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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

Maestros from the world stage now lecture at the Odeion School of Music
2014-02-19

 
Prof Ruth Goveia

 
Danré Strydom

 
George Foster

The Odeion School of Music (OSM) at the University of the Free State (UFS) recently endorsed its commitment to excellence with the appointment of three exceptional performing artists and lecturers.

Prof Ruth Goveia (piano), Danré Strydom (clarinet and saxophone) and George Foster (brass instruments) all hold international qualifications. In addition, all of them have received tutelage from world-renowned mentors and performed across the globe. Their respective CVs are awe-inspiring – to say the least.

Prof Goveia has been appointed as an associate professor at our university. She obtained her doctorate in Music in Piano from the Jacobs School of Music at the Indiana University, USA, after completing her master’s degree at the University of Cincinnati. Prof Goveia has gained immeasurable experience while holding positions at several prestigious institutions, including the Albion College in Michigan and the Indiana University.

As a soloist, Prof Goveia’s performances are staggering. She has appeared in a number of recitals across America and even performed as a guest artist at the Kalamazoo College of Music. She took part in the Chamber Music Project of the New York-based Artur Balsam Foundation, and collaborated with clarinetist Randall Paul on a duo tour of Georgia and Alabama.

Danré Strydom has been appointed as a junior lecturer in clarinet and saxophone. She will also co-ordinate the woodwind programme at the OSM. Her training began in Windhoek, Namibia, and continued on to the prestigious Jacobs School of Music in Indiana, USA. From there she joined the Ghent Conservatoire in Belgium, reading for two master’s degrees – completing both cum laude. Strydom has performed with several renowned orchestras ranging from the Vlaams Brabant Symphony (Belgium) to the Sinfonietta Breda (Netherlands).

George Foster is filling the position of a junior lecturer in brass instruments. He completed his BMus degree at the South African College of Music at the University of Cape Town where he received the Anton Rupert Merit prize. As former Fulbright scholar, Foster read for a master’s degree in Music at the University of North Texas. During his study period in the USA he was a member of the University of North Texas Wind Band, the Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra. Here, he gained invaluable experience as a conductor as well.

Strydom and Foster are performing their duties at the Free State Symphony Orchestra (FSSO), as well as the OSM. They will both play an integral role as musicians and collaborators within the activities and initiatives of the FSSO, and serve as coaches and instructors for the Free State Youth Orchestra.

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