Selwyn College students enjoy the sunshine in their quad.
Photo by Peter McIintosh.
Parents of first-year students leaving home for the first
time can breathe easy about them behaving and eating their
greens in a hall of residence.
The Otago Daily Times visited Dunedin's oldest hall,
Selwyn College, yesterday and found it to be a tightly run,
Established in 1893 and known for its intense rivalry with
Knox College, it was also one of the most popular colleges in
With 3.5 applications a bed this year, warden the Rev David
Clark had the task of hand-picking the 160 students who would
spend the next 10 months under the same roof.
He enjoyed being able to select a good mix of students from
public and private schools, urban and rural areas and from
all over the country, he said.
Over the year they became a tight community and the small
number allowed them to all get to know each other.
Friendships formed at Selwyn often lasted a lifetime, he
While a tennis court, squash court, pool table, music room,
video games and SkyTV were available to help students relax
and socialise, many competitions and activities strengthened
One of the well-known activities was the Selwyn Ballet, open
to any male student at the college.
"They take it very seriously," Dr Clark said, to ensure they
looked professional for their audiences.
The Leith Run was known as an entertaining event which would
be held tomorrow.
It involved Selwyn students carrying a bath tub down the
Leith while ex-residents threw flour bombs and eggs at them.
Sporting and cultural challenges also occurred on a regular
basis with rival college Knox.
Another important part of the family mentality was meal time.
"Eating together and sharing every day is really important to
us," Dr Clark said.
He was present at each meal where notices about college life
He placed importance in personal interaction between college
staff and students.
While parents would be pleased to know their children were
eating in a civilised manner, the students would be more
concerned about what they were eating.
Selwyn College prided itself on its changeable menu which
appeared to keep students happy.