Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 8, No. 2. March, 14, 1945
We would draw attention to considerations of general policy which make it inadvisable to put in hand the negotiations for the building of a Students' Union at the present time.
The Building Committee's specifications for the Students' Union are not bold enough. There is reason to expect an extremely rapid increase in the roll of the college. It will probably number over 2000 students in three or four years time.
The specifications are obviously limited by present circumstances, and most seriously by the objections which the government must have in giving its support to an ambitious project. The conversion of the Students' Association's credit into capital would strengthen the forces tending towards inflation, and would jeopardise the government's stabilisation measures. The probable attitude of the government is indicated by the cessation of public works, except for the construction of hydro-electric plants. It would be reluctant to subsidise a scheme which would put a lot of money into circulation and would draw heavily on labour and materials. Not only is the cost of building very high, but the proposed site entails very massive and expensive foundations. If the Students' Association waits until a time when it can expect more public support, it will more easily raise the funds to meet the cost of building, even if it is still as high, and it may be able to obtain a better site. The area between the biology block and the bowling green, for example, would be more satisfactory from the point of view of construction, and it is large enough for lawns and trees to surround the building.
Finally, while the government is as conscious as it is of the urgency of the housing problem, we cannot count on much support for the building of a Students' Union.
—We are, etc.,
P.S.—Wherever the Students' Union is built, we should keep the common rooms in the main college building as well as those in the Union building.