Debatable: Should Hyde residents have to pay for tickets to the Hyde Street Party?

Debatable: Should Hyde residents have to pay for tickets to the Hyde Street Party?

Debatable is a column written by the Otago University Debating Society. The Debating Society welcomes new members and meets at the Business School every Tuesday at 6pm.

For: Liam Gould 

Okay, so it might be a bit stink that on top of overpaying for what is likely a cold and damp flat on Hyde Street, residents also pay $20 for tickets to a party hosted on their street. Some would argue that because it's their street and they’re the ones opening up their flats, they shouldn't be expected to pay.

This logic, of course, ignores the fact that Hyde Street is an expensive event for OUSA to run, and the benefits that come from it are debatable at best. Firstly, there's absolutely no way that Hyde would still be around if it wasn't for OUSA’s intervention, which took a previously overcrowded and dangerous event and turned it into something that is far safer, better organised and – more importantly – a party the existence of which OUSA and DCC now willingly tolerate. 

OUSA provides a useful service in hiring out security guards, providing amenities, and generally ensuring this iconic party can continue. It goes without saying that there will be a cost to this. Since the costs and profit of running this event is only ever going to break even for OUSA, it is completely reasonable they charge residents for their service. Plus, it's not like the residents of Hyde aren't receiving some advantage from flatting there in paying only a third of what non-residents have to pay for tickets. Being able to ignore the lottery and invite a good chunk of mates of your choosing is also a pretty sweet deal. All things considered, it really isn't that big of a deal to expect them to chip in and help with the cost of hosting. 

Against: Ollie Thorns 

For some reason, the world is especially extortionate when it comes to students. A box will cost you $30, rent is about the cost of a kidney, and on top of all this, Hyde residents are expected to pay a fee for simply partying on their own street? It's like the DCC and OUSA enjoy watching students live off instant noodles. Imagine getting charged for the litter other people trash your street with? This is basically what’s happening to the residents of Hyde. They've got their own sanitation (mostly), they've got their own bins, bathrooms, and brooms, and yet here are a horde of rowdy students making a great big mess which they are paying for. 

Making Hyde residents pay for the party presents a unique threat to student wellbeing. Eventually, residents are not going to want to host and will become apathetic towards OUSA, diminishing the sense of unity that comes with getting wasted on Hyde. Besides, why should the residents pay? Their entire day seems like a fight for survival. The brigade of drunk (at best) Otago students probably has enough force to stage a coup.

Given the bond money that’ll inevitably be lost at the flats, it’s reasonable to say our comrades on Hyde are paying for a sacrifice that could very easily be made less shitty. Just don’t charge them, and make less expensive wristbands or something? Students are already suffering in this cost of living crisis the older generation created. Let us be and don't charge people for living on their street during a party you decided to take control of. Besides, if they don't pay, what are you going to do? Lock them in their flats or kick them out for the day? Get real. 

This article first appeared in Issue 6, 2024.
Posted 10:07pm Friday 5th April 2024 by Liam Gould and Ollie Thorns.