Students Callum Mulligan (19, left) and Simon Roberts (20),
both of Christchurch, play a game of touch rugby at North
Ground yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
The students are back in town and set to revel in a week
of fun that has become the envy of those studying outside
Otago University Students' Association president Ruby
Sycamore-Smith said Orientation Week had become renowned
across the country and ''definitely'' helped attract students
to the city.
This year's O-Week line-up, starting on Monday, included a
mixture of international and local music acts and other
events including the toga party and the live filming of 7
''I have had a couple of friends come down specifically for
our Orientation,'' Ms Sycamore-Smith said.
Respect for O-Week, which in recent years had become a
''million-dollar'' event, had grown as it had been able to
multiply in size because of the availability of Forsyth Barr
Stadium as a venue, she said.
Its nationwide ''pull'' had seen Red Bull organise a
competition where teams, starting in Auckland, were given
cans of the energy drink to trade for transportation, food
and lodging as they travelled to the city.
''Even Red Bull has identified this is a massive show,''
However, the fact O-Week attracted outsiders did bring a set
University of Otago director of student services David
Richardson said O-Week could become a ''bit of a magnet'' for
trouble-makers who were not local students.
''You may remember, only three years ago on the front page of
Critic and in the ODT, was this picture of a chap jumping on
''He was an Auckland University student; nothing to do with
us,'' Mr Richardson said.
That view was backed by Dunedin alcohol harm reduction
officer Sergeant Ian Paulin, who said it tended to be the
''non-students'' who got offside with police.
''You'll get people from Southland coming up for key events
and they haven't got the respect or the [university] proctor
hanging over them,'' Sgt Paulin said. However, there was
agreement that when people did misbehave it was largely away
from OUSA events, which vice-chancellor Prof Harlene Hayne
put down to the level of organisation put in.
''OUSA are some of the best event planners in the
country. So, while they are bringing bigger and bigger acts
down here, they are also increasing the amount safety
precautions that they have,'' Prof Hayne said.
OUSA marketing and communications co-ordinator Alasdair
Johnston said yesterday tickets for O-Week were selling well,
with the 2000 student super passes ($185 plus booking fees)
likely to sell out by Monday.
The most popular single events were the return of local
heroes Six60 and the live filming of 7 Days, Mr Johnston
He was keen to point out that all the main events, except the
toga party, were open to members of the public.
As the week had grown, OUSA had introduced more measures to
keep students safe.
''We just go the extra mile above and beyond any other
promoter that comes down here,'' he said. We are not here to
let students get hurt.''