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March 4, 2012 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Freshers Claim O Week Fresh

Alongside drinking too much and pashing strangers, last week hundreds of Victoria students enjoyed the Neon Toga Party, UK rapper Roots Manuva, and New Zealand dubstep group Mt Eden at the Hunter Lounge.

Student responses to the line-up were mixed, with many disappointed by the 2012 O Week in comparison to Otago University’s O Week. This year, students at Otago University were treated to Shapeshifter, Shihad, David Dallas, Homebrew, and P-Money and PNC, amongst other big-name acts.

Many students also felt that VUWSA’s 2012 line-up was weak following the 2011 O Week, which included big-name acts MGMT, De La Soul and Ministry of Sound’s Tom Piper, amongst others.

O Week seemed to be relatively successful nonetheless, with two of last week’s three main events sold out, and Roots Manuva well-attended.

Last Tuesday, Salient’s Co-Editors Asher Emanuel and Ollie Neas and News Editor Stella Blake-Kelly donned bedsheets and spoke to students at the Neon Toga Party about how they were finding VUWSA O Week. Most of the crowd there were first years, many of whom were very impressed with how the week was going so far.

“We love it! It’s pretty good… Yeah, I mean, being drunk by 9pm, it’s pretty intense and kinda sad…

But it’s like, in O Week, you need to drink, go to an event, drink again, and go to town,” explained a Weir House resident from Palmerston North.

All students spoken to by Salient were overwhelmingly positive about the Neon Toga Party in particular.

“It’s going really really really good! Really really really really good. And my name’s Angeli and I do commerce. Will I be famous now?”

Despite the enthusiastic responses from first years spoken to by Salient, Victoria’s 2012 O Week had left others disappointed.

“[It’s] horribly underwhelming. The Otago one takes a dump all over it,” said one student.

In a poll run on the Salient Facebook page asking how students felt about the O Week line-up, the second most popular response after “I am incapable of emotion”, was “Outrage. I’m transferring to Otago, even though it’s shit.” Of eleven votes for “Happiness” and “Contentment”, four of these were from members of the VUWSA Executive.

Despite this criticism, VUWSA President Bridie Hood remained positive about O Week when spoken to by Salient last week.]

“Orientation has been a great start to the 2012 academic year … It’s great to see students getting involved and getting amongst it.”

When asked why VUWSA’s O Week was less impressive than both last year’s and other universities’ orientation weeks, Hood explained that funding and timing constraints had been major factors.

“We started planning for O Week 2012 in the middle of last year. As you know, [Voluntary Student Membership] was passed in late September… So we discussed with the University about sorting out a contract; that contract took time to sort out.

“Associations and institutions have all dealt with VSM and the challenges that it brings in a different way, and this is the way that VUWSA and Vic have worked together in our new environment.”

In his blog, VUWSA Treasurer William Guzzo explained the situation in more detail.

“Negotiations [stalled] as the University [became] painstakingly bureaucratic. Emails from VUWSA are not replied to; people politics get in the way… [Association Manager Mark Maguire was] unable to get big bands due to not having any money to give them, as the University kept on mucking VUWSA around.”

Guzzo concluded that VUWSA had “done a fantastic job with O Week, given the context”.

This week orientation events continue, with VUWSA Clubs Week, Comedy Night, Hypnotist Show, and Sounds in the Sun taking place across Victoria Universities campuses.

As Salient went to print, the sold-out Mt Eden show appeared to be “going off”, with a sea of fist-pumps able to be seen every time the strobe light flashed.

Outside a female fan was heard yelling, “Suck my dick!”, whilst another stumbled into the Salient office, Blue V in hand, asking if staffers knew where the toilets were. Salient staff seemed disappointed when Emanuel sent her away.


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  1. I wouldn’t have minded seeing Roots Manuva. Witness the Fitness is a great song.

    Plus it’s about integration and meeting new people at the end of the day. If you’re left disappointed at the end of an event like this, you have to ask yourself “what did I put into it?” Sometimes it’s about more than turning up and expecting to be entertained.

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