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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

Staff members do their bit for the environment
2012-05-28

 

Big blue boxes for the recycling of waste paper were placed in the foyer of the Francois Retief Building and staff and students were invited to bring their waste paper. Seventeen boxes of white paper and eight boxes of newspapers and magazines were collected.

In order to be involved in the green initiatives on campus, the Faculty of Health Sciences has been supporting the university recycling project. Last week, waste paper for recycling was collected in the foyer of the Francois Retief Building.

At the request of staff members, the faculty will repeat this initiative every term. “We thus urge you to collect all your waste paper for recycling – this can be full pages, scrap paper, or shredded paper. However, please keep white paper (normal photocopy and printing paper) separate from newspapers, magazines, coloured paper and cardboard. And please, no food!

“If you can’t wait until next term, the caretakers can also collect paper from your department – their contact details are listed below. What an easy way to tidy up your office!” said Marlene Viljoen from the faculty.

Empty ink cartridges can also be recycled If you have any, you can send them to the caretakers’ office or you can keep them with you until next term’s collection day in the foyer.

Staff will be notified via e-mail of the next collection day. “Thank you for your enthusiastic response,” Marlene said.

Contact the caretakers on 405 5953/ 3015, short cell number 6998, at any time to collect waste paper or ink cartridges in your department.
- Ilde Kilbourn
 

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