Lazy Luddite Log


Orientation Week

The Monash University O-Week (itself just a few days rather than a whole week) fell on days off for me so naturally I visited this iconic event in uni life. I think there were as many student-run groups with stalls present as I have ever seen (how many of them will be active in coming weeks and months is another matter). Groups I had never seen included Ultimate Disk (a sport involving frisbees) and Juggling.

I visited friends at stalls and also took a look at all the other things on offer (like Waterpolo and the Choral Society). One thing that has changed since I was at Monash is the number of promotional stalls from organizations external to campus. The Commonwealth Bank had one of the more interesting attention-getting ploys I have seen - they had a snake handler with live snakes there. I had a biggish constrictor round my neck that decided to arrange itself in such a way that it looked like I had a tie on.

Student groups seemed a bit more pushy in seeking memberships than I remember. There was a lot more in the way of active offering of handbills and the enticing of students over to stalls. I even had someone from a sporting group recommending it to me on the basis of its excellent gender-ratio!

The extra pushiness may be attributed to the introduction by the Howard Government of Voluntary Student Unionism (VSU) - a stupid and potentially damaging policy akin to making local government rates optional. Groups want to get as many members as they can now so they have a decent bank balance with which to survive the cutting of public funds that may result. I have a feeling that some groups will do just fine because they have strong memberships or because they can be run for barely any cost (FOME). The groups that may suffer are those that necessarily have big costs (Waterskiing) or have difficulty attracting members (Chess).

There are so many different groups in society dedicated to particular interests but it can be difficult to access them or even know they exist. I look at O-Week as a kind of 'sampler' of those many interests. In one time and place one can go for a walk and see all these different groups, many of which are integrated into wider networks in society as a whole.



  • I was at the Melbourne Uni O-week event, and I concur with you that the banks were out in force. At Melbourne, the Commonwealth had showbags to give-away, as well as a chance to throw beanbags at a target - I think 'Bank Fees' was in the bullseye. The NAB (not 'The National') also had a 'typical student flat' as their display.

    Put us other clubs to shame.

    By Blogger Ari Sharp, At 02 March, 2006  

  • Lame! Tell them that next time they should use snakes. It was a big hit at Monash!

    By Blogger Daniel, At 03 March, 2006  

Post a comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home