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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 9, No. 8 July, 3, 1946

"Salient" Suggests — A Programme for the New Exec

"Salient" Suggests

A Programme for the New Exec.

These are the important problems of 1946, our first post-war year. They are not necessarily presented in order of importance; in any ease, some of them are more easily settled than others. Some will require a great deal of work. The specific measures and methods of approach to these matters can, of course, best be decided by the Executive itself. Here are the points:—

1.—Faculty Committees

These are joint committees of staff and student representatives for the purpose of considering matters of common interest. There is every reason why students' views on curricula and methods of teaching and approach to subjects should be of value to professors and lecturers. Under the present system, if an individual student has suggestions or complaints to make, he is not necessarily assured of a good hearing. Therefore an organised system for the exchange of views on these matters, in particular because it will represent a wider section of student opinion, could be of considerable value. Here the initiative must lie with the Executive.

2.—Buying of Text-Books

"Salient" in its last issue printed an article on this subject, and there is no need for repetition. This is a very pressing need, which hits home to the interests of the great majority of students. One attempt to launch such a scheme has already been made in recent years: let us make the effort successful this time.

3.—Class-Room Accommodation

This is an issue whose importance is self-evident to all students. The present class-room accommodation is inadequate to cope with the increased student population of recent years. The College was originally intended to provide good facilities for about 600 students, but the present roll is over the 2,000 mark. The extreme overcrowding which results is especially exasperating to science and arts students, but its effect is felt generally through all faculties. The only answer is in increased staff and more accommodation, if necessary of a temporary nature. Students and the public must be impressed with the notion that University education fills a vital and expanding need in our community, and there must be no hesitation in applying finances to a project of expansion when its necessity is so patently obvious as at the present time.

4.—Students' Board and Lodging

Weir House and the Women's Hostels offer a very limited system of accommodation. Not only have they been merely inadequate in the past, but, with the large increase this year, they probably satisfy less than half the requirements in this direction. The inquiry undertaken by "Salient" in this matter proved abortive because "Salient" does not contact a sufficiently large number of students. With the high rates at present in operation for board and lodging and the poor facilities which are often attendant on them, it is time that some steps were taken to ease the position for students and the Executive is the obvious body to take action.

5.—Building Scheme

The only time the main body of students hears any details of the progress of this scheme is at the annual general meetings or when a drive for funds is in progress. We suggest that closer co-ordination between the Exec, and students will give rise to greater interest in the scheme. Information on the proposed plan would also be of use: "Salient" will willingly publish it.

6.—Increased Student Control of Social Activities

The main interest in this matter is of course, focussed on student social activities in the Gym. Most students ore aware of the Executive's limited powers over these functions: most students are also aware of their responsibilities in the matter of social activities. It has been particularly [unclear: painful] to ex-servicemen to see how little control the student, body does exercise over its own fixtures, and it appears that general support would be forthcoming if the new Executive were to approach the Council with request for full sovereignty over the Gym. and activities therein.

7.—Improvements to the Library

Although VUC need not be ashamed of its library, with the large number of books immediately available, its size and scope leave much to be desired. The reading room is now almost always filled to capacity. At present there is just sufficient space for books, but since the number of these is doubling about every ten years it is obvious that the library must soon expand into a new building. This is an urgent need and plans should be prepared to provide adequate shelf and reading space for greatly increased numbers both of books and students.

Cartoon of the Hunter Building with a tent in the foreground

8.—Student Sports Council

The common failure of VUC teams at Tournament must not be accepted complacently or excused by saying that we did our best, or the opposition was so strong, or that we interpret eligibility clauses more strictly than other Colleges. VUC teams are too often poorly coached (as regards style and technique), inadequately prepared (as regards fitness and finish) and hence produce our perennial crop of wooden spoons—the measure of sub-standard performance. It seems, too that the policy of rejecting possible representatives who compete in other sports for non-college clubs has been unsuccessful and should be reviewed.

What can be done? The [unclear: cket] and [unclear: rugby] clubs are showing that drive, energetic leadership and organisation can effect the needed change in attitude and produce a "will to win." It is suggested that a Sports Council representative of all clubs should be set up by the Executive to enquire into specific weaknesses in VUC performances, to conduct a campaign for membership and to unearth talent, to co-ordinate club activities, and to produce physical and psychological bases for more worthy representation in future Tournaments.


It was stated at the annual general meeting that "Salient" has given little publicity to the activities of this body. The main reason for this is that information has not been sent to us, and when we have received a little it has usually been of little moment and there has been better material on hand. As a result of this we suggest that VUC's representatives on NZUSA keep closer contact with "Salient."

It is of the utmost importance that the resuscitated Press Bureau be not only kept alive but also infused with some adult vigour. It has infinite possibilities which have as yet been barely touched upon.

Another matter of considerable importance to us is affiliation with the World Federation of Democratic Youth. Student organisations may well be said to be the only youth organisations worthy of consideration in NZ, and it is therefore incumbent upon us to act accordingly and affiliate with the most important international youth organisation.

It is clearly the duty of the Executive to take considerable interest in the activities of NZUSA, and to make recommendations to our representatives on that body.

10.—Common Rooms

Like every other sort of room at VUC, common rooms are inadequate for the number of students using them. Though recently painted, the men's common room is still unsatisfactory—shabby floors, worn furnishings and the debris of the milling crowd, makes a daily shambles there. The women, with some cash to play with, are doing good work for themselves in recovering and brightening their cavernous retreat.

But these rooms are insufficient. The College needs a common Common Room. Once it had one but the library has "white-anted" its way in there, and there is no possibility of finding other room in the College. However, there does not seem to be any reason why the lower Gym. might not be furnished, floor covered and heated to provide a real social centre In the College, without interfering with the rights of College clubs to use the Gym. for their functions. The Association has a notable surplus—why not improve student facilities in the students' own building?