Locals is still a relatively young programme but we are proud to have been supporting Locals students with O-week events since 2011, and a full year programme since 2013. It was started by a group of dedicated staff who noticed that students who were living at home, flatting, or boarding were not getting equitable support compared with students in colleges.
Locals has expanded from very humble beginnings in 2011 which provided Locals students with access to academic orientation events and sports day which were previously only attended by college students. We also had our Locals only events to help create a sense of community for our students. In 2013 Locals started a full year programme of events and became what it remains to be like today. Locals is now open to all students living in the local community. There is a full time Deputy Head, a Locals Programme Assistant, and three experienced volunteer staff members to run the three main aspects of the programme: academic, volunteer, and social. The programme continues to grow year by year, with new initiatives being added such as the annual Locals ball.
Locals is now an active member of the collegiate community at Otago. Members of Locals participate in the Inter-college Sports, Cultural, and Gaming competitions, and Locals’ staff actively contribute to the organisation of these events and to the unique collegiate way at Otago.