Students worse now? Not quite

Former Selwyn College residents (from left) High Court Judge Justice Simon Moore, the Anglican...
Former Selwyn College residents (from left) High Court Judge Justice Simon Moore, the Anglican Archbishop of New Zealand, the Most Rev Philip Richardson, businessman and former Rugby World Cup-winning All Blacks captain David Kirk and former prime minister Bill English talk about their younger days during the Selwyn College 125th anniversary reunion welcoming event last night. Photo: Linda Robertson
Many have argued today’s students are far more unruly than their predecessors.

But former Rugby World Cup-winning All Blacks captain David Kirk is a shining example of how little student life in Dunedin has changed over the years.

During a gathering in Dunedin last night for the Selwyn College 125th anniversary reunion,  the former  college resident said if anything, student behaviour had improved.

"The thing about university then, as it is now, is you just had to balance everything.

"You worked hard, and if you were a sports person, you played sports, or you did drama or music or whatever it was. But then you had fun as well."

Dr Kirk said a  lot of the  high jinks was about making friends and sealing bonds, "and having as much dirt on them as they had on you".

"We did some crazy things — mostly associated with too much drinking.

"We would take doors off rooms, we would take a complete room and put it out on the tennis court . . .

"And we would actually swap rooms around. We’d take everything out of one room and put it in a different room so the person would walk into their room and it wasn’t their room."

The 57-year-old believed today’s students were more responsible than those in his day.

"I don’t think there’s quite so much foolish drinking.

"There was a lot of drinking for the sake of it in my day, which I think those of us who were there would say was not our finest hour."

Dr Kirk  was one of about 250 former residents, including High Court Judge  Justice Simon Moore, the Anglican Archbishop of New Zealand the Most Rev  Philip Richardson and former prime minister Bill English, who would attend the weekend’s festivities.

The reunion began yesterday afternoon with a golf tournament at the Otago Golf Club, and will continue today and tomorrow with campus tours, photos, a cricket match, a dinner and speech by Mr English, and a church service.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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