The buzz is back as students return

Hannah Roxburgh (21) leaps over the rope during the year 1 and  2 Otago Polytechnic occupational...
Hannah Roxburgh (21) leaps over the rope during the year 1 and  2 Otago Polytechnic occupational therapy students' team-building at Logan Park on Friday. Photos by Peter McIntosh.
Brilliant sunshine on Friday was a magnet for students Nick Staples (21) and Rata Harre outside...
Brilliant sunshine on Friday was a magnet for students Nick Staples (21) and Rata Harre outside Mr Staple's Clyde St flat.
Year 1 and  2 occupational therapy students take part in the 
...
Year 1 and  2 occupational therapy students take part in the team-building exercise. Photos by Peter McIntosh.
Second-year student Wade Kelly (19) moves items to his flat.
Second-year student Wade Kelly (19) moves items to his flat.
Students (from left) Nate Parker, Heidi Ashby and Jeni Chang (all 20) work on their laptops...
Students (from left) Nate Parker, Heidi Ashby and Jeni Chang (all 20) work on their laptops outside their Clyde St flat.

The buzz is back. Virtually a student-free zone over summer, North Dunedin and the tertiary campuses are humming again.

At the University of Otago on Friday, a steady stream of students, the first-years travelling in pairs or groups for moral support, completed course confirmation requirements and queued for all-important student ID cards which will get them into "oleven" Orientation events this week.

Otago University Students Association president Harriet Geoghegan and her team is ready for "oleven" and beyond.

"There's a buzz in the air again. It's exciting," she said on Friday.

Dunedin police are ready too.

Twenty-five extra officers had been rostered on throughout this week, Dunedin area commander Inspector Dave Campbell said on Friday.

Additional officers had also been rostered on for weekends over the next few weeks.

Student behaviour during Orientation has improved since the chaos of the George St toga parade two years ago where participants and onlookers pelted each other with eggs, flour bombs, water and faeces, tossed rubbish around and damaged some vehicles and shop fronts.

The parade has not been held since.

Ms Geoghegan said she was not expecting any trouble at official Orientation events this year.

"The problems in the past have happened in uncontrolled environments where extras from outside can come in and cause trouble. All our events this year are indoors, supervised, and staffed by security and volunteers."

Police would be taking a "very firm line on offending" throughout the central city and North Dunedin, Insp Campbell said.

Particular attention would be paid to drunken behaviour and drink-driving.

While he said student behaviour during the first few weeks of the new academic year had "improved a bit" last year, police were aware drunken behaviour was still a problem, especially later at night, near central city bars, on the street and in the North Dunedin student flatting area.

The end of Orientation Week did not mean the end of [bad behaviour], Insp Campbell said.

"We know it continues after Orientation too. That's why we have extra people on at weekends for a while."

The "oleven" programme includes night-time music gigs, a toga party for first-years, comedy shows and performances by a hypnotist, as well as daytime competitions and activities.

Otago Polytechnic students can attend Orientation Week events too.

The Otago Polytechnic Students Association has organised daytime activities on the Forth St campus this week including an "Amazing Race" challenge, a Mad Hatter's tea party and a staff v students soccer match.

Orientation: What's on?

allison.rudd@odt.co.nz

Add a Comment

 

drivesouth-pow-classic-2.png

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter