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February 19, 2007 | by  | in Opinion |
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PRESIDENT geoff

It’s finally here! Welcome back, Victoria students, from first-years to post-grads. Another year to study hard, work hard and party hard. Orientation is not just about getting your bearings with the new year of study, it’s there to remind you that student life is not just sitting in lectures and tutorials. We’ve organised clubs days, market stalls, the Naked Bus Deck Series, bathtub racing, a hacky-sack competition, awareness workshops, The Great Debate, BBQs, The Suburban Safari (the new Capital Punishment), live acts (Katchafire, NOFX, Juliette and The Licks, OdESSA, Kitsch, Phoenix Foundation as well as some fine comedy acts), Hangover Hangi and the Ska-B-Q. All of these events are supported by VUWSA, your students’ association.

I wanted to write about two events in particular: firstly, a free concert for students is being held on Monday, February 26, at 8pm in the Union Hall. It features two brilliant Kiwi funk acts, Odessa and The Aviators, so come down and support Kiwi music. Secondly, the Pipitea Club Carnival is being held on March 2, featuring performances by Don Franks, The Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra and The Cloghoppers, as well as prizes, giveaways, lots of fun activities, food (and a bar) and, most importantly, stalls for our cultural and sporting clubs as well as VicCom and the Law Students’ Society. Get down to the Pipitea Campus between 11am and 3pm and join in with the festivities. Keep an eye out for these and other events. You can buy tickets for our shows at VUWSA Kelburn, Cosmic Corner and VicBooks stores. Also, keep a look out for our Student Survival Packs. You’ll find them around campus from the 26th onwards. I haven’t seen a pack so full of free stuff before.

This year’s Orientation Theme is “Slip Slop Slap and Wrap”. Yeah, I know it’s as old as Moses, but the message is as important today as it ever was. Over 300 New Zealanders are dying from skin cancer every year. Skin cancer is by far the most common cancer affecting New Zealanders, with melanoma being the most serious. New Zealand has one of the highest melanoma death rates in the world (in 2001, 244 people died from melanoma and 96 from related skin cancers). What’s worse is that for those under 20 the risks of melanoma are higher than for others. However, most skin cancer can be avoided by following some simple advice:

1. Slip into a shirt – and head for the shade, especially between 11am and 4pm when the ultraviolet rays are fierce.

2. Slop on some SPF30+ sunscreen (on unclothed skin) at least 15 minutes before going outdoors.

3. Slap on a hat with a brim or a cap with flaps. More people get burned on the face and neck than any other part of the body, so a good hat is important.

4. Wrap on a pair of close-fitting, wrap-around sunglasses. Following this message of safety is VUWSA’s commitment to students’ well-being during VUWSA events. In addition to providing event safe-spaces and safety officers for off-campus events, we will be working with the police, Student Union, the Wellington City Council, Walkwise and the University’s Harm Minimisation Committee to make sure that this Orientation is not just a whole heap of fun, but a safe time as well.

I would also like to thank those who are rarely acknowledged: our volunteers, out there giving up their time to make Orientation a success. This year the ‘Slip Slop Slappers’ will be out in force, working with VUWSA in promoting and organising events. Keep an eye out for their t-shirts. If you want to help out, contact VUWSA for more information. So enjoy the rest of the hot summer, stay safe in the sun and I’ll see you about the campuses, pitying the fools who don’t slip slop slap!

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