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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

Interpreting implemented at UFS residences
2007-10-12

The University of the Free State (UFS) has begun to implement interpreting services at student residence meetings on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein, as part of the management of diversity and the racial integration of its residences.

As a pilot project, the interpreting services are being offered since the third term at Emily Hobhouse and Roosmaryn ladies residences, where a significant racial diversity already is present. From next year this service will be extended to all the student residences on the Main Campus.

The interpreting project is being managed by the Department of Afro-asiatic Studies, Sign Language and Language Practice at the UFS.

“Students in training at the Department of Afro-asiatic Studies, Sign Language and Language Practice and senior interpreters from the UFS are currently interpreting during residence meetings,” said Prof. Jackie Naudé, Departmental Chairperson of the UFS’s Department of Afro-asiatic Studies, Sign Language and Language Practice.

“Students in these residences are given the opportunity to be trained to interpret during their residence meetings. Four students from each hostel are being trained as interpreters,” said Prof. Naudé.

According to Prof. Naudé both residences have meetings that take place on a Monday evening at 22:00. Interpreting is also provided at the first-year students’ meetings at Emily Hobhouse on Tuesday evenings.

The interpreters experience the interpreting at the residences as positively and they experience that students often do utilise this service. At Roosmaryn 16-18 students are utilising the interpreting service, while at Emily Hobhouse approximately 18 students are utilising the service.

“The interpreting service definitely contributes to the enhancement of communication during residence meetings. Students can exactly follow what is happening during the meetings. In the past a residences like Emily Hobhouse tried to repeat everything in English, which extended the meetings,” Prof. Naudé said.

With the envisaged extension of interpreting services in hostel meetings to all the hostels on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein, there is a need for interpreters as these meetings will take place simultaneously. Through this initiative, exiting new opportunities are created for aspiring interpreters. The training takes place under leadership of Prof. Annelie Lotriet who holds the ATKV Chair in Interpreting in the department.

Aspiring candidates can contact Mr Cobus Snyman, Manager of the UFS’s interpreting projects at 051 401 9005 in connection with the selection criteria for interpreters.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za
14 October 2007
 

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