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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

Zahara headlining Kovsie Extravaganza
2012-10-03

Photo: Thabo Kessah
2 September 2012

On Saturday 13 October 2012, the university will host the annual Kovsie Extravaganza. The music festival, named Zircus, will showcase the best of our student performers as well as the multiple South African Music Award-winning singing sensation, Zahara.

The musician will share the stage with local groups such as the UFS Choir, the Chamber Choir as well as Voices Inc. The Sêr groups of the residences Emily Hobhouse, Sonnedou, Tswelopele, Vishuis, Villa Bravado and Welwitchia have also been lined up for the show. Veritas and Marjolein, the winners of the Campus Sêr competition who came third and second respectively in the National Sêr competition are also part of the exciting line-up.

The show, the Arts and Culture office's final event of the year, promises to wow and thrill students, staff and members of the public with some breath-taking performances from the wide array of talent that Kovsies’ possesses.Tickets are available in Office 5 and 6, Thakaneng Bridge with students paying R50 while the public pay R80.

Venue: Callie Human Centre
Date: 13 October 2012
Time: 19:30

For more information call 051 401 9876/2819.


 

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