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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 21. 5th September 1973

Apologise 'Rimbaud'

Apologise 'Rimbaud'

Dear Eds,

I challenge A. Rimbaud to produce one iota of proof to substantiate his (I will assume A. Rimbaud is male for the sake of convenience) absurd prejudiced allegation that Asian students "act as an anchor to all attempts of the university to make progress in any direction". To attribute even part of the apathetic atmosphere- which pervades out campus to the insidious apathy of Asian students in the commerce and law faculties is as unenlightened as it is incorrect.

From a purely numerical point of view, to allege that a minority group of less than 500 can instil such a stifling, paralytic impotence into a 6,000-strong student body is totally beyond my conception. In addition, if Rimbaud had bothered to investigate the situation at all to lend any vestige of credibility to his misguided allegations, he would have found few Asians in the Law Faculty and in fact, would only be able to point to the commerce faculty as having any sizable Asian representation.

Any knowledge of Asian student activity would reveal a distinct lack of apathy and quite a vital concern and awareness in social and political matters. The MSA election, for instance have generated within the Asian community more interest and participation than our recent exec elections with position being keenly contested by there principal parties and about 30 candidates. Sporting and cultural activities abound and recent proposals for the sale of Asian food on campus point to vital partecipatory concern one which I doubt wether A. Rimbaud of any of his fuck-witted cronies could possible be endowed with.

Of course I may have misunderstood the type of apathy Asian students are being accure of. If A. Rimbaud is referring to Asian non-participation in such grandiose social events as ski-club piss-ups. I would suggest the reason lies not in disinterest or indifference (either would probably be indicative of apathy) but from an essential feeling within the Asian community of isolationism and non-belonging obviously generated by such prejudiced bigoted views so clearly exemplified by his imitable self.

With regard to non-participation in campus politics, I must say, first of all that to my great surprise I have vet to see A. Rimbaud's name up for presidential candidate, just as he, no doubt is taken aback by the absence of Asian candidates. Rimbaud is obviously unaware of the restrictions imposed on overseas students they do, in fact have to sign a document which expressly states that they will not participate in political affairs. If they do as IIT Lee did, they soon feel the fool of our fascist government.

I suggest that A. Rimbaud has become so observed with racial paranoia he was taken to frenzied abuse of a seemingly quite, but far from apathetic, minority on this campus. In so doing so he has merely created a scapegoat for the real cause of apathy — our twisted capitalist society and its advocates (Rimbaud?) who place selfish materialistic concerns and values over and above any essential apparaisal of political, social or racial injustices or inequalities.

To conclude, I demand A. Rimbaud descend from his momocultural pedestal and issue an immediate retraction of his disgustingly ethnocenric, racist views and extend a formal apology to all Asian students.

Your in something anger and speechless disgust.

Paulime Dickson.