Week's activities hailed as success

Otago University Students' Association president Francisco Hernandez (left) and events and communications manager Dan Hendra reflect on a successful O-Week. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
Otago University Students' Association president Francisco Hernandez (left) and events and communications manager Dan Hendra reflect on a successful O-Week. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
This year's O-Week is being hailed as a massive success, with fewer student injuries and behavioural problems than in previous years.

The week also included the largest O-Week event ever organised by Otago University Students' Association (OUSA), with more than 5500 people going to see Macklemore at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Thursday.

Dunedin area acting tactical response manager Senior Sergeant Jason Guthrie said the events organised by OUSA went ''extremely well, with the level of student behaviour pleasing''.

''Beyond these organised events, there is, however, still an impact on the city, with large numbers of people out and about drinking alcohol.

''However ...despite the large numbers of people in town and at events this week, behaviour has been generally good,'' Snr Sgt Guthrie said.

He said police had done a significant amount of planning and liaison with the student community before O-Week.

Medical directorate acting medical director Dr Brendon Rae, who oversees the Dunedin Hospital emergency department, said the last week had been busy, but most presentations were not O-Week related.

Only a ''really small'' number of admissions - possibly as low as 3% - during the week were alcohol-related, Dr Rae said.

He said there had been an improvement over past years, which he attributed to a ''change in culture at educational institutions, halls of residents and students' associations''.

OUSA events and communications manager Dan Hendra, who was feeling a ''bit jaded'' after a busy week, said Orientation had been a fantastic success, with ''nothing major'' going wrong.

The fact the Macklemore gig went off without a hitch showed OUSA could hold even larger events in future and students could definitely look forward to more big acts, Mr Hendra said.

OUSA president Francisco Hernandez said he had been ''crazy busy'' throughout the week, but was ''very happy'' with how the week went.

''I didn't even get to attend any of the gigs we put on, except as part of the safety team.''

Asked if he felt he was missing out, he said: ''Not really. At the end of the day, it's about serving the students and I have had my time at Orientation when I was a first-year.''

University of Otago vice-chancellor Prof Harlene Hayne said the week had been a pleasure.

''We have had a wonderful week. I have been to almost all of the events and it's been a pleasure to welcome thousands of our students and their families to Otago.''

She said there was less disruptive behaviour than last year.

''The generally good outcome is testament to collaborative work done by the university and OUSA.

''Most importantly, the positive and responsible actions and attitude of thousands of our new and returning students have made all the difference in the world,'' she said.


Who would be so drunk

Maybe the three youths arrested at the party with the couch burning the other day. NONE of them students!

Damaged car again

While you may be calling O-week a success we are not. For the second time, once a few years ago and now again last night our car has been damaged during O-week. My husband works for the university on shift work and was on night shift last night. He has no designated car park so has to park the car on the street (unfortunately where he parks there are no cameras and we are unable to prove it is a student) but who else would be so drunk that they place a bed on top of a car and in the process break the passenger wing mirror?

Don't get me wrong we are not student haters being both university graduates ourselves but now we have the inconvience of having to get our car fixed at our cost and being unable to take our children on a promised trip. A few years ago when he was on night shift during O-week we had the roof of our car jumped on and the car had to be written off, thanks for the success.