Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 33, No. 6 6 May 1970
Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor
May I, as Chairman of the Lecturers' Association, have space to correct the misrepresentations contained in the Salient article (22 April) headlined "lecturers' representation".
1. Lecturers, as members of staff, already share in the work of a wide range of University committees, including the Faculties, Professorial Board and Council. Every lecturer is a member of a Faculty, (and a Faculty is a sub-committee of the Board) and thereby has large opportunities of contributing to the running of the University. Last year (well before the SRC meeting of 12 March, 1970), the Lecturers' Association successfully initiated requests to Council to have the staff representatives on Council (apart from the Board representatives) increased in number from one to two, and the lecturers' representatives on the Board increased in number from three to six.
2. The Joint Committee already has four staff members, appointed by the Board. At the February meeting of the Board (again before the 12 March SRC meeting), lecturers' representatives sought successfully for two additional staff members to join the Committee for its discussions on the question of staff appointments, but at the same time declined for the present to seek extra appointments on a permanent basis, mainly on the grounds that it was not yet evident that the normal business of the Joint Committee required such additional staff members.
3. The Salient article asserts that the Lecturers' Association committee made the following statement to a student representative and to a member of the Ad Hoc Committee (surely not Mr Logan and Mr Wright in combination?): "No further representation by lecturers on university committees is called for; the lecturers' have complete confidence in the ability of their professors to represent them representation by lecturers on university committees is unnecessary."
No Such Statement was Made by the Association committee—nor any like it. It is a pity the writer of the article did not seek more reliable sources for his supposed information.
4. At the special meeting of the Lecturers' Association called by the Ad Hoc Committee (who, when the meeting was convened, appeared to consist of only one person) the lecturers present defeated, overwhelmingly, the first of Mr Wright's motions quoted in the article and his second motion of no confidence in the committee failed to gain even a firm seconder and therefore lapsed.
Finally I wish to affirm that the committee of the Lecturers' Association is wholly concerned to promote opportunities for the effective contribution of lecturers, as staff members, to all aspects of the affairs of the University. It believes that its present policies are a proper consequence of this concern.
|1.||This is undisputed. "SRC passed a resolution welcoming increased representation . . ."|
|2.||Also undisputed. Salient regrets not specifically numbering sub-professorial staff on the Joint Committee.|
|3.||Agreed. It was a pity.|
|4.||See news story.)|
All Black Tour
Where does the 'average Kiwi' stand on this year's controversial rugby tour of South Africa? With the help of a friend, I did a little to find out.
Last week, in Cuba Mall and later in Willis and Manners Streets, we stopped 50 passers-by at random and asked their opinions. Here are the results:
Don't Know: 4
Don't Know: 5
Don't Know: 4
I feel these samples represent public opinion more accurately than any taken, say, inside a university. Why can't some responsible body go into the matter and take a large opinion poll? The result would show certain factions exactly where they stand.
I am being steadily convinced that the All Black Tour to South Africa should eventuate. The negative attitude portrayed by the majority of persons in suggesting that the Tour be stopped is a reflection of homogeneity in thought current throughout New Zealand.
Victoria University is no exception to this pattern I am sad to say. It purports to be an institution where issues are debated logically to produce hopefully coherent arguments for and against the issue. I am afraid the assumption was debased at the recent 'Racism' debate between Mr Rata and Mr Mitchell relating to the proposed All Black Tour. Not only did the audience obviate their minds and reason to the proposition that the AH Blacks 'should' go to South Africa, but in doing so they contradicted the very essence of their presence at a university.
With due respect to Mr Mitchell and his ideological beliefs, the toleration of which supposedly forms a basis in any democracy, he presented a view abhorred by many New Zealanders, namely that apartheid is an acceptable clause in the Rhodesian system of government. Rebellion to Mr Mitchell's beliefs was evidenced throughout his speech. This is irresponsible conduct.
It assumed firstly the superiority of the minds of those present within the audience (or rather the superiority on the shepherds within our society). Secondly, the rebellion was antagonised by issues peripheral to the topic to such an extent that at the conclusion of the debate no fundamentals for or against the Tour could be found. Lastly, I noted a negative attitude toward finding any conclusions on the debated topic.
Why do I support the Tour? Negatively; because as yet I have to find a concrete reason why I should not support the Tour. The "injustices within the apartheid system" are not necessarily "injustices of the system". Positively; because I feel we, as an integrated team of compatible races, can show the whites and blacks of South Africa that unity can be acceptable to both a black person and a white person.
I am sorry to observe that students at Victoria University are as impolite to guest speakers with whom they do not agree as students in other parts of the world. As a visitor from California who is well acquainted with aggressive student action and, in some instances, very much in tune with the student demands, I still believe in extending common courtesy to others.
