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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

SRC and student parliament elections declared free and fair
2004-08-17

The Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA) has certified the University of the Free State ’s (UFS) election process today ( Friday 13 August 2004 ) and declared it free and fair.

The process to elect a Student Representative Council (SRC) and Student Parliament started on 2 August 2004 and ended today with the announcement of the results.

“No objections regarding the voting process were received and the preliminary results were announced last night. A total of 2192 votes were cast, while 416 votes were spoilt,” said Mr Seth Phamuli, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of EISA.

Mr Alfred Geldenhuys, third year student in B Com Human Resource Management, was declared the SRC President for 2004/2005. Mr Geldenhuys was SRC representative for Campus Matters in 2003/2004.

The other members of the SRC are:

Vice-President: Annelise de Kock (fourth year student in B Sc Dietetics)

Secretary: Michelle du Plessis (third year student in B Sc)

Treasurer: Dida Coetzer (third year student in B Rek)

Academics: Cherese Laubscher (third year student in MB Ch B)

Ladies Internal Liaison: Tanya de Jager (third year student in B Ed Intermediary Phase)

Men’s Internal Liaison: Stef Conradie (third year student in BA Human Movement Science)

Transformation: Clayton van der Ross (second year student in B Com Human Resources Management)

Arts and Culture: AC Geldenhuys (second year student in B Acc)

Recreation and Internal

Affairs: Khotso Motloung (third year student in B Com Accounting)

Campus Services: Sylvanus Watson (fourth year student in B Sc Agric)

Constitutional and

Legal Affairs: Lerato Mofoti (fourth year student in LLB)

Dialogue and

Associations: Owen Kumalo (third year student in B Com Sport Management)

Kovscom: Estel Scheepers (third year student in BA Integrated Marketing)

Sport: Graeme Bradley (second year student in B Com Human Resources Management)

Student Development: Werner du Preez (third year student in B Com Economics)

Irawa: Jeanri-Tine van Zyl (second year student in BA Media Studies)

In the Student Parliament the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) and the Kovsie Alliance were each granted seven seats, whilst the Here XVII was granted 11 seats.

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Tel: (051) 401-2584
Sel: 083 645 2454
E-pos: loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za
 

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