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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 15, No. 8. May 29, 1952

Letters to the Editor — Why V.U.C Apathy?

Letters to the Editor

Why V.U.C Apathy?

The letter from T. H. Beaglehole raises again this question of the apathy of Vic students and while I agree with him over the business of billets and the general state of matters so far as the College Is concerned yet this Is not all due to our own fault"

First of all the part-timers have every reason to show apathy outside lectures, it is quite difficult enough to have to swot after work and lecture hours without entering into other activities as well. Besides this modem city life offers as many outlets in recreation and cultural activities as do varsity societies. For example musical people do well to attend recitals in town by world famous artists and our own National Orchestra rather than attend a gramophone evening with the Music Club. Next the facilities offered to persons are not of the best. Though now and then the Women's common-room is made available for meetings this cannot provide for all cases. The Gym has not much attraction though it Is far better than it used to be. Otherwise meetings must take place in lecture rooms which are equally as uncomfortable. Thirdly can be considered the policy of the Students' Association. Last year when meetings of the Association were held bias against the promoters of such meetings often caused them be flop. However they managed to raise the Students' Association subscription by over 30 percent no doubt hoping to raise a storm of awakening among the students.

This rise was unnecessary except that it helped further the Executive's policy of spoon feeding College societies. How little many societies have to work to keep themselves going. Provided they get a grant from the funds they are all right. If It was up to each society to scout around for members and try to help themselves more then something might be accomplished.

Far too much reliance has been placed on the effectiveness of notices rather than approaching people individually. For instance over tournament there were many Jobs requiring persons to do them and the main method adopted to recruit such people was by posters on boards. Individualism is more prominent today than It has been in the past. Almost everyone is more concerned about the state of their own welfare rather than that of a group, if the controlling officers had taken a peep at the cards they hold from every student about his or her interests they could have got a great number of people to help by approaching them personally. The two shows after the boxing and swimming were Immense successes as far as numbers went, but arrangements for supper were almost nil at the Gym and absolutely none at Lower Hutt if twenty people had been rung up and asked to help by providing supper then everything would have been improved 100 percent.

Apathy is however not just confined to the College at all. Through out all branches of Life there is the same feeling of frustration and hopelessness. People have become used to conditions around thorn being unstable that now they make little effort to correct them. Whether we are not working as hard as our predecessors I cannot tell but certainly conditions today are more (apathetic). Even back in 1910 I have been informed 400 students used to attend Association meetings yet today a quorum of fifty is beyond our reach very often. Rectification is in the hands of the leaders of university bodies and of the members of all societies. Cast off the useless societies without any alma of constructive activity and let personal relationships between the societies and the body of students as a whole be strengthened by a more direct approach. Don't mollycoddle every society by fully subsidising it with Students' Association subscriptions but rather get them to rely on their membership increasing through their own efforts. But don't try to belong to too many clubs but rather select one or two and work with all might and energy for their success.

M.W.R.

[Normally a letter of such length and of such abominable grammar would not have been printed, hot this letter raises so many thought-provoking points that it merited publication. Some of the commeats M.W.R. has made are discussed in the editorial.

—Ed.]