UFS sets emergency accommodation record straight

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PHOTO: FILE

The University of the Free State (UFS) has set the record straight about media reports that surfaced on 8 and 9 February regarding challenges that students were facing related to off-campus accommodation.

In a media statement, the UFS stated that the issue arose when a group of students arrived at the Bloemfontein Campus Protection Services and requested emergency accommodation. According to the students, they were denied access.

“It is untrue that the university did not provide emergency accommodation to the group of students, and we wish to confirm that accommodation was indeed offered in two on-campus residences. However, the offer to provide such accommodation was not taken up by the Bloemfontein Campus Student Representative Council (CSRC) on behalf of the group. On Tuesday morning, university staff managed to obtain accommodation for the group in an off-campus emergency accommodation facility, to which they were taken by shuttle,” said a UFS spokesperson.

The university said several measures were in place to ensure the successful management of the accommodation process in consultation with and in agreement with various stakeholders.

“When the need arises, the university arranges emergency off-campus accommodation for students on all three campuses. Where a student cannot afford to pay for emergency accommodation, the university has measures in place, which include the provision of daily transport in the form of a shuttle service to the emergency accommodation and back to the campus – specifically during the registration period. In addition, an Emergency Accommodation Committee, on which the CSRC sits, meets weekly. The CSRC is part of the committee’s decisions to accommodate the needs of students related to emergency accommodation,” the statement concluded.

Compiled by Justine Fortuin

justine@mahareng.co.za