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Isolated alcohol incidents have created ... unwarranted animosity towards the entire student population, write students Ben Cochrane and Hugo Norton.
Regarding the Sunday programme on TV about Dunedin students, we are studying in Dunedin and wholeheartedly agree there is a drinking problem, yet we believe the segment presented a very one-sided argument.
Firstly, the University of Otago has played an active role in the closing of three student pubs, leaving students with the choice of either drinking on the streets or venturing to bars far from the student area.
In many cases the antisocial behaviour is committed by visitors who have no respect for our homes.
Isolated incidents have created what we believe to be unwarranted animosity towards the entire student population.
Students bring a vibrant culture to the town and we invite the individuals who have raised concerns to work with us, instead of antagonising us on national television, in the hope of finding a solution.
In regards to the poor treatment of flats in student areas. . . the majority of flats in North Dunedin are often in shocking condition and left unattended by absentee landlords who charge grossly inflated prices.
The episode did not touch on how Dunedin is reliant on students both economically and culturally.
Furthermore, the University of Otago has the harshest student code of conduct in New Zealand.
It allows the university to discipline students for actions undertaken off campus and provides another example of the one-sided attitude towards student behaviour.
Indeed students have received fines from the proctor of up to $350 when the Dunedin City Council and noise control have not found it necessary to take any further action.
We love Dunedin.
We love the close-knit student environment, we love the coast and we love the people.
However, Sunday has unfairly tarnished the reputation of Otago University students and is in no way going to have any positive effect on the drinking culture.
The drinking problem is a national one and it unfair for TVNZ to solely highlight the actions of a select few Dunedin students.