Category Archives: Updates from UC staff

Important information for students from UC staff.

Good grades don’t equal self-worth

A few weeks back I was “The Cook’n Chaplain” for a 6 day emotional health course I’d organised for 24 students. And so while I was madly panicking in the kitchen making 50 hamburgers, everyone else were learning life changing things about making friends with their own mental health. As they chowed down on my Spankburgers™ (personal note: other people don’t love beetroot as much as I do) loads of them would tell me about how much pressure and anxiety they were feeling about their upcoming exams. “If I fail this paper, I don’t know what I’ll do! It’s just not worth thinking about…”

Sadly, most students I meet seem to believe the lie that their self worth is something they must constantly work hard to earn. Be it through good grades, securing a high paying job, or keeping their parents happy. Remove one of them and they feel their personal self worth begin to shrivel up. But as the famous monk Father Henri Nouwen put it “You are not what you do, you are not what you have, and you are not what others think of you. No! You are the beloved child of a loving creator.”

Now – you may not buy that last sentence, but regardless of your spiritual beliefs his big point is, you don’t need to earn your worth by passing some exam. Seriously. Because whether you feel it or not, you really are someone of huge worth. Without doing a thing.
Of course failure never feels very good. In the depths of disappointment it can feel like we’re nothing more than a sad garden slug being stood on by a giant academic boot, as we feel our hopes ooze out of us. But sometimes we just need to take a deep breath and get some perspective because despite what some people might imply – getting good grades really isn’t the meaning of life.
You are a person of infinite worth, and a D- or A+ means absolutely nothing on that score. So take a deep breath, remember you are so much more than the grades you get at Uni and remind yourself that in the bigger scheme of things (and if you allow it to), this experience will only make you stronger.

Rev Spanky Moore, Uni Chaplain

Seeking UniLife student leaders for 2018


The UC Student Experience team is now recruiting for paid student leaders for the 2018 UniLife programme. Find out more about the UniLife programme here and read on to see if this is the opportunity for you.

What we are looking for:

  • Students interested in developing professional skills and leadership.
  • Must be third year or above, and available for:
    • Training on 7 – 8 February
    • Orientation Day 16 February
    • First-year phone call out during week 3 of term (evening work)
    • Every Monday evening of term beginning 19 February
    • Weekly interaction with a group of up to 25 students and a team of other student leaders (i.e. Facebook page, text, email, phone).


  • Paid employment at an average 3-6 hours per week ($18 per hour).
  • Free dinner every Monday night of term!
  • Training and mentoring from the Student Experience team
  • Co-curricular Record recognition.

About the UniLife programme

  • We are delivering a non-academic programme for first years to make the most of their transition to university life.
  • We help students build important life skills for wellbeing and success.
  • The programme provides connection to other students and personal development opportunities.

Learning Outcomes & Skills Development for Student Leaders

  • How to facilitate small group interactions
  • How to identify issues and refer appropriately
  • How to plan an interactive engagement session
  • How to effectively communicate with a diverse audience
  • How to work as part of a team
  • How to mentor and guide others
  • Leadership: helping first year students achieve success.
  • Self-management: coordinating and planning activities independently and delivering them on time
  • Communication: listening to students and advising them appropriately, facilitating small group interaction, writing detailed reports
  • Team Work: contributing to the success of the project through collaborative decision-making and problem-solving

To express your interest please send your CV and cover letter to Rose Reynolds at Include your Student ID.

Why is Māori Language Week in September this year?

Petition parade - Te Ara

Image supplied by Te Ara

It is 45 years since the Māori Language Petition was presented to Parliament on 14 September 1972. The petition, championed by Ngā Tamatoa the Te Reo Māori Society at Victoria University and signed by over 30,000 people, modestly requested that Māori language classes be offered in schools with high Māori rolls. This event was the starting point for the many Māori language revitalisation initiatives we are familiar with today.

The history of Māori Language Week is bound with that of the Māori Language Petition. A Māori language day was celebrated in 1972 with the presentation of the petition to Parliament and this became Māori Language Week in 1975. Ever since then Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori has been held in the final week of July. This year it returns to its original date in September. Dr Mary Boyce from UC, who was a member of the Te Reo Māori Society, and active in Māori language protests, will be attending commemorative celebrations in Wellington during Te Wiki.

This year the theme for Māori Language Week is “kia ora” – a familiar phrase with historical significance: in 1984 Naida Glavish, a telephone operator for the Post Office, was told to stop using the greeting “kia ora”. Nowadays most New Zealander’s are accustomed to and comfortable with this greeting.

During Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori there will be a number of events and activities taking place at UC. We hope all staff and students will take the opportunity to join in. Kia kaha!

Professor Jeanette King
Head of School (Acting)
Aotahi – School of Māori & Indigenous Studies
University of Canterbury

See events here>