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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 11, No. 6. June 3rd, 1948

Small Groups Made Discussion Easier

Small Groups Made Discussion Easier

The programme was full and varied. The most important items were four plenary sessions, at which some national figure, e.g.. Dr. Joad. Mr. Arthur Horner; spoke and introduced the subjects: "The Student and the State." "The Student and the Unions." and so on. These speeches were followed by some very hard hitting speeches from the floor of the meeting, where they would be amplified and the main speaker refuted or supported. In the afternoons we split alphabetically into "commissions." where we discussed the subject more closely. There were about forty people in each commission and there was never any lack of subtle, acrimonious, vigorous and thoughtful speaking. The decisions or opinions of the commissions were reported back to the chairman and the whole summed up briefly in the final plenary session. All the discussions were planned around a study outline. "The Status of the Student," a collection of thought provoking questions and statements which we had received before Congress and which we were expected to have thought about. We hadn't time to answer all the questions individually, but the final report suggests our opinions on most of them, and gives the Executive a guide to current student thought.

There were two sessions on I.U.S. and Czechoslovakia, where Tom Madden, Secretary of I.U.S., spoke on its work and on the recent events in Prague...

W.F.D.Y. and other international youth movements were discussed at another session. At odd hours, in the evenings, various student organizations, Student Labour Federation,

Union of Catholic Students, S.C.M., Association of Scientific. Workers, Association of Education Students, etc., arranged meetings and speakers for those interested. A very popular and successful item was the political forum, which was a brains trust of a Tory, a Liberal, a Socialist and a Communist, who answered questions and debated admirably. One afternoon we divided into faculties and discussed common needs and interests, and discussed the possibility of setting up national faculty associations.