Category Archives: Wellbeing

Protect yourself and your whānau from flu this winter

Flu, also known as influenza, affects your whole body. Symptoms can come on suddenly and can include fever, chills, muscle aches, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath, and stomach upsets. It can keep you in bed for a week or more, and you might become very sick.

With the borders shut for over two years, we’ve been protected from Covid-19 and a whole heap of viruses, including flu. However, this means we don’t have immunity in our communities, and as Aotearoa reconnects with the world during the winter months, we’re all more at risk of catching the flu this year. There’s a real possibility of having flu and Covid-19 within a short space of time. Don’t risk it, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself and your whānau from becoming ill.

Get your flu jab
Getting vaccinated means you are far less likely to get infected, less likely to get sick, and you’re less likely to pass it on. Win win!

You can get vaccinated at your GP practice or your local pharmacy – find your closest one here>

If you are enrolled with the UC Health Centre, you can get your vaccine for free. Please be aware that there is at least a two week wait for appointments at the Health Centre due to high demand.

Stay home if you’re feeling sick
If you’re feeling a bit under the weather, or have any respiratory symptoms, the best thing to do is stay at home. Going to your mate’s party this weekend might be tempting, but you could pass the virus to your friends. Stay home, and make sure you and your mates are well enough to enjoy what winter has to offer.

When you are at home, take care of yourself and rest. You can catch up on all your lecture recordings on AKO | LEARN when you’re feeling better. 

Hygiene hacks
You can follow these simple hygiene practices to help keep you safe and stop the spread of viruses:

  • Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds and dry them for 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand rub
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Don’t share drinks
  • Avoid crowded places
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then put the tissue in a lined bin
  • Keep wearing a face mask when out and about.

Applications for Pōhā Iti bursaries open until 3 June

UC has re-established a bursary that was first made available in 2020 to provide assistance to students experiencing financial difficulties due to COVID-19. Named Pōhā Iti, the monetary value of the bursary is up to $3,000 for students who meet the eligibility criteria.

A pōhā is a kelp bag that was used traditionally (and is still used today) for preserving meat and birds such as tītī (muttonbird) for extended periods of time. Just as a pōhā can hold several birds at once, but we only take them out one bird at a time as we need sustenance, this financial support provides an opportunity for ākonga (students) to receive incremental payments over time in order to help sustain them in their studies.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Be currently enrolled as students
  • Be studying either part or full time
  • Be a domestic student (Undergrad, Postgrad, PhD) or an international doctoral student studying towards a PhD or equivalent
  • Be currently in New Zealand
  • Demonstrate that you need financial assistance as a result of COVID-19

For more information about Pōhā Iti and the button to apply, please follow this link. Applications for the bursary will remain open until 3 June.

For information about the full range of other financial support options available at UC, please visit the financial assistance webpage.


Why do we do Pink Shirt Day?

Pink shirt day is here again, but why do we do it, and is it still relevant?

PSD started in Canada back in 2007 when two students took a stand against homophobic bullying after a new Year 10 student was harassed and threatened for wearing pink. These students bought dozens of pink shirts and distributed them to their classmates to wear the next day. Word got out online and hundreds of students showed up in pink, some from head-to-toe, to stand together against bullying. It has been celebrated in New Zealand since 2009. PSD grew out of the school’s movement and became a yearly reminder that homophobic and transphobic bullying is still a significant issue for our communities.

Here at UC, we are not immune. Over the last few years, we have seen several instances of bullying and assaults as a result of perceptions of someone else’s sexuality or gender. For us, PSD is both a concerning reminder and a celebration of diversity; an opportunity to come together as staff and students in solidarity against a pervasive hatred that impacts of the lives of up to 14% of our people at UC.

Can we do better? yes! But what does ‘doing better’ look like in practice? It is not turning a blind eye when you hear homophobic or transphobic comments, jokes or references. It is including our diverse staff and students in activities, discussions, study groups and conversations. And it is challenging your own assumptions.

Together we can make UC a safe enjoyable place for all of our staff and students. This Friday, join a pink shirt day event. If you can’t find one, make your own, wear something pink and take a stand.

Ari Nicholson

Kairuruku Ranga Āniwaniwa | Rainbow Coordinator