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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

Senior leadership approves CSRC appeal
2012-05-14

The senior leadership of the UFS has approved the appeal lodged by the Central Student Representative Council (CSRC) to allow students deregistered on 30 April 2012 for not meeting their financial obligations, to write the May/June 2012 exams.
 
As from 14 May 2012, a relatively small number of 428 deregistered students will automatically have their registration reinstated and they will be granted the opportunity to write exams, provided that they have obtained a 40% predicate mark for each module.
 
A name list of the deregistered students will be sent to the heads of departments where they were enrolled. Only students who have obtained a 40% semester mark will be permitted to write exams.
 
Today the Executive Committee of Senate approved a recommendation that those students who only become aware of this arrangement after one of their scheduled modules has already been examined, may apply for permission to the Academic Timetables and Venues Office, Room 166, George du Toit Administration Building on the Bloemfontein Campus, to write a special examination. On the Qwaqwa Campus students may apply for permission to the Examination Section, Room 137 in the Administration Building.
 
This will, however, be a once-off opportunity and students will not be afforded another opportunity to write exams if they miss the first examination opportunity as well as the special examination. A student who writes only the special examination and fails will not be given a further opportunity. A student who writes the main examination and does poorly, but qualifies for a supplementary examination, may write the supplementary examination in the additional examination period.
 

This arrangement applies to all UFS campuses.
 

Media Release
14 May 2012
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: +27(0)51 401 2584
Cell: +27(0)83 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za

 

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