Have fun but responsibly, police say

POLICE are asking fresh-faced university students to have fun and look after each other this O-week.

More than 1300 students are expected to flock to La Trobe Bendigo as O-week commences on Tuesday. 

Bendigo Senior Sergeant Craig Gaffee said there were minimal problems during La Trobe Bendigo's orientation week.

"We usually have issues," he said. 

"But it is a lot better than it was a few years ago.

"We did have some offences, such as assault, occur during O-week, but that does not happen anymore."

Senior Sergeant Gaffee said bars and pubs had become better at moving the focus away from alcohol.

"There are more activities put on that aren't focused on getting drunk.

"Nightclubs are more aware of the responsibility that comes with serving alcohol." 

Police will be out in force in the CBD every afternoon, evening and night during O-week. 

"We will be visiting licensed premises to make sure everyone is behaving themselves," Senior Sergeant Gaffee said. 

 "We do not have a huge problem with drink spiking here - it does happen.

"We ask everyone to drink responsibly.

"Start the school year on a positive note." 

Head of Bendigo campus Robert Stephenson said O-week was an opportunity to welcome new students to Bendigo.

‘Our course offerings attract students from across Australia and around the world," he said. 

Pro-Vice Chancellor (Regional) Professor Richard Speed said that O-week was a vital opportunity for students to tap into support networks. 

"The academic events will present information on courses and support networks that available to help students throughout their studies," he said. 

"Social events are a great chance for students to make friends."

This year's O-week will go until Friday, February 28.

New students are encouraged to build their own personalised orientation plan or download the La Trobe University smartphone orientation app at latrobe.edu.au/orientation

merran.reed@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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