Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 9, No. 12. September 25, 1946
The news as published in the daily papers that the College Council is investigating the possibilities of establishing a school of Social Studies at Victoria raises a question of vital importance to students. Many students feel and have felt that their University courses are of too academic a nature, and that they do not tie in with the realities of life and of human experience. Nor is there any cohesion between the different departments of the college dealing with those subjects having a particular sociological reference. I feel that properly used, a school of Social Studies attached to Victoria would be of great benefit. It will of course prove impossible for any lecturers to lay down a readily acceptable norm of conduct owing to the diversity of opinion on the subject, but an attempt can be made to indicate the major schools of thought and the reasons behind the differences involved. The school must necessarily deal with matters in a descriptive manner rather than a prescriptive one, but even this will be valuable as it will undoubtedly awake the slumbering social consciences of many students, while it will be at least a valuable source of data for the many who desire to formulate an opinion for personal use, but who have nothing with which to work.
Those students who have in the past discovered a way of truth either from external sources or from the few channels available at the University in the shape of voluntary organisations will continue to develop as heretofore, but the new school, properly run, will provide them with an insight into the opinions and philosophies of other groups.
I would suggest that, if the plans of the Council ever come to fruition, the Executive should, either by calling a meeting or some other means ascertain the views of the students on this matter. I think that this is one of the occasions when the viewpoints of students would be of very great value to the Council, provided that they are expressed in a reasonable and proper fashion.
In conclusion I would like to say that I feel this to be the most progressive step taken by the Council for many years and one well worthy of our hearty support, the Council itself deserving congratulation on the matter.
—K. B. O'Brien.