Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 35 No 5. March 29, 1972
Letters to the editor
Letters to the editor
Cuthbert Cops It
During the course of the recent anti-apartheid conference at VUW I was dismayed and disgusted by the actions of the so-called President of NZUSA, David Cuthbert. I was appalled by the curt and often rude manner in which he conducted his chairmanship in his sessions in the chair, particularly his last - his disgusting lack of courtesy and his manner in dealing with would-be-speakers was a disgrace to the name of NZUSA.
It seems to me that at such a conference when students are trying to constructively, fight a major problem to have a yelling and arrogant leader officially representing the student body is far from the best way to convince the public of our sincerity. That this man did harm to the student image cannot be denied for I heard several complaints and also several disenchanted members of the public who thought, and knew, that we could produce better. Is It possible to get rid of him?
As an amused observer of the moronic masses it has been my good fortune lately to end up at a number of 'rock' concerts. What pathetic spectacles! Are real students among the gormless gatherers who stand or loaf around for hours, 'rocked' motionless, speechless, thoughtless? Just staring, while the noisemakers, pretentious conmen who even describe themselves as musicians, churn out their cacophony. Noise deliberately amplified, to compel the audience into passive acceptence, rendering criticism impossible. The audience reaction at these concerts is just as uncreative as the noise is uncreated, rather the reaction is 'duped' and the noise 'arranged'. How long will it be before somebody puts on tape a mixture of the ravings from a Nuremburg Nazi rally and the clatterings of dustman, speed them up a few tones, end propagates the noise as 'rock music'?
With parking space for student vehicles already reaching desperation point, you would think that the tower echelons of the University bureaucracy would have the guts to consider it. No. What do we find. The bastard who stops student vehicles entering an exclusive parked area above the university now decides not to allow our vehicles to be parked outside the Lecture block on Kelburn Parade (a space which can take up to 17 cars) If the government really wants to give us less money we could use what little we have by reducing the number of irrelevant, ignorant and unsympathetic clods in peaked hats and a fuzz like uniform.
Following the SRC debate on March 15.—It is clear that there is a serious shortage of accommodation for student activities of many kinds and [unclear: that] certain worthwhile schemes are unable to be developed because of lack of space. A realistic assessment of needs must be made and set against a realistic assessment of space available. Some speakers in the debate had an exaggerated idea of how much room-there actually was at Ramsey House, for example, while others were unaware of some proposed changes of use of some areas within the Union itself.
Nevertheless the debate clearly challenged the Christian community to take another look at the space at present at its disposal (The Chaplains Room, the SCM Cabin and Ramsey House) in the light of its own needs and the general need of the university. That the Christian community is sensitive to these needs is demonstrated by their willingness not so long ago to give up the Quiet Room in order that it might be converted into offices for the Student President and the Accommodation Officer. Also the Chaplaincy Board, at the suggestion of the Anglican Diocesan University Committee, is considering proposals for a co-operative Chaplaincy Centre which, if it eventuates, would further add to the space available for student use.
But the Chaplains and the Christian community must not dodge the challenge of that debate by citing their past record; they must keep the situation continually under review and make a positive contribution in the future.
I do not know how one is supposed to learn properly in this institution. Having no accommodation and therefore living two miles and twenty minutes by bus, I arrive exhausted after battling the eternal wind as I climb the 130 vertical steps from town. Climbing up to find a classroom so overcrowded that it is virtually impossible to take notes without jabbing my elbow into the person next to me. Trying to hear the Professor read his notes, the same of which he has obviously read for the past ten years, is almost impossible over the rattling of the windows and creaking of the seats, both of which are on the verge of collapse.
Unable to buy my needed books as they are on order from America, which will take twelve weeks, I wait my way up to the Closed Reserve desk to find the books are either in use not in the library or unable to be found! As I am not so fast runner, I make the third floor of the library too late and find the only books left on my subjects are now obsolete. It is perhaps just as well as my name has been next on the temporary library card list for one week and I'm tired of being told perhaps it is ready 'now'. Feeling depressed I try to find cheer by reading all the Jesus advertisements and wonder if I should laugh or cry.
