Tag Archives: UCSA

What makes a great teacher

UCSA President James Addington recently spoke at the UC Teaching Awards ceremony. Here he shares what students believe makes a great teacher.

Thank-you for making this university what it is – a great place to learn and to be taught, and a great place to succeed.

UCSA can put on events, we can build up our clubs, we can support and advocate. But it doesn’t really mean anything if students aren’t being taught, if they aren’t learning successfully. Because at the end of the day, the core student experience comes from the lecture theatre, tutorial room, or the lab.

If we do not have great teachers to back it up, then it’s hard to provide students with that great student experience.

What makes a great teacher?
I set out to find that out – and made the mistake of typing it into Google. But what I quickly found out is there a lot of different opinions on what makes a great teacher.

Some people say a great teacher:

  • Respects students
  • Is warm, accessible, enthusiastic and caring
  • Sets high expectations for all students
  • Has his/her own love of learning
  • Is a skilled leader
  • Can ‘shift gears’
  • Collaborates with colleagues on an ongoing basis
  • Maintains professionalism in all areas.

My favourite explanation is that a great teacher creates a sense of community and belonging in the classroom.

So where does that leave us, as everyone clearly has different opinions/perceptions.

I guess if you want to summarise it all… it’s the level of impact they have on a student’s life. This may be a passing of knowledge, or a stirring up or challenging the students to be critical or to be innovative, to impact them to change their mindset or behaviour.

I think personally, the great teachers who have been in my life are those who have challenged me to think differently.

The most important thing though is that every teacher should never underestimate the impact you can have on a student’s life. And it’s this level of the impact that can make teachers great.

So thanks for being great. Thanks for helping to make this community, a community where students succeed and belong. And thank-you for positively impacting their lives.

Teaching Awards 2016, held in Undercroft 101. 7.6.16 In order Teaching Awards for Phillipa Gourdie Ben Kennedy Susanna Wilson Sarah Wright and Thomas Wilson (not present) Eric Brogt and Tara Ross receive the Teaching Innovation Award-Team Award. Client Eleri Nugent,

Eco Club Network established at UC

In late February, the Eco Club Network was established, bringing together various eco clubs on campus including Kakariki, DigSoc, GenZero, CUTC (tramping club), Fossil Free UC, VCUC (Veg Club), SVA, Biosoc, GEOGSOC, Engineers without Borders (EWB) and more.

The aim of the network is to improve coordination between UC’s many eco clubs and events, and ultimately increase the number of people taking part in eco activities. They are also hoping to organise a big eco-event later on in the year (September) – watch this space.

The formation of the network originated from a meeting between George, UCSAs Johnny Duncan and Katie Nimmo (Sustainability Office) in January this year, with the idea to get more collaboration between eco clubs happening. The first ECN meeting was a success, with  close to 20 people attending and UCSA president James Addington stepping in as well. Exciting and important sustainability ideas and concerns were shared (like garden rooftops, reducing foodwaste and plastic pollution, UC building materials, Avon river conservation).

Want to know more? Check out the The Eco Club Network facebook page, or get in touch by email hello@ucecoclubs.nz.

This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Connect with us through Facebook or Instagram.



UC and UCSA re-affirm long standing relationship

Yesterday UC and the UCSA signed two important documents that acknowledge and re-affirm their long standing relationship, through collaboration and continued co-operation.

We enjoy a close and amicable relationship with the UCSA and these documents assist in clarifying the commitments and obligations of both parties to ensure our future relationship remains strong.

The relationship enters a new phase with the upcoming demolition of the UCSA building, and the design and build of a new one.

Signing in the Matariki 6th floor dining room between UC and UCSA on the demolition and construction of a new UCSA building, 16.12.15
Signing in the Matariki 6th floor dining room between UC and UCSA on the demolition and construction of a new UCSA building,

Back row: SSAC Director Lynn McClelland, UCSA CEO Dave Hawkey, UC Chief Financial Office Keith Longden, UCSA Finance Cam Bignell.

Front row: Vice-Chancellor Dr Rod Carr, UCSA President Sarah Platt, UCSA Vice President Luke Gillespie.

Quake-damaged UCSA building farewelled

More than 100 people gathered on the riverbank by the UCSA to farewell the quake-damaged building on Thursday. Among those attending was renowned architect Sir Miles Warren, who designed the UCSA building back in the late 1960s.

UCSA President Sarah Platt and ex-MP David Caygill who is Chair of the UCSA building fundraising committee and a former UCSA president, spoke at the ceremony sharing their memories of the building. UC Vice-Chancellor Rod Carr also spoke at the event, acknowledging the role of the UCSA, its associated clubs and the generations of students who passed through the building.

Rev Spanky Moore, UC’s Senior Ecumenical Chaplain and a former breakfast host on the student radio station RDU 98.5FM which used to broadcast from the UCSA building, blessed the site using water from the Avon River.

In contrast to an opening event when you might see a ribbon cut, the end of the ceremony was marked with the tying of ‘caution’ tape to cordon off the building.

The UCSA building will be demolished in 2016. A new purpose-designed facility will replace it on the same site.

Crowd shot



Ribbon tying



Come and farewell the UCSA building

For more than 40 years the University of Canterbury Students’ Association building has been a hub of student life, housing a radio station, Canta magazine, bars, a restaurant, and even a cat called Bentley.

But now it’s time to farewell the quake-damaged building. Badly damaged in the 2011 earthquakes, the UCSA building will be demolished in 2016. A new purpose-designed facility will replace it on the same site.

A farewell ceremony will be held on the Avon riverbank, near the building on Thursday 10 December at 10am. The ceremony will be followed by refreshments at Bentley’s bar Events Centre, 90 Ilam Road, where initial design concepts for the new UCSA building will be on display.

University of Canterbury students and staff, both past and present, and the general public are welcome to attend the farewell ceremony.

*Please note internal access to the building is not possible for safety reasons.

UCSA invite