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February 14, 2005 | by  | in Features |
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Salutations and Suggestions from

“I have much pleasure in welcoming you as a member of the Students’ Association…… in wishing you well for your years at Victoria as a member of the Association, I would urge you not to bury your talents here.”

That is how my predecessor, Doug J White, welcomed students to Victoria University in 1968. I prefer something a little simpler, and slightly less formal:
Gidday, Kia Ora, Welcome

Quite a bit has changed in 37 years. There were only some 4000 students here then, and all based on the Kelburn campus; now there’s close to 20,000 on four campuses and a few studying via distance. International students didn’t even figure in 1968, but make up over 11% of the student body in 2005. In 1968 men easily out-numbered women, but now there are 5 female
students to every 4 males.

A 2003 marketing study at Otago University concluded that Victoria University is perceived by school leavers as “the cool university”. VUWSA is planning to uphold this reputation in 2005.

If you live in a Hall of Residence, there’s the Halls Party this Friday night. There’s a huge Orientation next week, with some massive gigs right here on campus, including The Violent Femmes, The Cat Empire, and The Shins. You are never going to be able to see these bands again for so cheap – simple as that really.

There will also be plenty happening during the day, such as Wellington Pro Wrestling, Clubs Days, and Market Days.

Wellington is a great place to live. Make sure you visit Te Papa and The New Zealand Film Archive, and climb up Mount Victoria or up to the Brooklyn Wind Turbine. If politics floats your boat, Parliament is just down the road – this year is an election year, and the race for Wellington Central is going to be close, between sitting Labour Cabinet Minister, Marian Hobbs, and former Mayor and National candidate, Mark Blumsky.

Have plenty of fun, but some advise from someone who’s been around for a while:
˚ Lecturers and tutors don’t buy the “but I got wasted the night before” excuse.
˚ Cramming at the last minute is about as much fun as a cold meat pie.
˚ Don’t skip lectures and go to the pub unless you want to fail. Go afterwards by all means.
˚ Don’t turn up to lectures drunk – you’ll make a goose of yourself.
˚ Keep up with your readings because you’ll never catch up otherwise.
˚ A Google search is not the same as academic research.
˚ Most importantly, keep safe – look out for yourself and your friends.

Your university years will be some of the most enjoyable and fulfilling of your life. Make the most of it while you can.
All the very best with your studies.
Jeremy Greenbrook
Student President.

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About the Author ()

JEREMY GREENBROOK-Held (BA, BSc) is prematurely middleaged. He is married (sort of), dresses like a Country Road catalogue threw-up on him, and lives in the fashionable Wellington suburb of Oriental Bay. He used to have a huge amount of respect for Wellington taxi drivers for knowing where his out-of-the-way dead-end street was, until he found out that the house two doors up from his was a brothel. He is a postgraduate student, whose masters thesis is a delightfully erotic mix of geography and statistics. On cold winters nights, he longs for the simpler days of yesteryear, when the VUWSA President and Salient Editor were on talking terms. His pet-hate is commerce students – in his opinion, the best thing for them would be a good long stint in Vietnam.

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