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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. Cynthia Miller-Naudé delivers inaugural lecture at the university
2012-07-03

 
Prof. Cynthia L Miller-Naudé
5 July 2012

Prof. Cynthia L Miller-Naudé recently delivered her inaugural lecture as senior professor at the University of the Free State.

The lecture also served as the opening key note address to the joint conference of the Linguistics Society of South Africa, the South African Applied Linguistics Association and the South African Association for Language Teaching.

In her lecture, Prof. Miller-Naudé focused on The Case of Ellipsis in Biblical Hebrew. She examined the interrelationship between poetic style and the grammatical rules of a language by describing the ways in which grammatical rules may be relaxed or even broken to achieve a particular style within poetry. She illustrated her lecture with examples from Biblical Hebrew, the language of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament).

In Biblical Hebrew, it is very common to find ellipsis (words that are missing) in poetry, but they are always “missing” in ways that create stylistic effects. Prof. Miller-Naudé concluded her lecture by demonstrating that the stylistic effects of ellipsis can be described and explained using the theoretical model of cognitive poetics.

Prof. Miller-Naude was born and educated in the United States and is a leading authority in the fields of Biblical Hebrew linguistics and Bible translation.

 

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