O Week chaos helps freshers

OUSA president Caitlin Barlow-Groome wants the student executive to become more visible on campus...
OUSA president Caitlin Barlow-Groome wants the student executive to become more visible on campus. Photo: Linda Robertson
Otago University Students’ Association president Caitlin Barlow-Groome (22) knows from experience the chaos of Orientation helps homesick first-year students fit into the city.

"Getting thrown in the deep end forces you to get out of your comfort zone and make new friends."

The student representative remembered her own first-year O Week as being "pretty crazy".

"I’d just come down from Lower Hutt. I got the super pass and went to everything."

Her personal recommendation this year was the immersive set of New Zealand electronic artist Baynk at the Down the Rabbit Hole event at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday night.

One of Ms Barlow-Groome’s key policies is to increase activities on campus.

This could include small things like placing board games around the grounds, installing sports equipment such as

basketball hoops and booking food trucks to create small fairs, she said.

The student executive is  also pushing a voluntary glass ban throughout Orientation to reduce broken glass  around the campus.

"I’ve already noticed less glass being bought, which means less broken glass on the street."

While plastic alternatives were not necessarily environmentally friendly, it was much safer than the broken glass, which would end up in a landfill anyway, she said.

"We want to keep it going, but we can’t keep pressure on liquor stores which don’t really have a choice to sell glass. We’ll give another big push around Reorientation."

Ms Barlow-Groome is studying for a bachelor of commerce degree, majoring in finance and economics.

Next  year she wants to travel, but she is  unsure about her future career.

Last year she held the position of recreation officer, which familiarised her with student governance, she said.

"You learn what does work and what doesn’t. It definitely prepped me for this year."

The executive needed to improve its visibility and student engagement, she said.

"Students knowing who we are has been a flaw over the last few years."

Her view of the purpose of the student executive was to allow students to "have a good time" by giving them a place to discuss their issues and  attempt to  solve their problems.

She believes the student executive has the autonomy to petition the university.

"We wouldn’t do anything dramatic like taking over their clock tower, but I think we’re separate enough to stand up and say ‘that’s not right’."



What’s On


9am-4pm: Tent City and lawn activities

7.30pm - 8.30pm: Convocation Ceremony


9am - 4pm: Tent City and lawn activities

1.30pm-finish: Sports Day

9pm-11pm: Space Jam & Chill


9am-4pm: Tent City and lawn activities

9am-3pm: Rummage Sale

8pm-11am: Toga Party — Sweet Mix Kids, Times x Two & Hot Donnas


10am-3pm: Clubs Day

8pm-midnight: Chase & Status (DJ Set) + Rage + Homebrew + Aroha & Tali & Alby


7.30pm-10pm: Rugby — Highlanders v Blues


8pm-midnight: Down the Rabbit Hole — Hot Dub Time Machine, Baynk & Scarfé


5pm-8pm: International Food Festival

Friday, March 2

8pm-midnight: Outer Limits Ft. Young Thug, Peking Duk, Sigrid, Maala

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