While my husband was lecturing elsewhere on campus last evening on "Student Unrest" I attended a debate dealing with the sending of your All Black rugby team to South Africa. I visited South Africa several months ago and I am not at all in favor of apartheid; nevertheless, I would like to have heard what kind of a defense of the system a person from New Zealand could possibly present. I was prevented from hearing the debator's remarks because several students in the audience (one by name of Wheeler) were more interested in shouting "Fascist" than listening in order to better rebut in an intelligent manner the opposition.
How about it New Zealand students? Don't follow the senseless path of American students by letting a few rabble rousers control the group.
(Mrs) J.C. Gowan
Arts Conference 70
I have just finished reading Alan Brunton's report on Arts Conference 70 and would like, as President of Pen (NZ Centre), to correct a point in relation to the remit advocating the elimination of the State Literary Fund in favour of an advisory panel of the Arts Council.
Mr Brunton says, inter alia, "As it happens, the only defence for retention of the Fund is made by its present Secretary (a civil servant) and by delegates from Pen (which has, supposedly, the independent say in the Fund's deliberations)."
In January of this year I put before Pen Executive a lengthy note headed "Arts Conference" in which I quoted Arts Council grants from Government and Lottery sources, and to which I attached pages from the latest Q.E. II Arts Council Annual Report giving general expenditure figures for drama, music and visual arts. My aim was to draw attention to the unfavourable treatment of writers under the State Literary Fund with whose grants we were of course familiar. Paragraph 4 of my note read: "If the Arts Council does not consider us because the Literary Fund does, would writers not be treated more comparably with the other arts if the Literary Fund were incorporated within the Council and we were represented by our own Panel therein? Drama has a panel of 10, Music 17 and Visual Arts 15." I mentioned that Pen's function has never been to ask for more grants for writers. It is unfortunate that New Zealand has no organisation whose sole job is to be a voice for writers, and because this is so, another of my Presidential platforms has been to recommend that members join the Australian Society of Authors which hopes to form a New Zealand branch. This Society acts with tremendous energy and aggression for more fellowships, higher rates of pay, better contracts, copywright fees for xeroxing, and of course, for the Public Lending Right. New Zealand desperately needs such a body.
Further, in my note I asserted that writers are of greater value to the culture and life of a society than executants of any of the other arts, firstly because in our literate land we all read whereas comparatively few attend ballet, opera and so on; and secondly because some of the arts are interpretive while writing is indigenous.
I'm sure you will see that I would be anxious to support the remit in question. I did in fact do so. If John Lee, our only official delegate, did not do so, I'm sure it was because his deafness prevented his knowing what was being considered. Two other Pen members were present. One if not both voted for the remit. Alan Brunton's assumption that Pen has the independent say in the State Literary Fund's deliberations is incorrect, by the way. The names of the recipients of the Scholarship in Letters and the Award for Achievement are as much news to us as they are to you. Pen does have two awards of its own for which we receive assistance from the State Literary Fund. These are the Hubert Church Award for prose and the Jessie Mackay Award for poetry, for which we arrange our own outside judges.
Many young people have plenty to say worth listening to (some University students, some not) and are articulate, very often over poweringly. I would like to see some of this wisdom/anger/energy used creatively, preferably in writing. There's every chance that an important novel might result.
In the letters column of Salient (22 April) there appeared a letter commenting on the Bellamy uniforms which is attributed to "K.J. Holyoake".
As the only K.J. Holyoake, I wish to point out that I did not write the letter. The only conclusion to be reached is that it was the work of a practical joker and I would be grateful if you would arrange for the publication of my denial of authorship.
Keith J. Holyoake
May I take opportunity of your wide circulation to bring to the attention of all students the exploitation of Economics 1B students that is going on without anything being done about it!
Case: At the beginning of the year, 1B was overcrowded. So, some students were drafted to 1A (a basically wide yet less detailed course in Economics—a terminal unit) whilst others (poor suckers, poor me) volunteered to shift over. We were told that there would not be any differences in courses any more.
Promises! Promises! We now find that 1A is running through Samuelson while 1B is slogging through Lipsey. We find that 1B has postponed its date of passing up the 1st Essay by one week but not 1A. They have their test postponed to the 30th; we must be contented with the original 28th. When we attempt questioning lecturers about 'our rights', they dismiss us like they would high school kids. Why shouldn't they? After all, that's just how they have been treating us! And will continue to do so if we Econs 1B students don't do anything about it!
I say Econs 1B students in 1A, unite and let's get things straightened out! Let me be clear: let it not be said that we in 1A are lazy buggers hard up for time, Let it be said, however, that we know our rights and Care about our rights.
Chung Thian Mong