Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 8, No. 12. September 19, 1945
Lifeless General Meeting Raises Stud. Ass. Fee For 1946
Lifeless General Meeting Raises Stud. Ass. Fee For 1946
At a special general meeting on Wednesday last, September 12, after ninety minutes of mild debate the motion that the Stud. Ass. fee be raised 7/6, was passed by a vote of 57 to 7.
There was little direct opposition to the motion after the reasons had been outlined by the mover, Secretary Marc. Poole, and the seconder, Nig. Taylor, but a considerable amount of judicious questioning about where the money was to go.
Mr. Cohen began proceedings at 8.20 p.m. with a motion that the unconfirmed minutes of the Med. scheme meeting held July '43 be taken as read. This was passed.
The poor attendance inevitably brought forth the question of a quorum, but Mr. Cohen quashed this despite the doubts of Mr. Ziman.
The Motion Moved . . .
The mover of the motion, Mr. Poole, now rose and began His rigorously rounded arguments. The duty of the Exec, is service which is cheap and of the best. If it can not carry out this ideal, then the finance situation must be inadequate, so that there would either have to be a diminution in services rendered or an increase in the fee charged. "I'm not trying to [unclear: rain] this down your throats," he said, "but the finances have to go a long way. Clubs, cafeteria, newspaper and magazines, building fund, badges, stationery, are all provided for by this 25/-."
For this service to be fully protective and in the interest of the student body, it was imperative to employ a full-time office assistant. Next year, in addition to Extrav and its encumbrances, it is intended to stage a drive for the building fund, and it is really impossible for part-timers to manage events such as these, in addition to routine Exec, affairs, truly efficiently.
Mr. Poole now dealt briefly with the cost of the various college publications. The loss on Salient has steadily increased, from £7 in 1938-39 to £128 in 1944-45. This is, however, no reflection on the staff of Salient (both editors here blush) but is due solely to the increased cost of printing. The loss on Spike last year was exceptional, and nothing of this sort was expected this year.
What then would happen if the fee was not raised? The increased Stud. Ass. fee would go towards: (1) An office assistant on a good salary. (2) Extra grants to clubs. (3) Making up the loss on Salient and other publications. (4) Renovation of the Gym. (5) Medical scheme.
. . . and Seconded
Mr. Poole's remarks were seconded by Mr. Taylor. After appealing to those present to help avoid the levity of the last meeting, he settled down and gave hard facts. Next year, he said, a properly prepared budget is going to be presented to show students exactly where the money is going. This has not been done up to now simply because there was no one who understood how to do it. An office assistant was absolutely necessary for this.
Mr. Cohen now threw the meeting open to discussion from the floor, but the number of speakers was few and there was little life to the meeting, since most of those present seemed to have sensed the inevitability of the situation.
A suggestion to raise the price of meals in the cafeteria was dismissed by cafeteria controller Joan Sim and Mr Cohen who stated that it was not a profit making concern.
Mr. Easterbrook-Smith spoke against the motion, attacking in particular the lack of budgeting. The purchase of a new amplifier, he stated, should have been met out of Extrav funds. The only profit-making concern in the College was Extrav and with its help and the help of levies from club members, grants could be cut considerably. The loss on Salient could be reduced by raising the price. He, for one, would be quite willing to pay sixpence for it (Editors blush again). With careful budgeting and economy for a year this action could probably be avoided.
Mr. Cohen replied that repairs to the amplifier were paid out of Extrav profits. In reply to a question from Mr. Cottingham concerning the loss at Capping Ball, he said that he considered the number of students participating in college activities was increasing, and Capping Ball was a function we owed to the graduates, who were all admitted free. Tradition now requires a loss on this particular function.
Where will it come from?
Mr. O'Brien wanted to know where we were going to get the money to pay the £120 which apparently is to be met immediately. We have no securities on which to draw overdraft, though the possibilities of insurance on the Gym was mentioned. All in all, he found it quite obvious that the Exec needed money.
In the reply, it was noted that some Stud. Ass. fees are still owing, and the students concerned will not get terms unless these are paid. "Money can be moved from the building fund if no cash is forthcoming," said Mr. Taylor. "Why isn't this in the report?" asked Mr. O'Brien. Mr. Poole, however, passed the matter off on his own inexperience and lack of time available, and was granted full exoneration from the floor.
Mr. Daniells said that it was the policy of the social Committee to run the socials on a "no-profit" basis and that it was only possible to hold these functions with the assistance of a large band of voluntary helpers. When the fact that the Gym was insured was raised, Mr. Ziman is understood to have said something about that being another source of money worthy of consideration.
and where will it go?
More financial contradictions were bandied back and forth in the course of which Mr. Cohen was asked to be more specific about the destination of the extra 7/6. Mr. Cohen said that there was no particular purpose: in the Stud. Ass. policy the fee covers everything. As the Med. Scheme had been approved by the student body (corpus delicti), it was included in the general financial programme. A budget would be introduced at the beginning of next year and thus finance would be administered in an adult and economical manner.
There as great consternation at this stage when a gentleman rose to speak and began by addressing the chairman as "Mr. Speaker." (Voice) "You're not in the House yet, Bob!"
There followed a little more halfhearted and footling discussion after which the motion. "That Section 6 (1) of the constitution be amended by deleting the figures £1/5/0 and £1/0/0 and that the figures £1/12/6 and £1/7/6 respectively be added by Way of substitution therefor" was passed.
The second motion on the agenda was the amendment concerning the employment and remuneration of a full-time office assistant. Mr. McArley moved and Secretary Poole seconded the motion that the Exec be empowered to employ an office assistant at any salary that they might decide upon. On Mr. Drummond's initiative an amendment to the motion to the effect that this salary should not exceed £350. was passed without a show of hands being necessary.
Two more constitutional amendments were carried almost unanimously—the first that participation in Winter Tournament be made an official College function, and the second that a discrepancy in the annual voting procedure be removed. It was here pointed out that the Exec, and indeed some past Execs, had been, elected on votes that were theoretically informal. (Cries of "Throw 'em out," "Resign," etc.. were heard but the Exec were adamant and affected an apparent deafness.)
There was no further business so the meeting was declared closed, the Exec retired to supper and we went home.
There ain't no justice in this land,
Just got divorced from my old man.
And didn't I laugh at the Court's decision,
They gave him the kids and they ain't his'n.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
Vol. XX, Collected Works.