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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

Eusebius McKaiser delivers public lecture celebrating Library Week
2013-03-12

 

Eusebius McKaiser
Photo: Johan Roux
12 March 2013

The UFS Library and Information Services will celebrate South African Library Week with a public lecture by writer and political analyst, Eusebius McKaiser.

McKaiser, one of South Africa’s most influential figures, will speak about his book A Bantu in My Bathroom, his life, his love for reading and writing and the value of libraries.

Eusebius McKaiser is a political and social analyst at the Wits Centre for Ethics. He is also a top international debate coach, MC and public speaker, having been both former National South African Debate Champion and the 2011 World Master’s Debate Champion. His analytical articles are widely published in South African newspapers and he has a weekly column in the New York Times. He holds Law and Philosophy degrees from Rhodes and Oxford Universities

Thursday 14 March 2013
Mabaleng Auditorium (opposite the Faculty of Education)
17:00

Library week is celebrated annually in the third week of March with a different theme for each year. The main idea behind library week is to promote and increase awareness of the importance and the place that libraries hold in the broader community. The theme will also provide us with an opportunity to bring to the attention of the country and our leaders the role that libraries play in educating communities and the nation.

This year’s theme is “Educate yourself @ your library through displays and events.”

Enquiries: Marcus Maphile at +27(0)51 401 9393 or Maphilelm@ufs.ac.za

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