Staunch University Presence for St Patty’s

Staunch University Presence for St Patty’s

I love it when my RA sees me on ket

The University is set to take a stand on St Patrick’s Day, utilising subbies and a host of others to take an organised security approach during the event. 

Subwarden Rachel* told Critic Te Ārohi about the Uni’s planned presence on the day: “They were trying to get the halls involved last year but this time, the whole approach is organised.” She said that residential college staff would be posted up at Brackens Lookout (aka the Cemetery) by 8am, alleging that as many as five staff from each hall would be in amongst on the day.

Confirming some of these claims, the University’s Student Services Director Claire Gallop stated to Critic Te Ārohi that “last year University staff from a number of areas worked at Brackens Lookout, seeking to assist young people gathering there to be safe and lawful and to assist with the cleanup. This will happen again this year.” Claire also confirmed rumours that “all of our residential colleges are guests-free during St Patrick’s weekend.” RIP your sneaky link.  

Hall staff were briefed on Friday the 15th, allegedly being told to “jump in front of ODT cameras” as Rachel reported. “We can’t really tell them to piss off, but we are allowed to ruin their shots by blocking off their cameras.” 

Though security is a key focus on the day, Claire also highlighted that education around the event would be of paramount importance: “The University takes the pastoral care of its students extremely seriously and spends a great deal of time and resources educating, informing, and working with students to ensure they socialise in a way that is both fun and safe.” 

To do this, the University is working closely with OUSA and other community partners, including the DCC, Police, St John’s and FENZ. Campus Watch was sent last week to doorknock North D flats encouraging them to register any planned hosts with ‘Good One’ (fantastic site btw). 

Commenting on the uptake in security measures on the day, one student, Sophie, said that, “I kinda understand the need for it.” Speaking on the closure of residential colleges to guests, she said, “Yeah, I guess, but I wanted to have my boyfriend over.” A loss for those among us lucky enough to pull. Before being told that there would be a university presence on the day, a student, Belle, told Critic Te Ārohi, “They should really look into putting some security measures in place.” After hearing that they would be she was more than pleased. 

Claire reiterated that “flat gatherings and street parties to celebrate St Patrick’s Day are not endorsed by the University of Otago. However, the University and its community partners are working together to do everything we can to keep everyone as safe as possible on St Patrick’s Day.” Critic wishes them the luck of the Irish in their endeavours.

*Name changed.

This article first appeared in Issue 4, 2024.
Posted 5:59pm Sunday 17th March 2024 by Hugh Askerud.