ceremony aimed at learners who distinguished themselves as potential leaders during the three-day visit.
 
Registration for the summit will take place at the Odeion Theatre on our Main Campus on 07 April from 09:00 to 11:00. The proceedings will commence upon completion of registration.


Media Release
1 April 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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