Unable to find a seat in the cafeteria for lunch I start off in search of a toilet. After wandering the Hunter building, I am told the Student Union is well equipped with those sort of facilities. Finally after finding what I need in the Rankine Brown, I struggle my way through the crowds and find indeed if I wait long enough I can have my privacy. After being burned by the hot water tap, as the cold does not work, I find my next class is about to begin. Unfortunately no one knows where the tutorial is to be held. After walking in a group for fifteen minutes we finally are led to an old empty house with lots of uncomfortable floor upon which to sit. We sit through a supposed discussion, in which the tutorial Head explains for twenty-five minutes what our Professor in that subject has been trying to say in lectures, to again battle the wind back to the University Buildings.
The noise of drills and hammers does keep me awake during my next class, but willing to show good sense of humour, I decide to be friendly to a fellow sheep sitting beside me. My mouth soon shuts self-conciously, though, as I am mistaken for a "Yank" and stored at with a mixture of distrust and dislike.
I again walk down the 130 steps to my overcrowded bus which costs me 30c a day and back to home sweet home - no wiser academically, but perhaps gaining somewhat in the realization that life must get better.
An Overseas Student.
I have two things to say about Peter Simpson's letter in your last issue. One is reasonable but the other may not be.
Firstly, Peter Simpson has based his whole rave on the premise that the demonstrators will be agitating out of hatred. This is not so. I will be demonstrating against the tour because of my unemotional love for the blacks and whites. I may be provoked to violence indeed. But my violence towards a white player or police [unclear: man] does not preclude my loving him. It is rather a case of the principle of equality being more pressing than the principle of love. Does not Peter Simpson realise that it is tenable to love a person while disagreeing with his politics?
Peter Simpson's emerging intelligence re love has not come far enough, it seems. Which brings me to my second point - perhaps these are but pseudo-philosophical reflections of his because the weak headed ending of his letter negates any claim he may have to reasoning ability. In fact I suspect that such literally airy fairy hippie drivel is more truly typical of his thinking. The dubious and arbitrary but quasi-philosophical musings are but a blind, and we may accurately infer from the flower power sing-song towards the end of his fetter that he has presented but another gutless rationalisation, another political patsy's excuse for political inaction.
|a)||The salary is greater than the most minor professorial salary (university salaries are released in the press by the minister).|
|b)||He is supplied with a house free of charge; the house maintainance and grounds upkeep are met by the university.|
|c)||He is supplied with a car end the university meets repairs and running costs.|
|d)||He has a tax free entertainment allowance, presently $1,000 p.a.|
Ninety-nine point nine percent of New Zealenders spend the whole of their lives trying to acheive b and c and we all know the struggle especially to own a house.
It is well known that the university Is amidst a period of financial difficulty. A recent instance according to an earlier issue of Salient is the library while science departments are desperate for funds to purchase equipment. Yet money was available to buy a new Mercedes. We should not lose sight of the fact that the fees we pay are part of the general funds of the university and are available for these purposes. Bearing in mind such events as the Arts' Festival of a year ago, students would do well to reflect upon the matter and also ourselves whether we can afford the luxury of being represented at the Here-taunga golf course mid week and at other social gatherings. The savings would be in the thousands of dollars and the money would be like University.
Dog Bites Editor
You, Mr Petersen, have obviously forgotten the purpose for which you were given the editorship of Salient for this year. Perhaps you did get pretty bitter and twisted first having to put up with Harcourt when you just knew you were better and then having the chance to prove it last year letting Logan get the better of you and push through Cruickshank to your editorship. After all Dave had some sense of journalistic integrity and everyone knows that's not nearly as good or satisfying as being a mealy-mouthed little prick and letting it all hang out.
