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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

Ladies smash competition to reign supreme
2017-03-09

Description:Stagedoor 2017   Tags: Stagedoor 2017   longdesc=

This year, the ladies from Roosmaryn and Sonnedou
walked away as the Stagedoor winners.
Photo: Johan Roux

This year, the first-years gave a show-stopping performance as they showed the audience how to make Stagedoor great again.

Hard work and sacrifice pays off

Let’s make Stagedoor great again was the theme behind this year’s Stagedoor production, which allowed all residences to get their creative juices flowing by bringing the theme to life in their own unique way.

Divine Bitalo, Roosmaryn RC Culture, said that they are honoured to have been crowned as the champions. “We put in a lot of hard work and sacrifice and we are just glad that everything worked out in the end.”

First-years given amazing platform

Teneal van Deventer, Sonnedou RC Culture, concurred with the words of Divine and also thanked the university for the opportunity. “I would like to thank Kovsies for giving our first-years this amazing platform to showcase their talents and make new friends.”

The Stagedoor finals, which took place on Saturday 4 March at Kovsie Church, saw our first-years battle it out to be crowned as this year’s winners and claiming the bragging rights for the year.

The winners were:

1st place: Roosmaryn and Sonnedou

2nd place: BeyCon (Beyers Naude and Conlaures)

3rd place: Marjolein and Legatum

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