Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 1. 1965.
A Clear picture of accommodation plans for students in Wellington emerged for the first time at a meeting of interested bodies late last year. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Ian Boyd.
It was reported that the Presbyterian and Methodist Churches are interested in a joint venture, which tentatively could provide between 200 and 250 places by 1968. No plans exist nor has a site yet been acquired.
The Church of England also plans a hostel, which they hope to have started in two years and finished in five. Land prices close to the university are so high they prevent purchase, and a site two miles away is being considered. The Women's Students Hostel Society (Inc.), which controls Vic "A" and Vic "B" hostels, plans expansion on the Vic "A" site. Immediate proposals include plans Increasing accommodation by either 24 or 33 places.
It is believed that the society may sell the Vic "B" property in order to finance expansion on one site.
The Training College has a definite proposal for a 225-bed hostel at the new Training College in Karori. This plan would be fully financed by the Government and, in effect, about half the places would be occupied by university students.
Dr. Beaglehole, warden of Weir House, spoke on the Weir House extensions, the first stage of which is being financed by the Colombo Plan.
He believed that university hostels should be run by Staff members, not clergymen. This was quite apart from the domestic angle—it was because it was very important for the creation of a "viable intellectual community." He thought that to create such a community a pretty big hall (200 or more residents) was needed.
Dr. Beaglehole went on to say that the creation of this intellectual community is the job of hostels and small hostels are not desirable—they offer only physical shelter.
The Helen Lowry representative disagreed with Dr. Beaglehole. A "viable intellectual community" is an idealistic aim, whereas a small, closely-knit, personal community is very advantageous and is also fust as economic. Helen Lowry Hall is in leased premises, and the lease expires in four years' time. The buildings are old but have at least 10 years life left in them.
No Roman Catholic representative was at the meeting but it is believed that one scheme they have in mind involves building a small hall on the cemetery and linking it with the Student Union kitchens.
A representative of the YWCA outlined plans for a new building which will include 143 permanent places. The YWCA will take students who are prepared to let their rooms go over holidays, and although such conditions are not good for students, who have to provide their own desk, bookcase, and similar furniture, some are expected.
Tony Ashenden, treasurer of the Students' Association, sought to prolong the life of the meeting by moving that a steering committee be established from the parties present. The committee could, he thought, persuade the public of the need for hostels, raise funds for them, and provide liaison with the Government. His motion was not seconded, however, and was not put to the meeting.