You know what they say: Give a man a sausage, he eats for a day. Teach a man to grill, and he’ll love Jesus for life.
A group of young people from Dunedin churches — mostly students — handed out an estimated 3,000 sausages and 1,000 hash browns, free-of-charge, over Re-O week.
Mike Bagge, co-ordinator of the Combined Christian Groups (CCG), told Critic Te Arohi that “we gave out 600 sausages and 200 hash browns on the Wednesday night,” and although they ran out by 12:30am, they “could have kept going if we had more supplies.” While paling in comparison to the 700-800 handed out every night over O-Week, these were certainly not rookie numbers.
Reverend Olivia Dawson, a Campus Chaplain, said when she was at the tent on Thursday night, “everyone was having fun… the enthusiasm and energy is contagious as everyone’s out having a good time with friends. CCG and Are You OK? enjoy chatting with the students.”
A visit by Critic Te Arohi on Wednesday night seemed to confirm this: With little else going on around campus (other than a ridiculous line for the Dimension gig), the CCG tent was a hive of activity, with students clustered around the Union Lawn chatting, a few sprawled on the beanbags drunkenly singing Sunday School songs (of course) and passers-by torn between waiting 20 minutes to get into U-Bar and grabbing a free snag. Most chose to wait in line.
The (CCG) tent is a bit of an O-Week institution, with volunteers from local churches serving up free sausages and hash browns on the Union Lawn until well past midnight. This year, though, was the first time they had participated in Re-O week.
Sage Burke, from OUSA Student Support, said that they began working with CCG during O-Week this year, and found it a positive experience: It enhanced safety and pastoral care on campus and gave people someone to talk to, while also freeing up Are You OK? team members to focus on providing support in more serious situations. They reached out for help again during Re-O week, but there was only one problem: Having spent most of their cash handing out free sausages over O-week, CCG were a bit broke.
Sage says the free sausages this year were funded by OUSA out of Are You OK?’s event food budget. Effectively, it “was what the money would have been spent on anyway.” The bread, napkins, tomato sauce and hash browns were then paid for by individual churches.