Orientation Huge

Orientation Huge

Matt Damon unimpressed

Orientadium 2012 was the biggest orientation ever, and, for the most part, saw good behaviour from students with few incidents of note.

With the Union building and lawn out of commission (it’s being prettified to the tune of $5.7 million) the week’s events moved to the Forsyth Barr Stadium. The move allowed events to provide for an estimated 4500 attendees at a time. More than two thousand pumped-up freshers attended the Shihad-led concert on Friday, Shapeshifter sold out well before their concert on Saturday, and the annual toga party broke an unofficial world record with 2400 partygoers.

OUSA events manager Kitty Brown reported that the police were pleasantly surprised with the behaviour of students at the sanctioned events. Nevertheless a small number of negative incidents did occur during the week, with several furniture fires in the student quarter. Many of the arrests during the week were however of non-students. Of the fifteen people arrested on Saturday night, only four were Otago students. One Emergency Department nurse from the Dunedin Public Hospital told Critic that this year had seen comparably few injuries or cases of alcohol poisoning among students.

In a refreshing move, Vice-Chancellor Harlene Hayne was active during O-Week events. Hayne was spotted at various events, at one point manning a sausage sizzle, and considered the week “a great success” and “a fantastic opportunity for me to meet students”.

However Hayne was less upbeat regarding students caught engaging in illegal behaviour. “Unfortunately, the antisocial behaviour of some students during the week was extremely dangerous and put their safety and the safety of others at risk. I am meeting personally with some of these students, others have been seen by the Proctor, and others will be seen by the Provost. It is a shame that some of them now face the prospect of expulsion.”

“I am confident that we can eliminate these activities and still maintain a high quality of student life here in Dunedin.”

OUSA President Logan Edgar summed up Orientadium 2012 by saying that “Everything was supersized this year: The bands, comedy, hypnotist, sports day, parent Ori, academic advice, market day; everything was massive.”

Critic spoke to several first-year students about their experiences of O-Week. The overwhelming response was that chanting “fuck Arana” had proved the quickest way to make friends at most social occasions. Another successful orientation then.
This article first appeared in Issue 2, 2012.
Posted 4:53pm Sunday 4th March 2012 by Josie Adams.