Otago Polytechnic

Otago Polytechnic regards the safety and wellbeing of all its students as paramount.

Otago Polytechnic, in conjunction with Campus Living Villages (CLV), has a broad range of systems and processes in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the student residents (of which there are currently 226) at regards Te Pā Tauira – Otago Polytechnic Student Village.

As well as a fulltime Village Manager, there are three other staff, including a Community Manager, Evening Duty Manager and Customer Services Administrator. In addition, there are six Residential Assistants (RA) (one RA per each floor, with one extra RA as “cover”).

“We actively encourage a culture of caring at Te Pā Tauira,” Philip Cullen, Deputy Chief Executive, Otago Polytechnic, says.

“We have range of proactive measures to keep students safe. We have active channels to document any concerns around students and residents. Our student support team, our lecturers and our counsellors pass on any concerns they have around health, demeanour and behaviour.

“For example, a student’s regular absence from class would be passed on to the Village Manager and/or the Community Manager to follow up.

“Currently, residents are required to have at least one face-to-face meeting a month with a staff member or Residential Assistant. This provides a forum for students to relay any concerns and allows us to closely monitor student wellbeing.

“We are currently looking at changing the frequency of these meetings to fortnightly, but need to balance this pastoral care with respect for residents’ privacy.

“Any residents experiencing difficulties are encouraged to meet with the village manager.

“The Village Manager and Community Manager also maintain an active spreadsheet that documents any concerns.

“Te Pā Tauira is also directly adjacent to student health and counselling services and these experts interact closely with Te Pā staff.

“We believe the layout of Te Pā Tauira is vital to the wellbeing and interaction of residents, too.

“For example, the main office is positioned next to the main entrance and main ground-floor common room, meaning there is regular and close interaction between staff and residents.

“This proximity also enables staff to observe, supervise and advise residents.

“In addition, the Village Manager, Community Manager and Evening Duty Manager have regular dialogue and interaction with residents, checking with students and helping with any concerns or issues.

“Cleaning staff are also required to report any concerns, including reporting evidence of activity – and inactivity – that might signal something is amiss.

“Weekly rubbish days require residents to place their rubbish bags outside their doors. Also, fortnightly hygiene checks of apartments and studios – but not bedrooms or dormitory bedroom areas – provide another means by which any concerns may be highlighted.

“We have a good relationship with Campus Living Villages, which has developed appropriately strong guidelines and procedures.

“We also have an annual resident survey, during which we ask for feedback and suggestions and we act accordingly.”

Published on 27 Sep 2019

Orderdate: 27 Sep 2019
Expiry: 31 Mar 2020