Category Archives: Student life

Everything student life – from halls and flatting to recipes, advice, reviews, fashion and travel.

What are Rainbow Communities?

On Thursday (10 August) 30 staff and students from UC, Ara and Lincoln attended a workshop with Anne Nicholson from Q-topia on ‘making a difference for LGBTIQ+ students on campus’.

Anne asked us to watch these short videos in preparation for the workshop, and they were so useful and informative I wanted to share them with you. They explain about rainbow communities, in particular the differences between sex, gender and sexuality.

If you want to learn more about how you can support rainbow communities on campus, check out these resources and ideas:

Don’t forget the Fair Trade Celebration tomorrow!

Fair Trade CelebrationClick here for more details

Wairua Week: spirituality for dummies

Kia Ora. I’m Rev Spanky Moore – the Uni Chaplain around these parts, or as I like to think of myself, the dean of the Department of Spiritual Engineering. As you might expect I’m pretty chuffed to see UC Wairua Week happening on campus this week as part of Diversity Fest, because I for one think spirituality should be a part of every student’s university experience at UC.

So what exactly do I mean by spirituality? After all, I should know because I find myself in meetings most days waving my hands around in flamboyant ways going on about “spirituality this” and “spirituality that”.

Now I’m definitely not trying to lump whole cultures into homogeneous categories, but if I’m perfectly honest, most Māori I talk to seem to take the idea of spirituality seriously. Most Pasifika peeps I know seem too as well. And plenty of international students, from their various cultures and faiths, connect with some kind of spiritual understanding of life.

But it’s often the Pakeha kiwi that give me that slightly-confused-but-I-desperately-don’t-want-to-come-across-culturally-insensitive look I’ve grown so accustomed to over the years. The conversation is usually then moved along as quickly as possible – onto topics they are more comfortable with – like budgets, or business plans, or The Block.

So let me offer you the shortest Spirituality for Dummies guide I can in less than 100 words (76 to be exact): Spirituality is that connection with our spirit or our soul – and is fundamentally about Mystery, and Meaning. The Mystery bit is evidenced whenever we experience a sense of awe, beauty, or joy in ways that escape words for most of us; a sunset, a painting, a tree, a baby, a song, a bird. The Meaning bit is when we begin to make sense of our lives by believing we are part of a bigger story.

And I think all students need to get serious about getting spiritual. We all need a sense of Mystery in our lives to flourish. And most of us need some kind of Meaning too.

We’ve got a bunch of things going on over Wairua Week to help the spiritually adventurous get amongst it. And if you’re looking for a safe space to dip your toe, check out Pete Majendie’s interactive installation on the ground floor of the Puaka-James Hight library.


Pete is the artist behind the famous 185 Empty Chairs earthquake memorial in the city. For Wairua Week he’s installed two mini “art galleries”, exploring the spiritualties of painter Vincent van Gogh and cartoonist Michael Leunig. The space between the two galleries also features a small sculpture, and paper and pens with an opportunity to respond.

So maybe 2017 will be the year you explore how your own spiritual engineering is wired at UC?

For details on what else is happening over Wairua Week check out the Facebook page.