Students safer at stadium

Shifting O-Week events to Forsyth Barr Stadium last year resulted in a decline in the number of admissions to Dunedin Hospital's emergency department, with the trend expected to continue this year.

Emergency department charge nurse manager Justin Moore said that in past years O-Week had impacted ''heavily'' on the department.

''However, last year we noticed a decrease in presentations with events being held at the Forsyth Barr Stadium,'' Mr Moore said.

In previous years, the department had put on extra staff during the week, but because of the reduced number of admissions last year they were ''taking a more conservative approach'' this O-Week.

While it was still too early to comment on O-Week overall, admissions to the department on Monday night were not out of the ordinary.

''The numbers of people presenting to the ED for treatment from the age of 17 to 25 on the first day of O-Week was similar to the number presenting the previous Monday,'' he said.

His message to students was to: ''Enjoy yourselves [and] keep everything in moderation.''

Otago University Students' Association (OUSA) was last year praised by police for the way it ran O-Week events at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

OUSA president Francisco Hernandez said in an opinion piece published in the Otago Daily Times yesterday that its events reduced the risks of ''negative outcomes'' during O-Week.