LAW STUDENTS, ALISTAIR AND JOHN, TAKE O-WEEK TO WILD LEVELS
USU O-Week Directors and Sydney Uni Law students, Alistair Stephenson and John Fennel, have spent a good chunk of last six months planning Australia’s biggest student orientation festival.
Coordinating a record-breaking 94 events across the 3 day festival is no small feat. It’s actually the most events within a single festival ever hosted by the USU and the University. But transforming the grounds into a jungle of stalls, live music and performances, debates, fitness classes, stand-up comedy and interactive forums has all been in the name of one pursuit – to increase student involvement. “The more events you have, the more clubs are represented, so you’re increasing the amount of avenues for students to get involved and find something that they really, truly like,” says Alistair.
This year’s theme ‘Into The Wild’, plus their demonstrated organisations skills and engagement with the wider student community, is what won them a place in the USU’s Student Leadership Program and made them the 2014 O-Week Directors – a coveted role which the SMH has previously described as “the best job in the world”.
“‘Into the Wild’ was a metaphor we really liked,” says John, who was the Sydney University Law Society’s Social Director last year. “Previous themes have been really fun – big and bright and camp – so we thought it would be cool to go with something darker that links back to our time at university. It’s a bit wild, mysterious, interesting, but also an adventure.”
So how did they go working long days together in the busy USU offices over at Manning House? Luckily Alistair and John have been best friends since they first met at the age of 11, which they both agree made the O-Week experience a little easier. “We’d already developed that working relationship,” says Alistair, “we can toss around the big ideas and not be afraid to step on each other’s toes.”
And what about their biggest piece of advice for this year’s O-Week? Make the effort to get involved and make new friends. “In our first year both of us joined up to a lot of clubs at O-Week but didn’t necessarily get involved with them. Also, I didn’t endeavor to make bunch of new friends, which is something I’d go back and change if I could,” says John.
Check out all 94 events and get ‘Into the Wild’ here.