Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Motel owners brace for rowdy students

It will be interesting to follow the student activities and relationships with their accommodation providers at the University Games to be held in Taranaki in a couple of weeks.

It is unfortunate that students may feel that a recent Disputes Tribunal decision in their favour from shenanigans at last years event vindicates hooliganism, vandalism and covering motel rooms in vomit.

We trust that accommodation providers have learnt from this ruling and are able to effectively deal with any challenges that the games participants may present.

Hopefully the media will be able to qualify and understand the rights of business owners before the assumed needs of self absorbed, attention seeking, whining students.

30 March 2009

The annual University Games are 107 years old now, and are part sport, part alcohol, part vomit.
It's all arguably pretty harmless stuff, unless the vomiting is taking place in your motel, and motel owners on the receiving end of last year's vomit are warning motel owners near the venues for this year's games - get out the no vacancy signs, fast.

The 2007 University Games in Christchurch were loud, wild and drunken. Last year the games were held in Rotorua, and 88 from Victoria University stayed at the Cleveland Motel.

"They're low lifes," says Clyde Farquhar. "They have no respect for anybody."

Mr Farquhar is not a fan of this sort of behaviour - not when it is in his motel. He and his wife Cynthia say from the first night, the only thing the students were interested in was drinking.

"We really wanted them to go that night it was so bad, but they stayed," he says. "The same thing happened the next night. I'd say that probably a third of them didn't even get up in the morning to make it to their first games. And that's what they were here for, to play games."

But students don't accept the criticism, and they are dishing out some of their own.

This year's games, which feature everything from athletics to touch rugby, are in Taranaki, and at least one university has had trouble finding accommodation.

"We have had some feedback from the membership that there has been some struggles as we get closer to the event in terms of securing their accommodation," says Louise Burns, University Sport NZ. "But overall, as far as I'm aware now all 16 institutions have secured accommodation."

University Sport NZ now requires students to sign a code behaviour agreement and for each campus to provide a $2000 bond. But the Farquhars reckon once the drinking starts, a bond won't make any difference.
After three nights, the Farquhars kicked the students out and charged the Victoria Students' Association for damages.

But the students fought back. In January, the Victoria Students' Association took the Cleveland Motel to the small claims tribunal - and won.

"On the basis of the findings of the disputes tribunal, I think it's fair enough to say that most students weren't involved in that sort of behaviour," says Jasmine Freemantle, the association's president.

The VSA also had 40 students staying at the Havana Motor Lodge, and it is also taking the motel to the small claims tribunal. It is seeking just under $4000 after the students were evicted a day early and charged for damages. That hearing is due in May.

Victoria students might have won their case against the Cleveland Motel, but motel owners remain angry.
"I'd rather have pigs staying in this motel than students unless they're supervised," says owner of the Rob Roy Motel in Rotorua, Dr Prem Sharma. "Pigs are much cleaner and better behaved than these people."

There were media reports moteliers in Taranaki were reluctant to have students to stay, but the official line is that association members will be welcoming students in a couple of weeks.

But those who have experienced student behaviour are unconvinced, saying bikie gangs and the Mongrel Mob are better customers.

The Cleveland Motel has e-mailed motels in the Taranaki warning them to be prepared.

Source: Click HERE

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