Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 11, No. 1. March 17th. 1948
Noose for You
Noose for You
The visitor to Salient Room who is observant enough to raise his eyes above head-level will notice that's noose hangs from the ceiling above the table. This length of rope was, so rumour hath it, installed for the use of editors who had been driven suicidal because their creation had fallen short of the original conception.
For me however it has more significance. It is an ever present symbol of the activities and intentions of many of Salient critics. Prominent in the lynching bee and giving it its respectability is that worthy dame Truth, and the fickle jade Student Opinion. The most loud-mouthed and crafty member of the party is Mr. Sectional Opinion. This latter gentleman usually cloaks his activities by seeking to impress his audience that he speaks in the name of his dumb but awe-inspiring companions.
Truth however sometimes speaks for herself. On this page she is represented by the Executive and the Debating Society. The Secretaries of these two bodies point out errors of fact in our last issue. We humbly and sincerely apologize for the mistakes, and trust that the difficulties of verification which faced the staff will be appreciated by our critics. We must also apologise for many technical mistakes in that issue. A new printer who had an unexpected twelve page issue to rush through has done a very good job under the circumstances.
For once Student Opinion other than that represented by members of the staff has found a mouthpiece. Mother of Ten and a Baby in a lengthy letter gives us his ideas on cleaning up Victoria. We gratefully print it as an article on page 7.
And what about the third member of the trio? I am afraid he shines in the corridors and in the knots of spittoon philosophers in the Common Rooms and Caf. He makes accusations which cannot be met, he creates a small body of truculent people who come along to the A.G.M. every year and try to shackle Salient with censorship regulations. These people take the easy way—if they don't agree with the opinions expressed, then they try to suppress them. If we ask them why don't they defend themselves and their convictions by writing for Salient they snort that Red bias will prevent their views appearing in print. Let me assure them that that attitude has only been fostered by people who would like to see freely expressed opinions muzzled. The reason for the "biassed" opinions in our pages is that those people who happen to possess that "bias" are the only ones who write for Salient. So far this year only two contributions have been turned down—both for literary reasons. One, an attempt at humorous satire seemed to me to be better suited to Cappicade, the other a poem expressing sentiments with which I heartily concur, did not reach the High standard which its author has attained in the past. You can be sure that any contribution will be published which is of a decent literary standard, with due regard to relevancy and space.
Sometimes the representative of sectional opinion manages to lift a pen and write a letter to Salient. I congratulate F.M. on his courage and his interest. I hope that a criticism of his letter will not make him shy clear of making further attempts to criticize Salient. First I deprecate his attitude to Y.P.C. He wants a student paper to keep exclusively to student activities. It is about time that he and many others like him realized that students must look beyond the University. Salient tries in many way to link our isolated student community to the outside world. Keeping in touch with youth organizations is only one way. Commenting on questions of the day, local, national and international is another.
Ten years of such comment reveals a surprisingly consistent attitude. This attitude we termed on page 3 of the first issue "anti-fascist." We realize, however, that this word has a high emotional content but under the circumstances it is the only one which would be used to denote opposition to Hitler, Mussolini, Franco and their milk-and-water associates Chamberlain and Laval. F.M. desires an article on fascism as conceived by those in "progressive" circles. He will see it on page 7.
All contributors must send Copy in Typed on One Side Only of Half Foolscap Sheets. Our staff is small, our time is short and we've got more than enough to do without having to re-type all contributors and decipher bad handwriting. We also prefer to spend the wee sma' hours of the morning in bed.