Caffeine Consumption At An All-Time High at UOW

Coffee consumption at the university of Wollongong is at an all time high, according to recent ESI figures showing that the UOW campus drinks more than 3,000 coffees a week.

With over nine different places to get coffee on campus, students and staff are never too far from a quick caffeine fix and despite the negative connotations surrounding caffeine addiction, that may not be such a bad idea.

Aside from the highly addictive properties of caffeine being a cause for concern amongst the medical community, Caffeine has also shown to have positive effects on both body and the mind.

Registered Nurse and mother of four university students, Carmel Chidgey is quick to dispel the negativity surrounding caffeine.

“Caffeine actually helps the body’s digestive system by increasing the amount of digestive acids in our system.” Chidgey said.

However, Chidgey is also careful to promote intake in moderate amounts. “It’s like most things. Coffee is best in moderation.” She adds

Along with several other positive attributes of caffeine consumption, perhaps the most important among university students is caffeine’s ability to improve memory capacity and mental performance.

Studies have shown that caffeine can in fact temporarily improve concentration and alertness. It’s no surprise then that UOW coffee stands and cafes are churning out 3,000 cups every week.

Rush2, one of the smallest coffees stands on campus sells approx. 600 to 700 cups a day alone. Arguably the busiest coffee stands on campus.

“Wednesdays and Thursdays are by far our busiest days.” Part-time employee, David Moson said.

At an average of $3.00 per cup, coffee houses can make up to $2,000 on their busiest days, if not more.

“The coffee trade at UOW is on hell of a money-maker.” Moson adds

Another busy day for Rush2

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Jezabels A Hit Despite Reservations

Sydney locals and international sensations, The Jezabels were a sold out hit on Thurs night, 20th October at the UOW Unibar, despite initial reservations from Unibar management.

Nathan Stratton, Unibar’s manager admits initial concerns that The Jezabels wouldn’t be a hit at Wollongong’s Unibar because of the little exposure in terms of advertising and promotion for the event.

“I just didn’t know how well [the tickets] were going to sell. We’re responsible for the promotion of the events and there just wasn’t enough hype.” Stratton said.

Since the devolve of  the midle-man to an outsourced booking agency, Big Apachee, bands are no longer being booked and paid for by the University itself. This was sparked by the discontinuation of students having to pay a $150 fee in order to keep venues like the Unibar funded as well as other organisations like WUSA and URAC .

“When we were getting that $150 from each student, Unibar and Unicentre had a lot more control over which bands play here.” Stratton adds.

According to Stratton events used to be free, but now that booking is outsourced, events can cost up to $45. In the case of the Jezabells, Stratton voiced his concern to Big Apachee employees responsible for booking the event only to save them from the finanical cost.

“we don’t have to carry the finanical burden like we used to, it’s all on Big Apachee but we still have no make sure we promote the event successfully.” Nathan said.

Working in conjunction with Unicentre Event coordinator, April West, Nathan makes sure the university has some say in what band plays. Although it may not be much of a say, Nathan confident that students not only come for the music but for environment as well.

“I like Jezabels, but I liked how I could just leave class, have a few beers and then get the party started.” Arts student Luke Demetriou said.

Hey Rosetta! and Alpine were the supporting acts.

Jezabels Killing It On Stage

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Nathan Stratton- A Rising Star

Nathan in his element

 A lover of music and a desire to travel the world, Unibar’s youngest manager, Nathan Stratton is destined for more than just pouring beers.

When Nathan Stratton finished school he had “absolutely no intention of going to uni.” Yet he spends almost six days a week at the University of Wollongong.

Six months ago, Nathan or ‘strat’, agreed to a full-time managerial position at the social epicenter for all University of Wollongong (UOW) students- the cherished Unibar- A place where some of the countries top music artists come to perform alongside a handful the country’s fresh, new talent.

“I’ve seen some pretty amazing bands perform here,” Nathan happily boasts, however wearily admits,

“I’m getting a little tired of pouring beers and watching from the sidelines.”

After two years in a supervising position, Nathan “fell in love with the lifestyle” of a university student. With a growing aspiration to spread his wings, he finally decided to enroll into an Arts degree and begin his life on the other side of the beer tap.

He cuts an impressive figure behind the bar, standing at almost 2 meters. With his long, blond almost white hair, the 26-year-old Wollongong local instantly stands out.

Grinning at the suggestion that he may have Scandinavian roots, Nathan admits- “I’ve actually gotten that question quite a lot.”

In the professional world, Nathan looks like any other bar manager- Plain, fitted suit with a tie to show superiority amongst his colleagues, however it isn’t until the working day is done, that Nathan shows his real colours.

For three years now, Nathan has been the bass player for a five-member band described by Triple J Unearthed as “’fuzzy indie’ with pop twists and rock n roll riff.”

