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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

3rd tri-annual Nursing Odyssey international conference
2007-05-29

 The School of Nursing at the University of the Free State (UFS) is hosting its 3rd tri-annual Nursing Odyssey international conference from 9-11 July 2007 on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein. Odyssey means an exciting journey. In a dynamic profession such as nursing, the Odyssey is never ending or boring.

This year the focus is on caring. Although the conference addresses a wide variety of topics, special areas such as midwifery and wound care have been accentuated. Speakers from the United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK) will be deriving papers and workshops like:

  • Foetal monitoring - technology from clinic to consultant. A live demonstration will be given where a pregnant woman situated in a clinic will be linked to a system that sends information directly to a consultant who can then advise the clinic staff on the best treatment.
  • NVIVO is a computer based program that assists qualitative researchers to analyze their data. This two day hands-on workshop will enable researchers to implement the NVIVO program.
  • The role of hand washing in infection control is well known. A practical participatory demonstration will illustrate to nurses how they unwittingly spread germs.

Although there is a lot of focus on midwifery and wound care there will something for everyone like workshops and papers on ethics, evidence based practice as well as student papers. With 17 workshops and more than 70 papers the delegates will spoiled for choice.

 Enquiries can be directed to Ms Desiré Smuts at 051 401 2965.
 

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