Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume. 34, Number 12. June 16, 1971
Several letters in recent issues have bemoaned the lack of content in this year's Salient. They have criticised the virtual absence of news reports, the low standard of reviews and the poor assortment of features.
Salient can only be as good as the 6,000 students of Victoria University wish to make it. It is not the Editor's fault if everyone on this campus is too lazy or too apathetic or both to contribute in some way.
With fortnightly status Salient should have news events aplenty that can be reported. A community can only see itself fully through the medium of a newspaper and Victoria University (although at so many meetings one wouldn't know it) is a community of 6,000 supposedly intelligent and well-educated people. There should be a reflection of this fact in the columns of its newspaper.
No one person can hope to attend or even know about all the activities of this campus. The purpose of Salient is to gather reports about what this university is doing and put them where they can easily be read. Without the resources to pay reporters Salient must rely on whatever motives make people write. It little matters if you contribute to gain prestige, use Salient as a testing ground for a journalistic career, as a medium for pushing a cause to which you are committed, or even for personal satisfaction. Surely there are some people prepared to spend a few hours a week trying to produce a decent student paper.
Even if only a few dozen people read one news item, it is justified. There is a place in Salient for reports of anything whatever that takes place in this University. For instance, there may be people who are curious as to what sort of religious gatherings are those Thursday lunches organised by the Anglican Society. Or a Biology student may want to know if anything of importance was said at an Ecology Action meeting that he was unable to attend. Or some not yet apathetic first-year might like to know if any motions of significance were passed at an S.R.C. meeting. Even if many meetings conducted are extremely tedious they still should receive coverage. By collating reports of all that happens Salient can help create a better sense of community identity and perhaps encourage greater particpation.
It needs only a minimum of writing skill and a little imagination to concoct an interesting news story. (Club secretaries, with hopes of contributing extensions of their minutes, take note.) And for those who lack the initiative to find something to report on, there will be weekly list of newsworthy events on the Salient office noticeboard. Come in and see if you can help.
It is time that this University functioned as such a seat of learning should, and Salient can help to co-ordinate its many diverse aspects. But it can only fill this role if more individuals than at present are prepared to come forward and contribute.