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Rampaging students face boot from uni

Published: 6:56PM Monday August 27, 2007 Source: ONE News

Some students face being kicked out after the rioting at Otago University's campus over the weekend.

The institution has the power under its code of conduct but says it will not decide until the court deals with offenders first.

As Dunedin's student trouble gets international media coverage, the city's mayor, Peter Chin, is devastated.

"It really is something that those students who are responsible should be very, very ashamed about," says Chin.

Until this weekend, campus behaviour has been good and the finger is being pointed at the Canterbury visitors.

"No-one's stepping up to take responsibility for the thousand students that they've brought into Dunedin," says Renee Heal, Otago student president.

But Otago students may suffer most. As well as court appearances, some may be kicked out under the university's code of conduct.

The university says will not be turning a blind eye to any of its members found to be involved in some of the behaviour.

"I think they should be hauled before the courts and made to stand before the New Zealand legal system. But I don't think they should be doubly punished," says Heal.

While Otago university, the city and the police all want the Undie 500 scrapped, it still has backing in Christchurch.

"I'd hate to see the Undie 500 banned. It's just what follows on the Saturday that's the issue," says Belinda Bundy, Canterbury student president.

But the event caused other problems. In Palmerston, an incident with a paintball gun on Friday has led to a Canterbury student facing a firearms charge. Police say they will oppose diversion.

And two Canterbury students face charges after smashing up and abandoning a van in Waikouaiti, 40 kilometresnorth of Dunedin.

As Dunedin's clean-up continues, a frustrated city council may send the multi-thousand dollar bill to the university.

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