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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

Intravarsity starts with a rhythm!
2012-05-04

 

Students on our Bloemfontein Campus took part in a flashmob at the start of Intravarsity.
Photo: Hannes Pieterse
4 May 2012

Photo Gallery
Programme (pdf format)

It is Kovsie against Kovsie today and Saturday, 4 and 5 May 2012, with students from our Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa Campuses competing against each other during Intravarsity.

The inter-campus competition replaces the Intervarsity 2012 programme and will be held on the Bloemfontein Campus. The annual Intervarsity between the Universities of the Free State and North-West (NWU), which traditionally takes place in the third term, has been postponed to 2013.

Students from the two campuses will compete in sports activities like basketball, cross country, netball and soccer. Arts and culture, and leadership events between the two campuses are also planned.

The action started at 14:00 today. At 15:30, residence soccer teams take to the field and later, at 18:40, there is a debating competition.

Saturday’s activities include a leadership breakfast for student leaders and a Wheelchair Rally that takes place in the Kovsie Student Church parking area. The big sporting event for the day is the men and ladies soccer teams from the two campuses taking each other on. The programme concludes with an Intravarsity Music festival starting at 18:30 and continuing until 24:00.

Friday 4 May 2012 has been scheduled as a lecture-free day and Monday 7 May 2012 as a test-free day.

 

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