Responsible Partying: a guide

Dunedin is infamous for its party scene. From O Week to St Paddy’s, from Hyde to Flow, from Re O to red cards, there’s almost always a reason to celebrate. Partying responsibly isn’t hard, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the Dunedin scene. 

Parties are an integral part of student life, but it’s important to understand the risks. If a party looks like it’s getting out of hand, maybe it’s time to head home. Check yourself and your mates when you’re out and about. Sometimes a situation might look manageable, but be aware that it can change in a second.

If you’re the one hosting and it’s getting out of hand, you have options. Parties are great, but the aim should be to have fun with your mates. We’re not telling people to stop drinking or partying, but we want to give you some tips on how you can be responsible while having fun.

How to host responsibly

When you decide to throw a party, don’t make it a public Facebook event. Make sure your flat’s big enough for the people you invite, and have a plan if 200 random people show up because it’s a Saturday night and that just happens sometimes. 

There are also some preemptive options if you are planning on having a big one:

  • Register with GoodOne, these guys will help you out with almost anything you need. Definitely get in touch with them if you’re hosting something big, especially during O, Flow, and Re O. They provide a whole bunch of information about how to host well and put on the best event you can.
  • Give Campus Watch a call 24/7 on 0800 479 5000. They’re sometimes viewed as the ‘fun police’, but actually they’re great folks who are just looking out for you and your mates. They offer a bunch of good advice and can even check up on the party while it’s going. If you think a party is getting out of hand, give them a call sooner rather than later as a heads up, or better yet, talk to them before the party even starts.
  • Make sure to check with your neighbours before you host, as noise is a huge issue once you start heading more to the peripheries of North Dunedin.
  • Tell people to bring cans, smashed bottles suck for everyone.
  • Have food and water available.
  • Set an end time.
  • Don’t forget to check COVID restrictions – the traffic light system applies to parties too.

Looking out for addiction

As you spend more time as a student in Dunedin, you’ll notice more and more drinking and drugs. Dodgy drugs have been on the rise over the last couple of years. Free, anonymous drug testing is sometimes available through OUSA during big Uni events. And when it comes to drug usage, we’re not going to tell you NOT to do any of this, just to be self-aware and smart about your health. Check yourself: what kind of relationship do you have with alcohol and drugs? 

If you’re starting to find that more and more often you drink and just keep drinking to the point of blackout, consider whether you actually enjoy getting to that state. It’s a good idea to check on both yourselves and your mates often, especially if you’ve noticed changes in habits or motivation. What might look like a flatmate just having a cone every now and then may actually be them using it to get to sleep because they need it every night. 

Check on your mates, check on yourself, TEST YOUR DRUGS, and never be afraid to check in with OUSA Student Support if you think yourself or someone you know has any questions or concerns.