Toga party a taste of student life

University of Otago students donned their best bedding for a night of music and meeting fellow first-years at the annual O Week toga party yesterday.

The Union Lawn was awash with a sea of white as first-year students filed into the grounds, some straight to the dance floor and others to the drinks stand.

OUSA president Keegan Wells said there was always something in the air for toga night.

"It’s the first big event for first years, and one that is seen more than other events — everyone loves a theme and a dress-up.

"I think that the preparation for any event is just as important as the actual night, and you see that in the culture now with getting ready together. It’s almost ceremonial."

Two students new to Dunedin were loving their experience so far.

Daniel Jason Shaw, of Auckland, said his first few days in his hall of residence, Carrington College, had been filled with loud music, socialising and some drinks, but insisted his week also involved "13 hours of studying per day".

University of Otago first-year students gather on the Union Lawn in togas to listen to music,...
University of Otago first-year students gather on the Union Lawn in togas to listen to music, dance and socialise for their first taste of what student life has to offer. Photo: Linda Robertson
"It’s a new experience for sure — the loud music and social events. It’s all part of university."

For fellow Carrington College resident Issac Hallam, the night was just beginning but said so far it was looking good.

"I hope it’s good. We’re hoping to let loose and just have a good time."

Mr Hallam said he could not quite get the hang of the art of draping the bed sheet and spent "way too long" trying to get it to stay in place.

Mr Shaw, however, had an easier time and wrapped his sheet in a record time of five minutes.

Both of them were excited and looking forward to starting classes but Mr Shaw admitted he was a "little nervous".

"Just a little, not a lot, but there’s a lot of excitement, too."