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College Ethos

Statement of purpose

The College exists for its Members and their welfare is its main concern. Through its staff, including 13 St Margaret’s College Leaders, the College provides a supportive family atmosphere. Through its tutors, mentors and academic facilities, it provides academic support, encouragement and assistance. Through its Residents’ Association, it provides companionship, cultural, musical, sporting, and social opportunities. The College’s graceful buildings and pleasant grounds are the environment within which this takes place.

The College is a comfortable home with warm rooms, good food, and congenial company. It is a caring environment where individuals do not denigrate the beliefs of others and where no one should feel discriminated against by virtue of their gender, race, orientation, or religion.

College norms and expectations

While Members expect academic, cultural, sporting, and social advantages, in turn the College expects certain standards of behaviour from its Members. This Handbook outlines those standards or norms which have as their basis the principles of:

  • Courtesy;

  • Consideration for others; and

  • Common sense

These principles, or the three Cs, are unsurprising, as they exist in most homes. Our experience is that the regular exercise of the three Cs is sufficient to ensure the happiness, safety and security of people and property within the College.

Selection of Members

Each year we actively look for University of Otago students who can join us and enhance our membership. Selection does not rest on privilege but on a proven application to work, a commitment to helping others, and a willingness to be an actively participating member of the College community. We are not elitist or focused solely on academics. The College welcomes people from all religions and cultures.

Returning Members of College, of which we have the highest proportion of any of the colleges at the University, are selected in a similar way. The Master, in addition to looking at academic performance and contribution to the College, will ensure that there are good students who will assist first year Members. The Master will also take account of the balance of students in the College and the needs of the College.