Category Archives: Helping the community

Amazing people doing great things locally, nationally and internationally and opportunities for students to volunteer and get involved with community projects.

Catch up on the SVA Queenstown Camp

The UC Student Volunteer Army (SVA) organises several large scale volunteer events outside of Christchurch every year. Read about their most recent trip to Queenstown and find out about their tree planting, BBQs and a morning swim in the chilly waters of Lake Wakatipu. 

The decision to go to Queenstown was a bold move considering the that a camp has never been so far away before. However, it was decided that the excitement of Queenstown far outweighed the extra driving we would have to do. We were excited to also catch up with the new President and Vice-President of our newest Otago branch of the Student Volunteer Army to show them the ropes, and Queenstown was the perfect place to do so.

The UC vehicles were loaded, and bacon butties eaten with a prompt 6:30am start on the Friday. The volunteers were then picked up from Haere-Roa at 8:30am. There were some food and drink stops at Tekapo and Cromwell on the way to Queenstown which was a much needed relief for our volunteers and drivers before arriving at Base Backpackers at around 4:00pm. Volunteers had a delicious roast vege salad for dinner and free time before heading to Benny’s Big Bingo at Loco to cap the night off.

After brekkie the vans were collected from their various points around Queenstown before taking volunteers to the four projects. Three of these were tree planting projects in collaboration with the Wakatipu Reforestation Trust (WRT). WRT was in the middle of their planting campaign before COVID-19 hit this year, and now they have to plant double the amount of saplings during the September planting period. We had over 60 volunteers across their three sites helping out with planting, fence building and mulching.

The fourth site was at the Kiwi Birdlife Park (KBP), where volunteers did track maintenance and weeding. KBP is home to over 100 native bird and reptiles. All of the species are part of managed conservation programs through the Department of Conservation, including the iconic kiwi, tuatara, South Island kākā, whio, pāteke, and others. Over 20 volunteers also got the explore the Park. 

After the projects, the volunteers had time to explore Queenstown and the exec got some much-needed rest before the classic UC SVA BBQ at the beach to finish off the weekend. The next morning, we departed Queenstown to go back to UC at 9:30am after a quick dip into the Harbour. 

Over 500 reusable masks made for our UC whānau

Over 500 reusable face masks made, and counting!

Over the past three weeks, the Student Volunteer Army and the UC Sustainability Office have worked with over 100 incredible staff and student volunteers to make reusable face masks accessible for our UC community.

From donations of time, materials and sewing machines to mahi from students in CHCH101, and even a guest visit from VC Professor Cheryl de la Rey – we’re so grateful for all the support we’ve received for this project.

The masks have been distributed to the support service teams on campus. If you’re in need of a mask and haven’t yet received one please contact Student Care.

The formal organised mask making workshops are coming to an end this week. However, if you’d like to still contribute to this project we’d love support with making masks from home – all materials provided! If you’re able to make some masks at home please contact the Sustainability Office on

Me mahi tahi tātou mo te oranga o te katoa – working together as one for the well-being of everyone.

This message was bought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on FacebookInstagram or sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop about campus sustainability. For more information on sustainability at UC, see our website.

UC Student Blogger | Equality at UC – Finding your Place

All students at UC are entitled to be viewed equally. There should be no question in this. If you or someone else you know experience inequality, then you should never be hesitant to reach out. As a community we need to take care of one another, so don’t let any form of bullying or harassment happen without reaching out for assistance.

Uni is a place where you can meet different people and make new connections, and UC is committed to creating a diverse environment that is packed full of differing cultures, religions and beliefs. Each and every person within the UC community should be free to express their beliefs and should be respectful of others. 

UC provides equal support and opportunities, and there is no reason to deprive any individual student, or specific group of students, from any opportunity. If you experience any form of harassment, bullying or discrimination, please do not hesitate to raise your concerns – if you need support, you can get in touch with the Equity and Wellbeing Advisory Group. They will be able to assist you with any question or complaint you may have now or in the future. Of course the UCSA will always be willing to listen to problems you may be encountering in your time at UC.

Equality and wellbeing at UC does not need to fit into any one category, but there are a few specialist areas that could be of assistance at one time or another. These include: 

Read more on equality at UC here>