Week seven months in the planning

Otago University Students' Association (OUSA) events and communications manager Dan Hendra has...
Otago University Students' Association (OUSA) events and communications manager Dan Hendra has plenty to organise during O-Week. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
OUSA events and communications manager Dan Hendra talks to reporter Vaughan Elder about what it takes to organise O-Week.

Q: When do you start organising for O-Week?
We start planning around August, sketching out plans and ideas, then start researching artists and current acts, etc, in September, so it's about a seven-month project.

Q: What gets you through the week?
A great team, good quality food, quality sleep and a good pair of shoes!

Q: What will you be doing on a daily basis during the week?
Overlooking and managing teams of people, troubleshooting, making sure everything happens on time, in the right place with the right people. And supporting my team throughout this big week. I work long hours as we have both daytime activities and night-time gigs.

Q: What's the most challenging thing about organising and working through O-Week?
The long hours over the week and having to make major calls on the spot under sometimes stressful conditions. Beforehand, troubleshooting up to 100 questions, queries or issues each day in the lead-up to and during the massive event that is Orientation.

Q: What's the strangest thing you have to do as part of the job?
Asking a couple who were getting a bit ''frisky'' on the Union lawn to move to a less public location.

Q: What is rewarding about the job?
Working on a major project for seven months with an awesome team, and pulling off the biggest and best Orientation in New Zealand history.

Q: How many staff and volunteers does OUSA have for O-Week?
Over Orientation we fluctuate to about 100 staff and up to 100 volunteers.

Q: What are some of the jobs they will be doing?
Staff will be overlooking production, safety, bands, promotions, ticketing, tent city management, daily competitions and much more Volunteers will be helping with ushering, coat check, traffic management, daily set-ups and pack-downs of tent city and games, ticketing, etc.

Q: How will you feel at the end of the week?
Exhausted. I've already booked a massage for the Sunday.

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