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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume. 33, Number 7. 27 May, 1970




I have only seen three VUW proceshes. In 1966 I took the day off school just to watch it and I must admit I was impressed and amused by the fashions, floats and flour bombs. Last year's contents were not very much different but at least there was the excitement of participating for the first time. This year's efforts, after it was all over, after the after-effects, just did not seem worthwhile. 1970 Procesh was the same motley collection of men's and women's underwear, nightwear and City Mission fashions. With the exception of Embryo, there was nothing really new in the way of Capping festivities. Piano-smashing is as old as modern art; pie eating and beer drinking competitions are older than pianos; and hijackings older than Fidel Castro. I am not saying that because something is old you cannot enjoy it. But surely its age can suggest that it is time to review the whole Capping scene?

Do we need an excuse to enjoy ourselves? No, but we certainly need one for a week of excessive and disruptive behaviour. Why the graduates have taken the blame for so long I do not know. They support the actual Capping (that is, degree conferring) ceremony, the balls and the dinners but very few show much enthusiasm for the more vulgar festivities. Of these, Cappicade alone offered a place of honour. But as one graduate told me, "you can hardly send it to your maiden aunt to let her know you've made it".

Capping festivities relieve a lot of student tensions but they do not do any good at all for the improving of relations between the public and the universities. Spreading the "Capping festivities" over the whole year to prevent the build up of tensions requiring a week of excesses to relieve, seems far more practical. It might just have the added advantage of being more acceptable to public. I am thinking in terms of a stunt a month though I would much prefer to see spontaneous reactions to particular events. Possibly these sponta neous stunts could be used rather than the already overworked demonstrations to satirize political matters.

I have tried to complement my criticisms with suggestions. There are more I would like to make. Sunday after Sunday the Student Union Building is deserted. How about a monthly happening for students and public alike? Perhaps some way of defraying expenses or even making a profit can be worked out.

And how about a single, national Capping magazine, without the graduates' list-twice as much in it, twice as good, half the price sort of thing.

Anyway, let's have a special Forum to hear opinions on Capping as it is and ideas from those who would like to see it improved.

Paul Burns