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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

Five universities gather together for National Serenades
2012-08-29

Date: Saturday 1 September 2012

Time: 18:00 – 19:00 (winners will be announced at 23:00)

Place:

  • Centenary Complex - 1st Performance
  • Callie Human Centre - 2nd Performance
  • Kovsie Church – 3rd Performance
    - Winners will be announced in the Callie Human Centre

This year, five universities will once again showcase their song and entertainment talent on the stage.

The serenade competition is an annual event between the University of Stellenbosch, University of Pretoria, North-West University, University of Johannesburg and the University of the Free State since 1997.

Each university has a men’s and ladies’ group taking part and each group consists of 10 to 20 members.

Participants only have 17 minutes to show what they are made of.

The serenade competition is the most popular cultural activity on each campus and more than 100 residences compete for a place in the final rounds.

The media are invited to attend the event.

Please confirm attendance with Amanda Tongha at tonghaa@ufs.ac.za

  • The final concerts will be streamed live via our website on Saturday 1 September 2012 from 18:30.
    Please click on the following link for the broadcast: www.ufs.ac.za/ufslivestreaming  
     
  • Twitter hashtag:  #UFSNationals
     

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