Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 15, No. 9. June 5, 1952
The Law and the Exec
The Law and the Exec.
I have often wondered how it has escaped the notice of the majority of students that members of the most conservative of professions hold the most influential positions on the Executive. Everything seems to be run by lawyers. This seems to be one very good reason for shortening the law course. The whole university is dominated by an active minority which holds power out of all proportion to its numbers. Of course it might be claimed that these law students are influential in direct proportion to their worth. Very few of us that have any pride at all would admit that, even if it were true. But it is not. It has been shown time and time again over the past few years that law students holding positions on the Executive have been unispired to the point of incompetence. They have lacked the enthusiasm and idealism which should be the distinguishing feature of any students' organisation.
The two factors which weigh most heavily towards a candidate's success or failure in the Association elections are service and experience in student affairs. Some might claim a place for popularity but this is dependent upon the above-mentioned fattors. These same factors are determinants of the successful candidate's effectivity on the Executive. Whether these are sufficient grounds for election has not often been debated. The might provide an interesting formal debate before election time. The main quality which should distinguish a student executive body is surely enthusiasm and idealism, and whether the majority of persons on the Executive are suitable for their positions and adequately enthusiastic to bring most schemes to a successful fruition is again a very debatable question.' I do not think that the majority of Executive members are suitable persons to be on a student governing body. Undoubtedly they have provided much of the past enthusiasm and activity, but now the time has come when they should be pastured out on bodies such as the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club. They have done their job and the time has come to instil new life and vigour into the Executive. The fact that the law profession has provided so many of those to whom I am refering is perhaps incidental. But the fact remains that the law students are in the College much longer than most other students, the most active of these have been elected to the Execuive, and the Executive reduced to an inanimate non-progressive social group.
Many people would deny that idealism is advantageous in a student body which so often suffers from an excess of it. If this were true we could admit it, but the fact remains that the Executive is an unidealistic body and could be found anywhere. They have reduced the Executive to the status of a business firm—social committee. Its main concern appears to be to ensure the successful organisation of such functions as the Undergrad. Supper, and are happy to leave the pressing student questions in limbo.