“I guess our biggest influences are probably Smashing Pumpkins, The Dandy Warhols or Sonic Youth.” It’s  increasingly apparent that Nathans band, ‘Yardvark’ is a unique throw back to the 1990’s grunge era.

Having already played gigs in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong, Nathan and his other band members hope to someday “make it big” on the international scene, and his passion has rubbed off on his younger brother, Riley who is the member of an indie band, Rocking Horse and Baby Dolls.

As the manager of unibar, Nathan is partly responsible for choosing many of the acts that get to play to the thousands of students each year, “Maybe I could book myself some more gigs” he laughs. Yet, with the overwhelming support he receives from friends and colleagues, it may not be such a bad idea.

“From what I’ve seen, Yardvark are fucking awesome.” Jaimee Mulder is quick to attach her disclaimer- “And I’m not just sayng this because he’s my boss.”

Having grown up in the sleepy, coastal town of Austinmer and lived in surrounding areas all his life, Nathan endeavors for greener pastures. “It’s funny, I’ve been meaning to get out of Wollongong for so long. But I haven’t. I’m still here.”

Many of his friends and family hope to see Nathan and Yardvark reach international status and Nathan is quietly optimistic that one day he and his band will be sipping on a cold beer on the balcony of a European five-star hotel.

“I’d love to go to Europe.” Nathan adds, “I want to pack my bags right now, and just go.”

Yardvark- Stacie Hamilton, Ben Parsons, Joshua McLean, Glen Hitchon and Nathan Stratton

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Internet Quota Increased: UOW Students Addicted To Facebook

Internet Quota was extended to cater to an estimated 90% of UOW students who access the social networking website, Facebook on Campus.

Figures on the amount of students accessing Facebook are gathered from the requests for quota extensions from students who had exceeded their allocated amount last year. According to IT Supervisors, Facebook is by far the most accessed website.

As of this year, a decision to extend the quota saw a increase from 40MB, just a quarter of the amount it is today.

This increase however, came all too late for students who previously were denied extended quota and shut out from the University’s Internet System until the end of semester.

Alexandra Lawson, a second year Marketing Student was one of hundreds denied extended quota due to Facebook and therefore unable to continue using the University’s Internet, including for research purposes.

“I was denied because the top three sites I visited were Facebook.” Lawson said.

Similarily, Arava Riemer a friend and fellow classmate of Alexandra had difficulties last year with the small Internet Quota.

“I ran out in my 7th week. It was very frustrating.” Said Reimer

Raymond Li, a Lab Supervisor in Building 11 is quick to estimate the extent of Facebook use on campus.

“Pretty much everyone uses Facebook, but the funny thing is it doesn’t take up that much space.” Li explains

Li adds that the usage of Facebook amongst students is so high that they must flood their quota without realizing it.

Facebook has become such an integral part of life for many people, especially the student community. Socially, it is how students connect to one another, their place of business, and UOW itself.

UOW has over 15 Facebook pages ranging from the UOW Campus Official page to the University of Wollongong Anime & Manga Club page.



You can find UOW at


Students making the most of UOW's computer labs

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UOW Students Benefit From Joining Clubs and Societies

Clubs and Societies supported by the Unicentre are one of the best ways in which students can develop friendships and a sense of belonging whilst studying at the University of Wollongong.

Currently, there are over 60 Unicentre clubs or societies operating at the University of Wollongong, and the number continues to rise with more and more niche interests being catered to.

The social benefits of joining a club are extensive and so too are the benefits from a business perspective. Networking is seen as one of the most important aspects of an undergraduate’s degree.

“’Getting your foot in the door’ could be as easy as having a coffee with the person who’s going to set an internship up for you.” Law and Communications undergraduate, Erin Fouracre said.

Fouracre joined the Law Society hoping to connect more with her fellow classmates, however came away with so much more.

“It just so happened that one of the members worked part-time at a Law Firm in Sydney and she put in a good word for me.” Fouracre adds.

Having come away with a lasting friendship and an internship opportunity, Fouracre isn’t the only one benefiting from joining a club.

Ash Phthalo, a creative arts major at UOW explains his reasons for joining the ‘Queer Collective,” a division of WUSA that supports the gay community on campus.

“I love to volunteer to help out my queers.” Phthalo said.

Currently set-up outside the UOW library, Ash and his team members Jacinta Heather, Josh Neilsen and Tamara Huges are aiming to raise money to attend next year’s Mardi Gras.

“We all met each other through the Queer Collective.” Jacinta Heather explains.

UOW student and Vice President of ACT and NSW for the Cancer Council’s Bandana Day initiative, Jasmine Briggs explains, “People always want to help out, I never need to rope them in.”

