Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 17, No. 3. March 18, 1953
"You Were Taken for the Ride, Mr. Editor" — President's Letter
"You Were Taken for the Ride, Mr. Editor"
The keynote of your last editorial on the subject of appointments to NZUSA was in the word "abuse" in the first sentence, for such was your criticism of Mr. McCaw and Miss Hoskins. I have no intention of comparing them with other Exec members—I only wish to defend those whom the Executive chose and whom you attacked. On what grounds did you assert that Mr. McCaw would be playing cricket and not attending meetings? I am quite sure that Mr. McCaw did not tell you this. Even if he was to be playing cricket (and you have no grounds for believing that he will be) he would miss less than a quarter of the meetings.
In addition, you seem to overlook the fact that Mr. McCaw has been to N.Z.U.S.A. before and is highly regarded there. You also forget that he took on the thankless task of Congress Business Manager, that he served and worked hard on the Student Employment Committee, that he ran the stationery scheme so well that over [unclear: £300] worth of stationery was sold in a week; you forget that he is generally regarded as one of the most efficient members of the Executive.
As for Miss Hoskins, you forget that she is a highly capable and experienced speaker and advocate, that she was at the first Congress and on the Committee of the last one, that she was a member of the Stationery Committee and helped to initiate the Student Employment Service, that she is the organiser of the International Students' evening (in all of which projects other colleges are interested), and that she has the widest experience of overseas universities. Above all, Mr. Editor, you forget that the Executive chose these people, the Executive which should know their capabilities best. Maybe your candidates would be good delegates but there is no ground for asserting that those selected are not.
Your reference to "nepotism and chicanery" infer that the executive was party to such things. If you are going to make charges as serious as that, it would be a good idea if you justified them instead of [unclear: libelling] this and post Executives. I am more than a little interested in this as I have been a member of the last six delegations and a party to the selection of them all. In addition, the Council, in August, 1951, had sufficient confidence in me to elect me as their chairman in the absence of the then President. Who was a party to what and when. Mr. Editor? I suggest you justify these charges or withdraw them.
I think I have shown that there is some ground for asserting that the other two candidates have shown considerable interest in matters bearing directly and indirectly on N.Z.U.S.A. and that they are capable of representing this college as it deserves to be represented. I have challenged you to Justify your allegations. The only person who was possibly taken along for the ride was you. Mr. Editor. Remember that a kind Executive agreed to pay you the Tournament subsidy to go to Christchurch last August in order to let you report N.Z.U.S.A.? Remember also that you deserved this consideration so much because, after all, you, as editor of the host college newspaper the preceding Easter took so great an interest in the affairs of N.Z.U.S.A. that you did not bother to attend a single session of a meeting that lasted from Good Friday morning to Easter Monday afternoon? Who's calling who what?
M. J. O'Brien,President, V.U.C.S.A.