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O’week turned out to be a Cop’s party

O’week turned out to be a Cop’s party

Media Release
14 March 2005
For Immediate Release

O’week turned out to be a Cop’s party

Waikato Students’ Union O’week was a complete success except for the drama by the Police during the weekend. It appeared as if police were enjoying WSU’s O’week last Friday and Saturday nights more than students at the WSU Official Orientation event held at the Hillcrest Student Bar.

“Police were intimidating, harassing and frequently questioning students as if they were criminals” said Shiju Pushpamangalam, WSU President. The Hillcrest Tavern gained a special licence from the Auckland District Court to run the bar till 2am on Friday and Saturday nights during the WSU Orientation week after being turned down by HCC and local police.

The judge ruled that the bar could be opened on those two nights beyond its normal closing time of midnight. The student Union spent tens of thousands of dollars on top bands to play during the week and weekend.

Though the verdict came from the court a week before, the licence was not issued to the bar till Friday 11 March. The license did not require having a student ID to enter the venue. It was only on the Friday night that the organisers were informed by the police and Liquor Licensing Authority representative that everyone must have a student ID to get into the venue. Many students were turned away from the venue by the police for not producing their student IDs.

The police and the Liquor Licensing Authority stopped bar sales about midnight on Saturday. The bar was reopened within half an hour after the Hillcrest Tavern’s lawyers became involved in the matter.

“Some students thought that there was a terrorist attack on the Hilly, looking at the number of police at the student Venue. There were University staff members with partners and invited guests at the event. They were asked to leave the venue for not producing a student ID. It seemed that the Police did not want the bar to be opened after midnight,” said Mr. Pushpamangalam

Students at the university are disappointed by such an unwelcome intervention by the Police. Despite all the chaos hundreds of students still enjoyed the good line up during the week. There could have been a way better if the police were more co-operative.

Shiju Pushpamangalam

WSU President

© Scoop Media

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