Great for ‘breaking ice’

Dylan Mead.
Dylan Mead.
Otago Polytechnic Students’ Association (OPSA) president Dylan Mead.

How important is OWeek for Otago Polytechnic students?

I feel OWeek is a very important time for Otago Polytechnic students. Otago Polytechnic Orientation Week gives students an opportunity to really connect with other members of the class and is a great tool for "breaking the ice" and creating the class bond that Otago Polytechnic creates.

Do you have fond memories of past OWeeks and what is a highlight for you?

I always love Orientation Week and getting to see a bunch of new faces around the campus. It is such a positive sign to see so many students willing to further themselves with education. Fond memories are always meeting new classmates and the highlights are catching up with friends who have been away over the summer break.

Is the OWeek experience  for Otago Polytechnic students different from that of university students?

Otago Polytechnic has its own OWeek so it has a slightly different experience than our partnering students’ association at the university. However, we still cater for the students the same way as the university’s OWeek. We also encourage students to go and attend university events, as it allows the students to broaden themselves within Dunedin, and create networks with other students outside of Otago Polytechnic.

Does the OPSA run any of its own events during the week?

Yes. This year we ran our own version of Tent City called Hub City and invited outside providers as well as partnering providers to promote themselves to our Otago Polytechnic students.

What do you hope to achieve in the year ahead?

My goal is to bring Otago Polytechnic together, especially the schools who sit outside of the main campus building, and create a comradeship between schools while adding a little bit of competition into the mix. I also hope to achieve a greater bond with OUSA to build a strong student environment down here in Dunedin.

What advice do you have for students who are new to Dunedin?

Take your time to settle down into your new environment. Dunedin can be a beautiful and fun-loving town which is great for all. Be sensible as a student — there are times that can be testing and the decisions you make now can be the decisions which determine you. Stay true to who you are and don’t let anyone tell you any different — you are all strong-willed and have the ability to strive for greatness.

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