Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University, Wellington. Vol. 21, No. 8. 2nd July, 1958
Sir,—In apply after the event for a grant to cover part of the cost of the Freshers Dinner the E.U. Executive was at fault (technically at least) and you had every right to use the columns of "Salent" to draw the attention of members of the Student Union to the fact. Your "censor" provided some explanatory comments which bring out the further fact that a penalty has been imposed and accepted, but there are one or two points which are overlooked or misinterpreted in the two statements you published.
Firstly, it is only partly true that the grant was given, as you suggest, "to cover the cost of the dinner". The E.U. itself provided just over £22 of the total cost.
Secondly, the "friends" we invited to the Dinner were all the Freshers who filled in Student Association cards during Enrolment Week, without distinction. The two hundred who accepted the invitation and attended will no doubt be able to testify to the comments of both Mr. Marchant, President of the Student Union, who proposed the vote of thanks, and Dr. Williams, the Vice-Chancellor, who was our host: neither of these gentlemen seemed to have the impression that this was a "recruiting campaign" in the sense you imply. Our hope is that the dinner made some contribution to the corporate life of the University by helping many Freshers to approach their new environment with a balanced appreciation of its privileges and its challenge.
Finally, as the idea seems to persist that the E.U. is a "closed shop", I should like to state that our meetings are, and always have been, open (as advertised) to all members of the Student Union, whether they are E.U. members, rationalists, footballers, reporters, or what have you. Our weekly meetings in the first term were attended by an average of 65 students, of whom a good proportion were not E.U. members, and we shall be glad to welcome at our coming meetings any who would like to attend but have hitherto been prevented by the idea that they were not eligible without signing on the dotted line.