Salient: Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Vol. 32, No. 5. 1969.
Stand up and be counted
Stand up and be counted
The significance of the issues raised by the Socialist Club in their rebuke of the Athletics Club, extends far beyond University horizons. But limiting it to these horizons for a moment, the strength of their position is revealed.
At the AGM of the Students Association in I960, a motion was passed, in the form of a constitutional amendment, which is reprinted on page one, The theme was that any organisation affiliated to VUWSA cannot be affiliated to another body which practices racial discrimination without the threat of disqualification from VUWSA.
The amendment did not say it was mandatory for the Executive to take any action against an offending body—it rely gave them the power to do so.
Under Section 14 (Part G) of the Constitution (post 1966) Executive may revoke any affiliation at their discretion.
Section 15 states that an SGM may disallow any revocation by Executive and it may he assumed that an SGM may revoke any decision by Executive to maintain affiliation.
The terms of the I960 motion are covered therefore, although the new constitution makes no specific reference to racial discrimination as a reason for disaffiliation.
To establish the degree of liability of the Athletics Club, one must first reject the principles of apartheid. If one is not prepared to reject these principles, further discussion is superfluous. However, those accepting that basic principle must decide to what degree the Athletics Club is responsible for the decisions of its affiliated head, the NZ Amateur Athletic Association.
Although that body does not consider the NZ team as such, a paternity suit as it were (provided impartial Justices were in evidence) would establish without a shadow of a doubt that the child was not a bastard in anything but the degree of formal acceptance.
The Athletics Club should however, be judged on the light of the relevant motion passed at the AGM this year. Clear and unequivocal it states "ALL sporting contacts between South Africa and New Zealand must cease. . . . "
It is clear that in order for their moral principles to remain unsullied, the Athletics should do more than rebuke their parent body, they should all contacts with it. This would of course mean the collapse of the club as an effective partipicating organization; a situation which in reality unlikely to eventuate in view of the motion carried at a Sports Committee meeting, condoning sporting contacts with South Africa, but, naturally, rejecting apartheid.
The alternative is to disaffiliate the club from the Students Asociation. This would require an SGM for one could hardly expect an Executive so conscious of the vulnerability of their political throats to tackle so contentious an issue.
There are however further grounds for consideration. Miss Penny Haworth, a member of the team in South Africa is also a club member, although not student. The intricacies of the requirements for membership of varsity sports clubs for non-students are to be examined in Salient shortly for inadequacies, but here is a case which surely needs little debate
Miss Haworh's actions have totally negated the expressed desire of the Students Association. She should be expelled from the club, and it the Athletics Club doesn't do it, it should be disaffiliated.
As Sir Edmund Hilary said recently, and dozens of leader writers followed-"Who Will put principles before sport?
If those responsible cannot do it, we will do it for them.