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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

Meet the Shimlas’ Miss Varsity Cup 2017
2017-04-12

Description: Jadene Jacobs  Tags: Jadene Jacobs
Jadene Jacobs didn’t expect to be
crowned as Shimlas’ Miss Varsity Cup.
Photo: Robin Butler

Her mom motivated her to take part in modelling competitions when she was still in primary school, and Jadene Jacobs has loved it ever since.

The 19-year-old first-year BSc Chemistry and Physics student is excited to represent us at the nationals of the Miss Varsity Cup 2017 on 17 April. Although she never thought she would win the competition, Jadene was recently crowned Shimlas’ Miss Varsity Cup 2017.

Her role model in the industry is the former Miss World, Rolene Strauss, who previously also was a Shimla Miss Varsity Cup. Jadene likes Rolene’s compassion, beauty, and flawlessness.

Jadene, who is from Johannesburg, cannot wait to meet the Miss Varsity Cups from the other universities. “I am mentally prepared for the nationals, and I am ready to give it my all,” she said.

She found out about the competition at Wag-’n-Bietjie, her residence on the Bloemfontein Campus, and didn’t think twice about entering. Jadene is passionate about sport and lives an active lifestyle. She also plays netball in her spare time.

Vote for Jadene (until 17 April 2017).

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