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July 22, 2013 | by  | in News |
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Re-Orientation Lives Up to Expectations

Students have been left screaming for more, but not in the good way, as University re-orientation activities underwhelm again.

For the second year running, students have been disappointed by a lacklustre re-orientation schedule, after both the University and VUWSA organised a weak array of events—proving to students two wrongs don’t make a right.

Organised by the University were jazz sessions in the Hub, to celebrate Victoria’s recent purchase of a recording label. At the University-organised Clubs Week, stall-holders based inside the Hub were told they could not provide any food to students other than lollies.

“Health and safety considerations guide restrictions on what food and beverages can be prepared and sold inside the Hub. In particular, these relate to the preparation and sale of hot foods and beverages,” Associate Director of Campus Operations Rainsforth Dix said.

The stalls would not be covered by these regulations if they were operating outside the Hub.

Organised for Re-O Week by VUWSA was a House Party held at Hope Bros, Mid-Winter Feast barbecues, and chances to win tickets to Shapeshifter’s upcoming Wellington show. As previously reported in Salient, the difficult funding model which VUWSA operates under was responsible for the poor event calendar. VUWSA did not seek University funding for Re-O Week, despite it being available.

“The focus is going to be on the end of the year for providing something better,” Vice-President (Engagement) Mica Moore has said.

Shapeshifter was advertised as a Re-O Week event, despite the show being eight days after Re-O Week and organised by an independent promoter as part of Shapeshifter’s nationwide tour. Students could buy tickets at a discounted price, $50—$12.50 less than regular tickets—whether or not they were a VUWSA member.

Ticket sales to the House Party had been slow throughout the week, but had picked up by Thursday. When Salient went to print, VUWSA was intending to give away many free tickets on the day. Tickets to the House Party cost $10, for which attendees received $4 house drinks and a possible share of free keg beer. The drinks deals were not advertised on event posters, leading VUWSA Executive members to worry not enough people would show up. While drinks deals are often the biggest drawcard to such events, the University’s alcohol policies prohibit advertising.

The House Party was aimed at first-year students, though Hall residents spoken to by Salient dismissed VUWSA’s efforts to attract them.

“Maybe if it was actual O-Week it would’ve been cool, but we all have better places to go,” said the student, who was not aware of the drink specials on offer.

“It’s not even in a house,” she added.

Barbecues were held every day at the Kelburn campus, but only once at two of Victoria’s three satellite campuses: Pipitea and Te Aro. A Karori barbecue originally scheduled for Monday was postponed due to “weather and capacity issues”, said Moore. The Karori event is expected to take place in week two or three instead.

VUWSA’s engagement with satellite campuses is commonly criticised by students, with 2013 Re-O Week no exception. Salient spoke to a third-year student based at the Te Aro campus, who described his campus as “consistently overlooked”.

“We don’t really see anything from them, it’s like we don’t exist,” said the student.

“At least we’re not missing out on anything good.”

Despite the lacklustre calendar, 2013’s Re-O Week was a vast improvement on 2012, which saw a Pyjama Party attended by less than 20 students.

Next week, Salient will have an in-depth look at the ongoing problems facing student events.

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