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12 March 2020 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Supplied
Student Governance dialogue session
The UFS Student Governance office aims to motivate engaged scholarship among students and academia, to act as a reservoir of excellence in governance, and shape an excellent landscape of leadership.

“I’m anticipating philosophical discussions that will unpack moral courage, ethics in leadership, and governance,” said UFS Manager for Student Governance, Buti Mnyakeni, in opening the Division of Student Affairs’ first annual Student Governance Leadership Series (SGL) at the University of the Free State (UFS). 

The Student Governance office intends to encourage engaged scholarship among students and academia to produce a broader landscape of equipped student leaders from the university. 

UFS Vice-Rector: Institutional Change, Student Affairs, and Community Engagement, Prof Puleng LenkaBula, joined by former SRC President, Phiwe Mathe, and student leaders Sam Masingi and Amanda Charles, provided rich and provoking contributions under the theme The concept of good governance. On the first day of the series, the discourse kicked off with problematising the concept, and further led to egocentrism, and Afrocentric modalities of governance. 

The panel also unpacked the exclusivity of governmental systems by discussing institutional and managerial culture, which according to them, results in detached knowledge and ways of thinking. 

Day two of the series focused on discussions around moral courage in the era of ethical decay. Attorney of the High Court and International Economic Law Lecturer at the UFS, Mmiselo Qumba; former Vice-President of the SRC, Bokang Fako; former president of the SRC, Richard Chemaly; and freelance writer, broadcaster, author, and communicator, Ace Moloi, engaged extensively on the influence of personal values on shared ethical standards as a vehicle that can lead to a socially just community and society.

The SGL series established a platform to encourage current and prospective student leaders to reflect, connect, and be innovative in their design thinking as leaders in their respective governance structures.

The Programme Director for the event, Adv Thanduxolo Nkala – an accredited mediator in commercial and court-annexed mediation – reflected on the dialogues as “rich and robust.”

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