For those reading this you would be aware that my favourite time of year is only a week away. Orientation Week is the time of year when the Union, through the power of student creativity, can engage students new and old by providing a taste of everything we offer. There are three full days of clubs & societies out in force, performances from some of the best student talent in the country and a hefty number of freebies around the place – and who doesn’t love a freebie?...
I sat down with this year’s directors, John Fennel and Alistair Stephenson, to get the inside scoop about what it means to go into the wild and what we can expect from this years three-day O-Week extravaganza.
What made you guys decide to take us into the wild this year?
The theme is in line with the way we think about our time at uni. It’s full of adventure, discovery, and fun - but also a touch of darkness and mystery. There are buildings we'll never set foot into, experiences we'll never have, and people we'll never meet. But that’s half the fun of it - it’s a place of endless possibility.
What can we expect to be different about O-Week this year?
No two O-Weeks are alike - each year the directors get a blank canvas upon which they can create their festival. We’ve had such a range of experiences during our time at uni and that’s really come out in the types of events we’re hosting.
Being postgrads, we thought it would be nice to have a 3 Minute Thesis competition. We’ve played Interfaculty Sport in our time, so we’re having a showcase on the front lawn. And we’ve had involvements in various publications, which is why we’re hosting a student publications exhibit, Jungle Books, over at the SciTech Library. It’s also not going to rain, which is heaps different too.
We've also worked hard to expand the line-up - this year we're pushing more events than ever before, and thus a greater diversity of interests will be represented. It's hard to know what's going to be "your thing" when you get to uni (we certainly couldn't have predicted our interests), so we hope a bigger line-up will go some way towards making that easier.
Hey, the rain is a longstanding tradition guys! Are there any returning favourites?
Of course - O-Week wouldn't be O-Week without Speed Dating to creep out the first years, Theatresports keeping everybody on their toes and the spread of hip hop, Quidditch or drama showcases to wow their respective audiences. The executives behind these events work insanely hard and we're not ones to mess with their formulas.
Otherwise - our opening night party, Let the Wild Rumpus Start, kicks off O-Week with DJs, face painting, and onesies. The following night we have our all-ages Comedy Night in MacLaurin Hall, complemented by Sunset Jazz over at Hermanns for the people who’d prefer a drink with their jazz. Our closing night party is our Band Night, Animalia, featuring some of Sydney’s best bands and headlined by Jinja Safari. It’s going to be huge!
What single event are both of you most looking forward to and why?
John: I can’t pick a single event - they’re all great! Shut up! I am really excited about sleeping when it’s all over though...
Al: Animalia, by a long shot. I'm a huge fan of the three bands that'll headline the night, so very keen to see them in action!
My favourite thing about O-Week is the freebies, what can we forage for this year? Please give me event times and locations so I can set up camp early...
With so many events on our schedule, we can’t possibly tell you where to go... meaning you'll have to be at O-Week all day everyday, signing up to all clubs and societies, taking part in all events, and wearing onesies. No questions. Also, it’s all on the USU website.
Well, you know I’ll be running around for freebies, how will you be spending your time during O-Week?
We were hoping Tarzan would swing us around from event to event on a vine. We haven’t given up on making that happen. Otherwise we'll probably be weeping with joy on Eastern Avenue about how awesome the festival is, in a loincloth.
Final question, if you weren't directing O-Week, but you were literally lost in the wild, what would be the one thing you would need with you and why?
An iPod so we could listen to Arcade Fire and run around like Max from Where the Wild Things Are (one earbud each, because we're best friends).
I’m super excited and you should be too! For more information, check out the Union’s website www.usu.edu.au or Facebook page www.facebook.com/USUAccess
My personal picks for O-Week 2014 are:
2. Campus Culture’s Scavenger Hunt https://www.facebook.com/events/508472012607717/
3. Sydney University History Society Historical Tours – there is no link, because Facebook is not historically accurate, it’s like Wikipedia in that way…
4. The annual Liberal versus Labor Debate
5. Into the Wilde – ALL OF THE SUDS PROGRAM BECAUSE 125 YEARS OF AWESOME, HOW COULD YOU GO WRONG?
Hope to see you around campus on the 26th – 28th of February, I’ll be the guy scrounging around for free stuff and taking photos for the Campus Culture Scavenger Hunt concurrently!