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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

OSM piano lecturer on jury for Unisa National Competition
2015-03-05

Prof Ruth Goveia
Photo: Supplied

Prof Ruth Goveia, a piano lecturer at our university’s Odeion School of Music (OSM), was chosen to serve on the jury of the 5th Unisa National Piano Competition. This will take place from 11 to 18 July 2015 at the ZK Matthews Hall on the Unisa Muckleneuk Campus in Pretoria.

Prof Goveia holds a doctorate in Music in Piano from the prestigious Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University in the USA, and has a master’s degree in Piano Performance from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, also in the USA. Prof Goveia is an experienced adjudicator, and is regularly engaged for both national and international piano competitions, festivals, and examinations.

She is a dedicated teacher, who enjoys working with both students and professional musicians. Several of her students have excelled in competitions and examinations, and enjoy successful careers.

The Unisa National Music Competition was founded with the main objective of providing young South African pianists with the necessary experience, requirements, and procedures of an international piano competition. The winner of the national competition has automatic access as a participant in the next scheduled Unisa International Piano competition. The prescribed repertoire requirements of the national competition always correspond closely to those of the next Unisa International Piano Competition.

Competitors will be subject to the same adjudication criteria and processes applicable to international piano competitions. The Unisa Music Foundation’s next piano competition will have a jazz category running parallel to the classical category.

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