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Steve Crosland image 940

While Steve misses working at Otago, he’s looking forward to a much deserved break.

From Campus Watch member to children’s book author and even Santa Claus, Steve Crosland has worn many hats during his time at Otago. Last month, he was farewelled after 15 years of service with Campus Watch.

Steve looks back fondly at his career with Campus Watch, saying while it was his job to look out for students, his team and the University looked out for him.

“For such a big organisation, the University has a pretty good heart and takes care of its own. This is also reflected in our team, we’re a happy, involved group.”

The biggest change he’s seen in Campus Watch over the years is how they’ve moved from being reactive to proactive, Steve says.

“A lot of the initiatives we now run involve us proactively reaching out to students, knocking on their doors, offering support and guidance face-to-face.

“Our involvement, alongside New Zealand Police, in Flow and O-Week and Re-O-Week has been a game changer.”

While it’s hard for him to pick a highlight from the past 15 years, his interactions with students definitely stand out, he says.

“I know some of the negative things a few students do gets a lot of coverage. But for every negative student interaction I’ve had, there are a lot more positive experiences to show for it.

“Our students are a great bunch and I’ve particularly enjoyed their sense of humour over the years.”

While at Otago, Steve turned his hand to writing and is a published children’s book author. He has a few more books up his sleeve and is now looking for a literary agent to help him publish and share his stories more widely, he says.

Steve Crosland pizza oven bagpipes image 940

On the left Steve with his ‘pride and joy’, the pizza oven he built from scratch. On the right, Steve plays the bagpipes, a skill he learned in his downtime.

In the meantime, he “likes to keep busy”.

“I’m helping out a local school with caretaking duties for a few hours a fortnight and helping a few mates out with DIY projects.”

Campus Watch Team Leader Garry McLennan says Steve’s always been one to find ways to improve himself and his contribution to the team.

“Over the years, in his downtime and days off, Steve has managed to learn Italian, play the bagpipes, and write three children’s books.

“He’s been a go-to person for our team, gives honest feedback and always goes out of his way to help others. It’s been a pleasure working with Steve and now that he’s retired, I hope he’ll be able to enjoy the world’s longest coffee break,” Garry says.

Steve confirms that kicking back is definitely part of the plan.

“In the near future, I’m planning to buy a caravan and do some travelling with the family.”

For now, he’s looking forward to firing up the pizza oven he built from scratch and inviting the Campus Watch team over for a catch-up.

His parting advice is to “not take life too seriously. Nothing’s a problem until you make it one.”

~ Kōrero by Sandra French, Adviser, Internal Communications.

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