New events signal shift in focus for uni Re-Orientation

‘‘King of Kart’’ co-ordinators (from left) Oli Cameron, Scotty Godsall, Luke Matsopoulos and Emma...
‘‘King of Kart’’ co-ordinators (from left) Oli Cameron, Scotty Godsall, Luke Matsopoulos and Emma Anderson set up the screen for their Mario Kart tournament on Friday. Photo: Linda Robertson
Dunedin is getting ready to welcome back thousands of university students next week, when Re-Orientation begins - but organisers are aiming for a quiet start to the semester rather than boozy celebrations.

The eight-day Re-Ori event is organised by the Otago University Students’ Association and coincides with the start of lectures on July 9.

While the highlight would be Kendrick Lamar performing at the Forsyth Barr Stadium on July 17, events manager Jason Schroeder said this year the emphasis had been taken off events in the evening that would promote a lot of drinking, with the introduction of a Fantasy Quiz and a five-day Mario Kart N64 "King of Kart" tournament instead.

The tournament will be held in the main common room in Union Hall and projected on to large screens. Fellow organiser Luke Matsopoulos said there would be couches and an "authentic old-school" TV for spectators to watch - to capture "that 1996 feel".

"We are encouraging people to dress up."

The winner of the knockout competition would be pitted against a renowned Mario Kart champion from Central Otago, for a prize that was yet to be revealed. The fantasy quiz, on July 10, would test participants’ knowledge of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones and Star Wars.

An international food festival featuring food from 20 different groups will be held on the campus, near the university staff club, at 4pm on Saturday July 14.

The festival was usually a favourite, drawing 3000 or 4000 people every year and serving hot winter food.

This year, three new groups will join the festival lineup: the Latino Club, the Otago University Cambodian Club and the Otago University Vietnamese Students Association.

One of the few events to be held in the evening is the Charity Fight Night in the Union Hall, which will feature 13 pairs of sparring students each raising money for a charity.

The event had not sold out yet, but sales would be "heating up" this week, Mr Schroeder said.

UK drum and bass band Hybrid Minds will also be performing in the union common room on July 12. Tickets to the concert had sold out. 

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