More students are being disciplined for unruly behaviour, but
the university says the increase is down to the occupants of
a few bad flats.
Disciplinary figures released to the Otago Daily Times
under the Official Information Act showed university proctor
Simon Thompson dealt with 290 cases in the first six months
this year, a 17% increase on the corresponding period last
The university had also ramped up the number of fines it was
dishing out to students, which went from 39 fines and a total
of $5585 in the first six months of last year to 103 fines
and a total of $13,732 this year.
Mr Thompson said despite an increase in cases, ''overall''
student behaviour was improving.
''This increase can be attributed to the occupants of a small
number of flats being seen on a number of occasions,'' he
Ramping up the number of fines was part of new efforts to
improve student behaviour, which included Campus Watch
placing extra emphasis on preventive measures and pastoral
There was also more emphasis being placed on the importance
of academic performance, especially during orientation. The
most common cases dealt with by the proctor were for
disorderly behaviour (86) and wilfully breaking glass (51).
Four of the most serious cases were referred to
vice-chancellor Harlene Hayne - down from five in the
corresponding period last year - with three of those students
kicked out of the university for a semester.
One student was kicked out for throwing a bottle at a police
van during a disturbance on Castle St and the other two for
attempting to escape police custody.
A punishment had not been settled on for the fourth student
seen by Prof Hayne, who had been involved in incidents,
including stealing a box of beer and kicking the side of taxi
The number of students dealt with by the provost - who deals
with more serious cases than the proctor - increased from
seven in the first half of last year to 14 this year.
Mr Thompson said the university was ''generally'' happy with
behaviour in the student quarter.
''We need to keep in mind that the vast majority of our
21,000 students cause no trouble whatsoever.
''As in the past, the bad behaviour of a few reflects badly
on the rest.''
The reasons behind student misbehaviour were much the same as
''The reasons are still generally caused by youth, poor
judgement and alcohol consumption.''
Otago University Students' Association president Ruby
Sycamore-Smith said the student behaviour was ''definitely''