We know that living in a new place can feel a little daunting. We've got lots of measures in place to keep you as safe as possible. You also need to play your part in this and not take any unnecessary risks.
Tips for staying safe
We want you to have an awesome experience while studying with us so here's a few tips for keeping yourself safe during Orientation and throughout your studies:
- Fully charge your phone before you head out.
- Make a plan to eat something before you start drinking.
- Lock your flat. Talk to your flatmates about locking up, taking your key with you.
- Plan how you're getting home at the end of your night.
- Save some cash or money on your card just in case you need to pay for transport home.
- Stick together. It’s easy to lose people in clubs so always let your friends know where you're going.
- Have a place to meet up with your friends if you get separated.
- Pace yourself, have a glass of water between each alcoholic drink.
- Be aware of the risk of drink spiking - don’t leave your drink unattended or accept any drinks that you haven't personally seen poured, especially from strangers.
- Look after your friends, are you going home with the same number of people you headed out with?
- Keep to main streets and well-lit areas.
- Save a taxi number into your phone.
- Save Campus Watch contact to your phone: 0800 479 5000
- Think about some things you could say if you’re feeling uncomfortable with a situation e.g.:
- I’m here with someone
- Hang on I just have to text my friend
- I have to go help my friend
- I have to leave now, might see you later
Need to talk?
If you've had a negative experience and would like to talk to someone, please reach out to our Student Support team. We have trained counsellors, student advisors, and chaplains so you can choose the best service to suit you.
- General student support contact details (if you just want to talk but not to anyone specific)
- Chaplain contact details
- Māori Chaplain contact details
- Counselling services
- Te Punaka Ōwheo (Māori Student Support Centre)
- Pasifika support
- International student support
Campus Watch (Dunedin)
The Campus Watch team is a group of staff employed to watch out for you.
Five teams work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You'll recognise them by their distinctive uniforms of blue and gold, with fluro vests/jackets, walking around campus and North Dunedin.
They do have a University of Otago emblem on their uniform but they are 100% there for Otago Polytechnic students too!
Their role is essentially pastoral - acting as "walking info booths" on a range of issues.
Their duties include manning the Safety Patrol, providing "walks home" and ensuring student behaviour is kept to a reasonable level.
Campus Cop (Dunedin)
As well as our Campus Watch crew, you might also see our Campus Cop, John Woodhouse, out and about.
You can touch base with John by emailing email@example.com or calling 021 190 5950.
If you feel unsafe at any stage, it is always ok to call the Emergency Services for help.
- Call 111 for urgent emergency situations (Police)
- Call *555 for non-urgent situations (Police)
There are CCTV cameras onsite around campus and swipe access to a lot of our buildings after-hours.
It's a good idea to keep your valuables with you or OPSA can look after your items during office hours if needs be.