Student teams raise $5420 for night shelter


While most university assignments involve reading textbooks, studying notes and writing essays, a group of management students were assigned something a little different.

Students studying Mant252 Developing Responsible Leadership at the University of Otago were challenged to put the theory they had learnt into practice to raise money for the Dunedin Night Shelter.

In teams of five, 45 students raised $5420, which was presented to Dunedin Night Shelter Trust chairman David Brown last week.

Lecturer Brian Spisakthe business school wanted to create a course on developing responsible leadership that involved engaging with the community.

It was an opportunity to create a “win-win” situation for the students and the community, as the students had to work together in an “uncertain situation” – having to come up with an action plan with minimal guidance – and the night shelter would benefit from the funding, he said.

“Given that the nine teams were all working on the same challenge, the students’ collective effort could maximise the opportunity to make a positive impact in Dunedin,” Dr Spisak said.

Teams sold raffles and crafts, held quiz nights and set up a Givealittle page.

The winning team held a music event at Re:Fuel featuring local musicians.

Winning team member Rodney Martin said the group aimed to create a fundraiser that used the skills and connections each individual had.

Tickets for the event were $5 before 11pm and $10 afterwards.

Dunedin Night Shelter Trust chairman David Brown thanked the students for their contribution and said the shelter was an important part of the community because it allowed people to get their lives back on track.

The shelter had “lots of help from students”, he said.

“There’s a whole lot of people that still care and want to make a difference in the community, and more and more that seems to be the student community.”

University of Otago pro-vice-chancellor and business school dean Robin Gauld said he was proud of the students and staff for their effort and encouraged students to “go out and change the world”.