Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 9. 1965.
Student government is under attack again.
The same old arguments are once again being used against NZUSA and SGM's.
Now, either students want a national student organisation, or they don't.
If they do—and national student bodies (sport, press, law students, etc.) exist in such profusion as to suggest quite clearly that they do—then they must be prepared to pay the reasonable costs involved.
The costs of NZUSA are no more than reasonable. If it is alleged that political hacks have been exploiting NZUSA for their own ends, that is only a criticism of us for allowing them.
As for General Meetings, if students care enough, they'll be there. The 1000 students at the first term's SGM showed that.
Provided full publicity of an SGM is given, absence can be taken as passive consent.
To allege SGM manipulation where no proven instance exists is to do the students of this association a gross disservice. Attempts at manipulation have ended in abject failure.
Those who glibly talk of referenda instead ignore one basic fact.
Referenda are held on one or two issues on a yes/no basis. The voter cannot change the issue, or its emphasis, or the action proposed. He can only answer.
It is for this reason that General Meetings are the normal machinery for conducting the affairs of associations.
In this Association, the individual can count for a great deal. He can state his views at SGM's and Forum. He can duplicate and distribute whatever he wishes, write to Salient, hold meetings, form clubs, and write or lobby executive.
This association is controlled by democratic process, and we do well to suspect those who would have us act otherwise.—H. B. R.