SMAD. An Organ of Student Opinion. 1932. Volume 3. Number 3.
Discipline is one of the ills the student flesh is heir to. St intents of this College have read with concern and doubtless a good deal of sympathy, that the editor of the Otago University "Critic" has been sent down for a year by the University Council, who considered that "some of the articles and language used were positively offensive." The "Critic" is reported to have "tinned its scorching pen" chiefly upon the decision of the Council concerning the Capping Carnival, but professors and students themselves have not escaped criticism.
At the time of going to press we have not received a copy of the "Critic," and therefore are not qualified to express any opinion from the student point of view.
One thing, however, the action of the Otago Council brings home to us with force, and there is no sense in blinking at it. is that a University is definitely not a microcosm of a democratic state. Students do not appoint those to whose discipline they are subject. Students as such have not the powers of unqualified freedom of speech and writing. Though the expression of student opinion has a certain degree of latitude, there is a "Thus far and no further shall thou go" line, the crossing of which renders students liable to be sent down. Whether we like it or not, such students are casualties rather than martyrs in a cause.
Fellow students, we do not wish to appear to sermonise—we are not in a sermonising frame of mind; but if our liberty and powers are subject to rigid limitations it is far more courageous to face the bare facts than to bury our heads ostrich-like in the sand. They order discipline much more rigorously in the Army, yet has no soldier ever forfeited his dignity or manliness by recognising that fact.
As British subjects we are members of a self-governing State, but as University Students we have contracled away part of our powers of self-government so far as they relate to academic life. This does not necessarily mean that our liberties cannot or ought not to be widened, but the realisation of any such ideal will never be accomplished by resorting to defiance: but only, if ever, by appeal to reason based on a convincing vindication of the ways of students in the eves of the authorities.
For good or ill, that is the position.