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Reitz doors officially closed | EducationWeb

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Reitz doors officially closed

Education


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The Reitz men’s residence at the University of the Free State (UFS) closed it doors on Wednesday as a result of a racist video, filmed by residents, that surfaced at the university earlier in 2008.

UFS spokesperson Lacea Loader confirmed that the last of the students staying at Reitz were busy vacating the hostel premises.

“Although the hostel was closed on July 20 the residents were given a chance to vacate the premises up and until Wednesday, the last day of the second exam opportunity.”

The UFS was at the centre of a racial storm in February 2008 after the video, made by former Reitz residents, sparked a national and international outcry.
The video featured black university employees on their knees eating food which had apparently been urinated upon by a white student.

It depicts a mock initiation of five black staff members into hostel activities and refers openly to the university’s integration policy for campus residences announced in 2007 and implemented this year.

Loader said a committee was appointed to help the 118 Reitz students with alternative accommodation.

“Most students who indicated they need help with alternative accommodation were helped.

“They were accommodated in other residences on campus or in student houses near the campus.”

The decision to close the hostel was taken in May after input from various role players.

Acting rector professor Teuns Verschoor announced that the hostel would be changed into an institute for diversity.

Loader said the university management was busy with preparations for establishing the institute.

She said detailed planning and development would be done after inputs from the campus community and local and international experts.

Verschoor said no decision on the name of the institute or its focus areas had been taken.

“This would be decided when we get input from all role players,” Verschoor said in a statement. -Sapa

admin @ July 31, 2008

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