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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

Nominations for Kovsie Alumni Awards now open
2014-07-15

It is time for the Kovsie Alumnus Awards Dinner again. The University of the Free State’s (UFS’s) Alumni office invites the UFS community and the public to nominate alumni for the Kovsie Alumnus awards.

This year’s dinner will be held on Friday 19 September 2014, where alumni and staff will be honoured for their outstanding contributions and achievements during 2013 – either in their personal capacity or in their respective professional fields.

Nominations are awaited in the following categories:

• Kovsie Alumnus of the year
The Kovsie Alumnus of the Year Award honours the outstanding achievements of a Kovsie alumnus on national or international level. The person must still be alive.

• Cum Laude Award
The Cum Laude Award is occasionally bestowed on an alumnus for outstanding service or achievement on regional, national or international level in their field of work.

• Executive Management Award
The Alumni Award for outstanding service to the UFS is occasionally made to any person (not necessarily an alumnus) who delivers/delivered exceptional service to the university.

• Kovsie Alumni Ambassador Award
The Kovsie Ambassador Award is awarded from time to time to any person (not necessarily an alumnus) who continuously delivers/delivered excellent service to the university and who has a passion for the university.

Send nominations to Kathy Verwey of the UFS’s Alumni office at verweyke@ufs.ac.za  on or before Friday 18 July 2014 or phone +27(0)51 401 9343 for more information.

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