AUT's new Mayoral Drive Student Accommodation (WQ) opened in February, and we spoke to AUT students Sonia Kokatnur and Tamavua Kaufusi about what they've been enjoying about WQ.
Sonia is a Residential Assistant and third-year Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science student, and she loves being one of the first people to live in the brand-new facilities.
"I really like the fact that it gives students their own space because you have your kitchen, bathroom and your own utilities to use, but at the same time you can still meet with other people on level 6. There's the theatre room, the music room and a lot of games and study spaces, so it allows everyone to come together at the end of the day," she said.
First-year Bachelor of Arts in Education student Tamavua found out about the accommodation through his time at UniPrep, AUT's university preparation programme offered over the summer break, where he was offered a scholarship and free accommodation.
"Everything is new, we're the first ones to get into it. We have a music room, and I'm the one who has a passion for music, so the music room is my safe space," he said.
Residential Life Manager Camille Reid says the Residential Life Programme offers a wide range of activities and events for the students which focus on mental health, physical wellbeing, social bonding and academic success.
"Examples of these are our St Patrick's day costume party and sausage sizzle, free fruit Friday, sporting events such as touch rugby and soccer, and an upcoming workshop to help get over procrastination," Camille said.
There are two parts of the new building – the North Tower on the corner of Mayoral Drive and Wellesley street intersection which has 391 rooms, and the South Tower, which has 306 rooms.
The North Tower hosts the reception and management offices. Level 6 is the common level, which stretches across both towers. It includes study rooms, the laundry, the lounge, a games room, a BBQ courtyard, a leisure courtyard, a communal kitchen and dining area, a theatre room, and a music room. The level 6 space is open and available to residents now.
The South Tower contains a recreation centre, club and student activity space, reception areas, changing rooms, lockers, equipment storage and staff office spaces and is expected to open for Semester 2.