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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 Music rises to academic prominence
2007-10-18

 

From the left are: Ronella Jansen van Rensburg, Hanna van Schalkwyk, Elene Coetzer en Lizabé Lambrechts

Four postgraduate students gave prominence to the Music Department of the University of the Free State by having four academic articles published by accredited journals, and a fifth published in an international online journal.

It is the first time that a tertiary music institution in South Africa has had so many postgraduate studies published in one year, says Prof Martina Viljoen.

The students who worked under Prof Viljoen's supervision are Hanna van Schalkwyk, senior lecturer in singing at UFS; Ronella Jansen van Rensburg, part-time music lecturer and founder of the Sentraal-Kultuurakademie (Central Culture Academy); Elene Coetzer, also a part-time lecturer and involved in the Mangaung String Project; and Lizabé Lambrechts, who is still studying full-time.

Hanna and Ronella attained their master's degrees and Lizabé honours.

Hanna's research on the unique and at times unorthodox philosophy in singing and method of the pedagogue in singing Sarie Lamprecht (1923-2005) is published in the Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe (Journal for the Humanities).

The study documents interviews held with Lamprecht over more than two years as well as conversations with her most prominent students.

Ronella's study on the relationship between emotional intelligence and musical performance anxiety is divided into two successive articles in the journal Musicus.

Dr Adelene Grobler, Epog director at UFS, was Ronella's co-supervisor.

Elene conducted a qualitative investigation into the Mangaung String Programme in which the social value of this teaching programme is emphasised.

She documented the responses of learners, parents and teachers who are involved in the project. Her article is published in the Journal of the Musical Arts in Africa.

Lizebé reached out to pop culture for her research and wrote about no less a person than the controversial shock-rock-icon Marilyn Manson.

Her study serves as a model analysis for educational work that focuses on popular culture as a didactic instrument.

In this respect Manson's music, which is frequently slated as vulgar or disturbing, is shown as aggressive social comment.

Lizabé's article, which throws light on Manson's bisexual identity, was published as a full-length monograph in the first edition of the overseas online noncejournal.

In 2005 the Department of Music also excelled when it was the first academic music institution in South Africa that published international congress proceedings as a subsidised collection.

The collection contained eminent international authors and was published under the guest editorship of Viljoen.

Die Volksblad – 1.10.07

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