Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 2, No. 12. June 28, 1939
'Salient' Attacked Stormy Meeting
'Salient' Attacked Stormy Meeting
When reporting College meetings, it has been "Salient's" policy to encourage not verbatim reports of, but interesting comments on, those meetings, and the results of this policy have, we think, been appreciated by readers. We are not running a school magazine, a weekly collection of gossip and funny stories, or a pulp magazine—we are endeavouring to produce an organ of enlightened student opinion. However, in view of the fact that at the Annual Meeting of the V.U.C.S.A. mention was made of "one-eyed reports" by a member of the dissentient minority, and as the sole control of "Salient" for the next two issues has been handed over to the leader of that minority, the report appearing below is merely a plain and unvarnished record of events at the meeting.
We would advise all students to peruse the report carefully, as the meeting was one of the most important in the history of Victoria College. The undercurrents are deep, and the issues are fundamental.
We are afraid that readers will, on this occasion, have to decide the truth of the matter themselves. For once "Salient" is displaying Impartiality, and it will need an effort on your part to discover the Truth.
Mr. Heine opened proceedings with a gymnastic display, which lasted for some time. Apparently, during this display he was reading the minutes of the last annual general meeting, for someone near the front moved that Mr. Heine be recommended to take lessons in speech training. This recommendation was endorsed by the hundred or so students present, and the recommendation was duly conveyed to Mr. Heine. When this comic act was concluded with applause, the retiring president. Mr. R. W. Edgley, epitomised the annual report with commendable brevity.
The great Mr. Bullock was prevailed upon to read the accounts, but his ungainly stance and inaudibility moved the meeting to urge that Mr. Hatherly complete the job, which he did, under protest. We suspect that he skipped a large portion of the report, a most reprehensible action on his part which was naturally resented by the meeting.
With such pleasaunces, and numerous unintelligent Interjections, the meeting proceeded towards more dangerous topics.
Mr. Macaskill enquired concerning the nature and habits of a lady called Honor Aria, whose name appeared in the Extravagana account, and wanted an explanation of the fact that the Executive had given her fourteen guineas. A motion that Honor Aria, as well as the Annual Report, be adopted, was unfortunately lost.
The usual unintelligible "formal amendments" to the constitution were passed with little comment: Mr. Heine, in a particularly Fascist manner, leaving very little time for comment.
The most important motion of the evening was then introduced by Mr. Edgley—that the Students' Association fee he raised to £1/10/-, such fee to include a year's subscription to "Salient" and one issue of "Spike."
Mr. Mitchell's Points
|(a)||That "Sallent's" policy did not represent the opinions of the majority of V.U.C. students.|
|(b)||That generally the articles in "Salient" were one-sided and blassed.|
|(c)||That contributions to "Salient" which expressed different views to those held by the staff mainly responsible for "Salient's" production, were deliberately withheld.|
|(d)||That a letter written by Mr. Mitchell in reply to an article in "Salient" was not published.|
|(e)||That it was unfair to compel those who disagreed entirely with "Salient's" policy to subscribe to it.|
|(f)||That a University paper was not the place for political articles except where students were affected.|
|(g)||That there was much too little college news in "Salient."|
|(a)||That the subscriptions to "Salient" were much lower this year than last year.|
|(b)||That "Salient" was worthless.|
Other speakers supported Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Cardale by means of Interjections.
Mr. Freeman's Reply.
|(1)||That "Salient's" policy represents the opinions of the majority of active students, that is, students who voiced their opinions at debates, free discussions meetings, and in "Spike" and "Salient" itself.|
|(2)||That contributions were constantly being called for from students, but the response was so poor that a large part of the work had to be done by the editorial staff.|
|(3)||That often opinions opposed to "Salient's" policy were personally solicited by the staff, as in the case of the report of Dr. Sutch's lecture on Spain last year.|
|(4)||That the statement that contributions were withheld deliberately was untrue and unsupported by fact.|
|(5)||That every political article received this year had been published.|
|(6)||That Mr. Mitchell's letter was not published because (a) it was irrelevant to the point at issue and (b) two other letters in opposition to the article in question were published.|
|(7)||That every item of college news had been carefully covered in "Salient."|
|(8)||That the subscriptions to "Salient" were much higher than the subscriptions to "Smad."|
|(9)||That If a person objected to statements in "Salient." the remedy was in the own hands, because
Mr. Freeman then issued an invitation to Mr. Mitchell to take sole and entire control of one issue of "Salient." Mr. Mitchell accepted the invitation.
The motion, on being put to the meeting, was carried by 69 votes to 20.
Mr. Scotney outlined the methods to be used at the College to finance the education of the refugee student who is to be brought to Wellington by the University.
Mr. Winchester moved that the whole of the money now In the building Fund be handed over to the Prime Minister to be used for the purpose of facilitating the entrance of Jewish Refugees into New Zealand. The chairman pointed out, however, that the meeting was incompetent to deal with these funds, and the motion was unfortunately ruled out of order.
Mr. Bradshaw moved that the meeting favour the formation of a College territorial unit. The motion was lost by an overwhelming majority.
The famous "grievances" of the full-timers were then disclosed by Mr. Ongley and Mr. Cardale.
|(1)||Polling for the elections did not commence until 4.30, which was inconvenient for full-timers.|
|(2)||The rules relating to the new committee-room in the Gym, stated that the room was to be used for this purpose only at night. In reply, it was pointed out that the rules had just been issued, that the full-timers had not applied for permission to use the room during the day, and that there was no committee in the College composed solely of full-timers|
|(3)||There was no drinking fountain installed in the University. In reply it was pointed out that one could get a glass of water at the [unclear: Caf for] nothing, that water was available for drinking purposes in the room opposite the notice-boards, and that the "grievance" equally affected part-timers.|
|(4)||The closing of the common room was unfair to the full-timers, as the damage was not caused by them and was not deliberate. In reply, it was stated that there was unshakable evidence that the damage was deliberate, and was caused between the hours in question.|
|(5)||The Exec, was negligent and [unclear: lay] in replying to correspondence. Pressed for instances, Mr. Cardale referred to (a) the fact that the Free Discussions Club was not yet affiliated and (b) the fact that the Chemical Society had not yet received a grant. In reply, the President of the Discussions Club admitted that it was entirely the fault of the Club itself that it was not yet affiliated and Mr. Hatherly explained satisfactorily the question of the Chemical Society.|
|(6)||That the Exec. was negligent in the matter of repairs to the Gym. Mr. Edgley explained the matter so satisfactorily that Mr. Cardale did not pursue it.|
Mr. Scotney stated that in his opinion the so-called "grievances" were merely a put-up job: that only one complaint from the full-timers had been received by the Exec, during the past two years: and that the reason why these "grievances" had been manufactured was that the fulltimers wished to get one of their members on the Exec.
The meeting closed with a sincere vote of thanks to the retiring President and the Executive.
Notes to readers of the above.
I wish to apologise sincerely for the baldness and lack of interest of the above report. I have endeavoured to make [unclear: a] report as colourful as possible without allowing my personal views to cloud the facts, but, as lack of interest always accompanies impartiality, the colour is mainly black.
I would mention that Mr. Mitchell has seen the position of this report dealing with the attack on "Salient," and has approved it as a correct report of the statements made.