b'FEATURED ARTICLEKeeping families connected with student life at OtagoOtagos Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) has been awarded the national Higher Education Heroes Award for its exceptional quality of learning support care during the country-wide COVID-19 lockdown.To read more click on the image aboveWith both of us living off our scholarshipPtea Tautoko is a practical way people can stipends, knowing that the fund was there, thatmake a difference, by helping to ensure the there was somewhere we could go to for support,pandemic does not disadvantage a vulnerable took a lot of stress off the immediate worry ofgroup at a critical time in their lives, says would we be able to pay our rent, our power,Director of DARO Shelagh Murray. The food, says Duncan. It made it a lot easier at aextraordinary response from our Alumni and very stressful time, especially when we have afriends to help ease the impact of the pandemic wee one to care for as well. on our students is a wonderful expression of kindness and generosity from the heart of our Otago community. Victoria, who is studying for a PhD in Anatomy, says the biggesthelpwasreceivingtheextensiontoDuncans stipend, because if he had needed to extend his study withoutgettinganyfundingitwouldhavebeenvery stressful, and he may have had to finish up and find a job to pay the bills.All students are eligible to apply to the fund. Applications are considered by several panels, all including student representation.Thepanelsrobustlyassesshardship, usingtoolstheUniversityalreadyhastoassessDevelopment & Alumni applications for existing hardship funds, and for needs- Communications Departmentbasedscholarships.Significantongoingdemandis expected for 2020, and the fund will continue to operateUniversity of Otago,in 2021 as well. New ZealandOCTOBER 2020 10 5'