Students urged to make the most of Dunedin

Dunedin City Mayor Dave Cull welcomes University of Otago students for the 2014 academic year....
Dunedin City Mayor Dave Cull welcomes University of Otago students for the 2014 academic year. Photo by Peter McIntosh.

Join a club, try a new sport or explore the city by bus and remember not to do anything you would not do at home.

That was the advice to thousands of first-year University of Otago students from Dunedin City Mayor Dave Cull and University of Otago vice-chancellor Prof Harlene Hayne last night.

The pair and Otago University Students' Association president Ruby Sycamore-Smith officially welcomed the students at an event at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

Mr Cull told students to make Dunedin their home, not just a temporary place to study, and as a result they would find the city would get into their blood.

''You'll leave here ... with an enormous sense of belonging and affection for this place.''

While they were here, there were an extraordinary range of recreational and cultural activities within the city limits to get involved in, he said.

''It's a great way to make new connections.''

While enjoying those activities, it was important to treat the city with the same sense of responsibility as they did their home towns.

''Anyone who thinks they can treat Dunedin like a drunken sailor in a foreign country and take no responsibility, then they've come to the wrong place.''

Prof Hayne echoed the warning, urging students to ''treat it like your home'' and take advantage of the wonderful things the city had to offer.

''Never do anything here you would not do at home.''

She also told students to take a moment to reflect on how lucky they were to receive such an education and on the obligation that brought to not only be the best student they could be, but the best citizen as well.

Ms Sycamore-Smith said this was the year memories were made and the students' association was there to help all students.

''Make the most of it.''

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