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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

Paying homage to a music maestro
2013-10-08

 

08 October 2013
Photo: Supplied

American singer, songwriter, composer and actor, Thomas Alan Waits (1949–), has been a major inspiration to artists, musicians, poets, writers and thinkers for almost 40 years. He is considered as one of the godfathers of grunge and poetic rock and is a master of contemporary narrative –able to weave emotion and intrigue into his stories of urban grit and rural abandonment. His sometimes jaundiced view of the underbelly of society serves as a rich source of visual imagery.

The Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery is celebrating this vanguard with the exhibition Tom Waits for No Man.

Gordon Froud, artist and senior lecturer at the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), curated and toured with the Leonard Cohen exhibition entitled Altered Piecesin 2011 and 2012. Due to the success of that exhibition, Froud decided to extend his curative activities in the direction of Tom Waits.

This exhibition is based on a roughly LP-sized circular format (30cm in diameter). Most works hang on the wall, but some artists that preferredto work in 3D, made use of the disc as a base or platform on which to build. There was no restriction on materials or approach. There was no process in selection of songs and each artist was free to use whichever lyric or section of lyrics that they choose (even if someone else had selected this too – artists seldom come up with the same solutions).

The exhibition was launched at the ABSA KKNK in April 2013 and has travelled to the UJ Art Gallery and Grande Provence Wine Estate for the Literary Festival.

The exhibition is on display at the Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery until 25 October 2013.

Gallery hours: 08:30 – 16:30, Monday – Friday

Enquiries: +27(0)51 401 2706 | dejesusav@ufs.ac.za

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