AfriForum Youth Kovsies today handed around 550 petitions to the Rector of the University of the Free State (UFS), Prof. Jonathan Jansen. The petition deals with students’ protest against the UFS101 first year module. In addition, AfriForum Youth has committed itself to co-operate with the university in a constructive manner to address certain student issues.
‘During the past year, AfriForum Youth has established itself as a channel between students and the university to deal with complaints and for this reason it is in the interest of the students and the UFS alike if the students’ opinion is heeded as far as modules, such as UFS101, which is offensive, are concerned,’ Anné Calitz, Chairperson of AfriForum Youth Kovsies said.
UFS101 is a compulsory module in which politics, history and religious conviction feature. Topics covered, such as questioning divine intervention at the Battle of Blood River, likening Blood River to Sharpeville, the guilt the Afrikaner has to bear for its past, prioritising affirmative action above merit and the debate on the existence of God, have elicited most of the reaction. Many students believe that their freedom of association and expression is being unfairly restricted and that many of the course discussions affect students’ dignity.
To date, AfriForum Youth Kovsies has had numerous discussions with Jansen about this matter and hope to soon find a solution which will attest to mutual respect and co-operation.