Josh Neilsen, Jacinta Heathers, Tamara Huges and Ash Phthalo at a Queer Collective bake sale raising money for Mardi Gras

Katie Weaver, Vice President Jasmine Briggs and Madeline Harden promoting Bandana Day

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A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life of Gabrielle Byrne…

Have you wondered what a day at Wollongong University is really like?

Gabrielle Byrne is a 4th year student completing a double degree in Media Communications and Law. She’s at the business end of her degree, which means late-night cramming sessions and long hours in the library, but what about those much-need study breaks?

Well, here you can see how to effectively balance your social life with your study schedule on campus.

Gabrielle starts off the day with some revision for the next Law lecture






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Oktoberfest At Unibar Packed To The Rafters

The University of Wollongong’s (UOW) Unibar reached far beyond the recommended maximum capacity at the annual Oktoberfest celebrations on Thursday evening, 6th October.

Health and safety requirements dictate that the UOW Unibar is to hold a maximum capacity of 750 patrons, however during Oktoberfest, an estimated 1200 guests came through the doors. Fears of violence or drunken disorder where highlighted when Patrons were seen lining up around the corner to get in.

“It was absolutely crazy.” Said Jaimee Mulder, a UOW Unibar employee.

Each year, the staff members at Unibar and Unicentre anticipate huge crowds to gather to participate in this annual event. To cater to the overwhelming amount of patrons, temporary fencing is erected around the entrance of the Bar. This allows for event organisers and security to better control and monitor participants.

Former Kings Cross LAC Police constable, Garry Dobson reminds owners of all establishments to adhere to maximum capacity guidelines.

“Exceeding the safe amount of patrons in any bar is dangerous. The recommended limits are there for a reason.” Garry said

Despite initial safety concerns from both employees and the security hired for the event, Oktoberfest ran fairly smoothly with only a handful of students being escorted due to intoxication and inappropriate behavior.

“There weren’t any major dramas other than a handful of drunk idiots.” Manager Nathan Stratton said.

Throughout the six-hour event, security was observed to have handled the rowdy 1200 guests extremely well.

“Security didn’t have to exhort any force on guest that were seen to be overly drunk.” Stratton added

Oktoberfest at the Unibar is known as one of the most successful events organized by the Unicentre events committee and the outsourced booking agent, Big Apachee.

Each year, the staff members at Unibar and Unicentre anticipate the biggest year.

The event included Pretzel eating contests and ‘lucky door’ prize give-a-ways.

The traditional German steins were $8.00.


Bratwurst eating competition


Get your Lederhosen on!

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Coffee, Coin and Company

Which Café on Campus has the best coffee experience for your buck?

Professional barista and part owner of The Bookstation, a café in Sydney, Tippi Halpin is a self-professed coffee connoisseur and knows what she’s talking about!

“It’s not easy to make the perfect latte.” Tippi boasts, so for two days, I decided to put her expertise to the test. She kindly agreed to spend time with me on Campus exploring every coffee house and rating the experience by the following criteria,

–       Cost

–       Ambiance

–       Taste

–       Service

By the end, we were given a clear indication of which is the best place to get the best tasting coffee for the best price and here are the results

Drum roll please….

Panizzi! According to Tippi (and myself) Panizzi has the perfect ingredients for that perfect cup- and we’re not just talking about the espresso!

“I love the balance between take-away and sit-in” Tippi explains, “It’s the only place where good energy from those sitting having coffee successfully meets those who are waiting for their take-away.”

I have to add that the waiting time was less than 4 minutes, a-lot faster and more efficient than most other cafes.

We picked up our coffee from a friendly barista known as Josh and headed off to a table.

Once seated, Tippi not only enjoyed the semi- alfresco environment but was also impressed with the modern décor. Much of Panizzi’s appeal is attributed to long, polished wooden tables placed underneath shelves housing mini double-decker buses and Union Jack suitcases. Hanging above, are re-prints of famous Banksy street art- an ode to the manager’s English roots.

Step over to the waiting area and students can read about up-and-coming events at the Unibar or the latest music festival.

“It really has everything.” Tippi concludes, “…and at only $3.00 for a standard cup.”

With great, friendly service, funky, modern décor and a “smooth, delicious espresso”, I doubt I would ever come across a UOW student who doesn’t enjoy Panizzi.

Can’t wait to see you there!

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SocialUOW is up and running!

Welcome to SocialUOW!

Incase you haven’t already noticed, this is a blog about the social aspects of the University of Wollongong (UOW).

Let me start by introducing myself.

My name is Rebecca Preuss and I am studying Journalism at UOW and so far, I’m having a blast! Not only do I love what I’m studying, but I also enjoy going to Wollongong- It’s not all about study, as you’ll soon find out.

So sit back, take it all in and feel free to add feedback on our SocialUOW’s Twitter page I’d love to hear how your first few weeks are going.

psssstttt….Want to get in on the gossip? Click here

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