Students chill out at toga party

Hundreds of white bed sheets, blankets and pillow cases were all that shielded thousands of students from a chilly Dunedin night.

One end of Forsyth Barr Stadium was a sea of white as about 3000 students donned sheets of various shapes and sizes for the Otago University Student Association's annual toga party.

A throng of students get into the spirit of the Otago University Student Association's annual toga party last night, while Dunedin band the Hot Donnas play the opening set of the event. Photo: Gregor Richardson
A throng of students get into the spirit of the Otago University Student Association's annual toga party last night, while Dunedin band the Hot Donnas play the opening set of the event. Photo: Gregor Richardson

Despite it being a chilly 11degC outside, the mostly first-year students seemed to find the area set aside for them more than welcoming.

Medical science student Harry Thorp, of Oamaru, said he had bought the bedsheet he was wearing as a toga so he would have something to sleep in when he got back to his room.

He said he was looking forward to an ''epic'' night before the serious business of study started next week.

A throng of enthusiastic students had formed outside the entrance by 8pm. They filled in the time until they were allowed to enter with various chants, many aimed at residents of Arana College.

A team of security guards made sure the students abided by the temporary alcohol ban in the stadium surrounds and in nearby Logan Park. There was also a noticeable police presence.

Inside the stadium, St John and Otago University Students' Association AreYou OK? volunteers were ready to help any students in need.

University of Otago vice-chancellor Harlene Hayne watched as the students arrived and even posed for a photo.

A police spokeswoman said that, as of 10.30pm, there had been no arrests or disorder associated with the event but police remained on site as a preventive measure.

tim.miller@odt.co.nz

 

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