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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

UFS Centenary celebrations come to an end
2005-02-03

OFFICIAL OPENING

The official opening of the UFS will take place on Friday 04 February 2005 at 09:00 in the Reitz Hall (Centenary Complex). Please note that this is a test and lecture free day. The Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Frederick Fourie will be the keynote speaker. Refreshments will be served at the Centenary Complex after the opening ceremony.

The historic Centenary photograph will be taken at 11:00 on the eastern side of the Red Square (CR Swart parking area). All staff members and students are invited to be part of this massive photograph.

Important

• There will be no parking allowed on the CR Swart parking area until 12:00 on Friday 04 February 2005, as a result of the photo session.

• All academic staff members are requested to wear academic dress on the day, seeing as staff members will depict the Centenary emblem on the photograph. Academic gowns may be collected from the Gown Store on Wednesday 02 - Thursday 03 February 2005 between 08:00 and 16:00. Gowns must be returned to the Gown Store after the photograph has been taken.

SERVICE OF DEVOTION

A special service of devotion will take place on Sunday 06 February 2005 at 18:00 for 18:30 in front of the Main Building on the Red Square. This is a special gathering of students, hosted by all the interdenominational groups on the UFS campus. The evening will be a celebration of praise, thanks and worship, followed by a message from Dr Wollie Grobler. The evening will conclude with song and fireworks.

Staff members and students are welcome to bring their friends and families to this special event.

Important

• Even though there will be chairs in front of the Main Building, staff members and students are requested to bring extra pillows and blankets to sit on.

• No persons or vehicles will be allowed on the eastern side of the Red Square or on the CR Swart parking area, due to the security requirements of the fireworks show.

• All members of the choir are invited to be part of the mass choir. Lyrics will be provided.

• All persons who attend this event are requested to bring a candle for the purpose of the mass choir.

• Special transportation arrangements will be made for all service workers to enable them to attend the service. If there is someone in your faculty, department or division who would like to make use of this service, please send an e-mail to Elize Rall (ralle.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za) no later than Tuesday 01 February 2005.

OTHER ACTIVITIES

• A reunion for all former SRC members of the UFS will take place on the campus, from 04 February to 06 February 2005. An interesting programme is being planned. For more information, please contact Nicolaas du Plessis on 084 955 0875.

• The annual Rag Procession will take place on Saturday 05 February 2005. For more information, contact the Rag Office at X 2718.

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