Sure students suffer pain from individual intellectual activity so don't give a stuff about our homegrown womens' liberationists but your own appeal simply demonstrates your own fellowship with the illiterati since anyone knows the 'homegrowns' are all motivated primarily by Fyson's ratbag lefty Mormons. That your diatribr Germaine Who? in last Salient got no response so far is probably evidence (or is it a reflection of how far who reads your rag). Don't think I want your job - no - that's up to the Richard Norman's who don't know better than to envy the condemned man his personal treatment. I do think It's fucking awful form though to be lured into worrying about the proletariat - just Imagine being answerable to SCM. However Salient is financed by the student populace and is the assn's attempt to remedy or (ameliorate the situation instead of giving elitist pricks like you a chance to insult their tender pride. Antagonising your readers won't wake them up and God help you if you do succeed going about it by mean-mouthing them. Anyway you're a fool to think one trite article on generalities could do it. The function of the student In this outfit is not to be blackmailed or blackjacked into thinking for himself/herself for starters - its to receive the easiest means to the easiest life and thinking is a drag to most - at best seen as an extracurricular activity on the same level as drug taking is taboo Good students don't have inflamed consciences over womens' rights, race problems, wars and the' rest and to change that would just make them upset. After all it's the exclusivism of being a really bad student that makes it interesting so don't knock the library crew since I'm sure you'd be out on your arse if students just read your paper properly - and knew how bad the editor is Bitter righteousness probably stands alone as opportunity par excellence for witty, interesting journalistic invective and in 'Germaine Who' you lacked the slightest subtlety and interest for that matter. However that was more in Cruickshanks line and you coudn't possibly copy his simple love of the absurd (call it contrary) even at the expense of turning out a readable newspaper. Neither do I support Salient 71 since you both fell too easily to hating your benevolent bosses for their lack of perception in knowing a bad publication when they had it thrown at them each week. Cruickshank was at least possessing of some sense of subtlety and feel for the language which quality you have not yet shown yourself to possess.
Running a newspaper virtually on your own is pretty hard work I know Petersen, especially unfulfilling when your readership are pig ignorant and unconcerned about the shit in their own bed but I just can't help thinking were you even to raise a sound the likes of you would be first against the wall.
But I'm a liberal at heart myself and am ready and willing to give marks for impersonations of Dave Harcourt perhaps some day God will feel sorry for you and give you some credit on a few of the brains Harcourt had that you haven't. The character deficiencies are just about spot-on though Gill - keep trying.
Don't think I'm standing judgement on your attitudes to students it's your conceptions that are all wrong. The concept of a questioning, intelligent, aware university apart from being impossible is an ideal based on the utilization of a raw material intelligent individualists. If you think it's the other way round, that the university makes miracles of the native of granting sight those born blind than a little more realism could go a long way. Students don't want to cars and allowing yourself to get bitter over congenital mediocrity bodes ill for you once you get to see what it's like beyond Salient office and your University.
Why waste time belabouring the impossible losing reputation and credibility. Because you can see between one set of lines is not to guarantee against yourself being one upped, and you've obviously been unable to realize the beneficial results to be enjoyed of an ignorant people or alternatively the dangers of a tittle vision in the hands of children. Count your blessings—ulcers can be useful. No-one's changed the world by bitching and only the fool enjoys the fellowship of other fools. Salient has the tools to mould student opinion so why not try using them for this purpose instead of wasting your opportunities to come out on top by indulging your personal antisocial tendencies in puerile and unrealistic invective.
Please dont print this and justify my suspicions that you are, in fact afraid of public criticism.
T.M. Christian50 Rintoul Street, Newtown. 22 Townsend Road, Mirimar.
[If this magic christian would identify himself as openly as his sour gripe letter is published (there are too many christians here now but most of them are no longer ashamed of their identities), then perhaps we could re-arrange our differences. If he will not, then he is advised to address his future mail to the counselling service. Salient is not a psycho-analyst's office, not for individuals anyway.
"T.M. Christian's" remarks about my personality deserve no place here. His comments about this year's Salient imitating the 1970 Salient can be explained simply as a search for style. If he knew his Salinets as well as he pretends to, Mr Christian would also find ideas from Cruikshank and Roger Wilde, (among others) being used as often as Harcourt's. This letter is published as a request to him to make himself known - Ed.]
I was fascinated by George Rosenberg's ball by ball commentary on the front page of Salient March 15. But surely the title 'Unjustifiable Violence at Mt. John' could have been popped up a little.
Why not "Sadistic Circumcision of Suggate" - or How He Became One of Us by George Rosen-burg would have read better! Or if too near the bone, as it were, perhaps Suggate Circumscribed? (Blame the proof-readers).
M. Broder & Al Satian.
Cut out the crap! I agree.
But let's be fair. There are no detergents in New Zealand that are not bio-degradabje, but it is true that ordinary soap like 'Sun-fight' will do a perfectly adequate job for you.
The minimum percentage of free alkali in laundry soaps permitted in New Zealand is 0.015% and the maximum is 0.036%. Samples of sunlight soap which I have analysed have contained as much as 0.048% free alkali, being up to three times the permitted level.
For the benefit of readers who value their curly locks might I suggest that they treat with some caution the advice to use sunlight rather than shampoos on their" hair, because it may start falling out.