Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 22, No. 2. March 23, 1959
[Letter from Much Refresher to Salient Vol. 22, No. 2. March 23, 1959]
Sir,—I congratulate the writer of "Brickbats and Roses" for his succinct resume of executive progress during the past six months. It is both unfortunate and charming that he saw fit to use the "great hob-nailed boots" of naked sarcasm where gentle irony would have sufficed. It is possible the charm of youth combined with the erudition of an angry young man rendered his article a disservice.
No discount was allowed for the age and worldly wisdom of the executive members. Even with age and great experience many is the executive that chooses to behave in a similar manner. I believe it was Mark Twain who observed that: "God first made an idiot for practice, and then he created the school board."
Other comments have been made along the same lines with specific reference to committees. The defects of a democratic system of administration can only be remedied by extensive training in the field of practice. I write this, not dogmatically, but merely from a background of continued observation and participation.
The paragraph on "Fresher-Coddling" reflects the "He-Man" approach to an industrial problem, usually termed, induction. The hand-out programme for Orientation Week, 1959, whilst acting as a calendar of events, only covers a fraction of the story. There is a real need for an ably administered full-scale induction policy and programme to replace the gregarious actions of the lost.
Positive injunction of "Go Thump a Tub", well performed the function of an eye-catching headline, but surely this form of syntax does not become a member of the Arts Faculty, even after making due allowance for semantics and journalistic licence.
However, the crux of the article is contained in this section. The reference to lethargy is both timely and apt. Not only has lethargy been displayed by the election of past students' government, but also in matters of accommodation, facilities, and the costs of living, fees, books, taxation, etc.
Regard the student body organised as a dynamic task force 2500 strong, fully using the powers of knowledge, public opinion, negotiation, debate, and mass communications.
Visualise the picture painted: A team of philosophers, psychologists, backed by economists, historians, political scientists, lawyers, accountants and administrators, descending to wait upon Government (three-quarters-of-a-mile away) for assistance or a "loan secured by posterity" to build: flats, more lecture halls, develop a befitting campus, sports grounds and the rest of the facilities that should be part of the University; the science team (post-grads can be prevailed) ready and waiting with working drawings, survey maps, geological surveys, traffic movement schedules, etc., for immediate implementation after the negotiation team had successfully performed the requisite democratic antics.
Let students Think along the lines of immediate utilisation of their studies for their own immediate benefit.
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