Security, support set up on campus

The University of Otago's Campus Watch has extended its safety patrol following the Christchurch mosque shootings - and student groups on campus are keen to make a difference through their fundraising efforts to support those affected.

The Red Cross students' group and other student associations are organising a drive to collect baking and letters of support for Dunedin Muslim and migrant communities, as well as medical staff and police in Christchurch.

They will be collecting these tomorrow at the Otago University Students' Association Clubs and Societies building, from 1pm to 7pm.

''Thankfully, all of our staff and students on the Christchurch campus are safe, but this is a very small country with a close-knit community and everyone will undoubtedly know someone who has been deeply affected by this atrocity,'' a statement from the university, circulated to staff and students, said.

A drop-in centre on the Dunedin campus for students struggling to deal with the effects of the shootings has also been organised and is running in the university union hall area having the support of the university chaplain and health professionals.

Another centre is also being provided to students on the Christchurch campus.

The original target of the shootings was reportedly Al Huda mosque in Clyde St, North Dunedin, and the mosque has been closed by police until further notice.

The university released a statement saying in Dunedin students could call Campus Watch if they wanted to be driven home late at night by the university's safety patrol transport service, the service now being extended to seven days a week, 11pm to 3am.

Campus Watch's ''walk home'' service for students was continuing, and had always operated 24/7.

An OUSA spokeswoman said the group had 200 Muslim members, and had set up a message board and book in the foyer of its office, for students to convey their support for the Muslim University Students' Association group.

Otago University Medical Students' Association and Medical Students for Global Awareness are hosting a soup and quiz night at the Hunter Centre tomorrow, to raise funds for the people and families affected by the Christchurch terror attack.

elena.mcphee@odt.co.nz

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