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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

#FaceOfFacebook 2016/2017
2016-04-29

Kovsies #FaceOfFacebook was initiated from the need to communicate with students, thus becoming a virtual friend. Annual auditions are held to choose the new face representing the UFS on Facebook. The successful candidate holds the title of #FaceOfFacebook for the next 12 months, attending events, and filming short video clips to post on our Facebook page. In effect, the #FaceOfFacebook is not only an important spokesperson, but a proud Kovsie ambassador as well. At the end of their reign, they receive a recommendation letter and portfolio of their work.

 

Here are our top five contestants (in no particular order):

  • Jet'aime Pond

  • Tshwaro Thothela

  • Mbulelo Siyoko

  • Ingrid Wentzel

  • Reuben Davids

 

The next phase of our #FaceOfFacebook auditions involves you. In the words of one of our contestants: "I need your vote ... Like this post, share and go tell your friends about it."

 

Go to the UFS Facebook page to view the videos of our Top Five contestants, and like your favourite. Each like will count as a vote, and the person with the most votes at the closing time will be declared the winner. You will need to be a registered Facebook user to vote.

 

The deadline for voting is 6 May 2016 at 16:00.

 

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