SUBMITTED BY STUDENT LIFE CANTERBURY:
Due to the UCSA grant Student Life Canterbury were able to attend the Student Life South Island annual conference. Travelling to Queenstown to meet up with Student Life Otago, Student Life Canterbury, as a club, spent five days at building their teamwork skills, fun activities and developing friendships. Leaving a legacy in life is something we all inherently aspire to; this conference aided and motivated us to consider what legacy our lives will leave. Furthermore the conference was a vital community-building event for developing cohesiveness within our club. First year students were connected with students more advanced in their degrees and firm relationships were founded.
Although we fundraised for conference with our annual “Walkathon”, this only covered the cost of accommodation, food and registration. Thanks to the UCSA, we were able to provide transport for UC students free of charge. This enabled more students to come, who otherwise might have been financially inhibited.
Spending eight hours together on the bus proved to be a test of endurance – but not without benefits! We discovered who had the weakest bladder only one hour into the trip with someone needing the entire bus to stop so they could relieve themselves. On the benefits ledger, we experienced some of the South Island’s best views on the trip (Mt Cook, Lake Tekapo, etc) as well as having deep and meaningful discussions which only eight hours together can produce. Through the bus ride, our community as a club was established and reinforced.
At the conference, students from both campuses were split into ten teams which were creatively named. Working as a team in these groups, club members competed to win fun activities, such as eating challenges, balancing challenges, and an amazing race challenge. Through these challenges, everyone had a lot of fun and developed teamwork skills. Additionally, as the teams were randomised, connections were built outside of normal friendship circles which included University of Otago students.
In Queenstown, the bus was used to visit the township and engage in many of the conference activities. It was in fact through the medium of the fun activities that students were able to meet people they have never met before and talk to people they already knew. By doing this students got to know each other better, which formed better friendships between each other, whether the students were from Canterbury or Otago.
As a club, Student Life Canterbury would like to express appreciation to the UCSA for this grant and resolve to bring a conducive caring community back to our campus for the benefit of the University. Thank you.