Salient: An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 12, No. 3, April 6th, 1949.
No Man's Land
No Man's Land
As the Secretary of the "Society for the Promotion of Bright and Brilliant Ideas," may I suggest the following?
That the Victoria University College Students' Association purchase an omnibus for the convenience of students.
The bus could be manned by full-time students who are capable of handling such a vehicle. It could leave from a station in town about every 20 minutes, departing in time to arrive for each lecture-hour and leaving University immediately after it, as well as two other round trips each hour. Fares charged would depend on the cost of running, depreciation and manning, but even then they could compare favourably (from the point of view of the student) with fares on the Kelburne Cable Car and City Corporation buses.
The initial cost of the bus could be slowly recovered in fares and advertising space. The unconventional step of renting advertising space on the outside of the bus is I think justified.
With so many full-time rehab, men who drove trucks for the Army at the College, the problem of labour is only one of roping the right people in. Who knows? The Stud. Ass. might even make a profit! I remain, etc.,
Little Sebastian,President. Secretary, SPBBI (Society for the Promotion of Bright and Brilliant Ideas).
I would like to express my personal appreciation to all who assisted with the Building Appeal Luncheon today. Of course, the Appeal Committee headed by Mr. Wild did valuable organising, but in addition I would like to thank the Registrar, the Care-taking and Cleaning Staff. Furthermore. I am very grateful to all those students who readily assisted this morning when asked to cart chairs, tidy up the gym. fold brochures, or to guide visitors round the buildings afterwards when members of the lecturing staff also assisted. There were also those who did odd Jobs as they saw they needed doing.
I can only hope the result will fully justify the efforts made.
K. B. O'Brien,President.
Any Answers ?
I must apologise for this letter, but I hope that you will understand me. In vain I've tried to correspond with a young student from overseas (girl or boy). Perhaps can you help me and mediate an address of a student (girl or boy)? Please—indeed my English language is not very good, but in doubt it suffices in order to make oneself understood. I'm 18 years of age (I know too old, but the war?) and protest am religion and student of the Christian-Albrechts University in Kiel. I'm studying jurisprudence and two months ago I've begun my great university examination. I'm six feet tall and blond.
I beg your pardon and am obliged to you and hope that you . . . Yours sincerely.
Spare a Day For Iss You can help rehabilitate Students in war-stricken countries by giving a day's work for Iss. Fill in the form on the Notice Board and We will Find You a Job. VUC Students' Association.
Where Ignorance ...
The front page of your last issue was marred by a, large three-column banner accusing my Executive, of "Masterly Inactivity" in the matter of this year's Extravaganza. Apart from the mortification this has caused my Executive, it ought to come as a shock to you to know that in making this imputation you have been guilty of an even worse crime, namely, "Masterly Inaccuracy." I have been instructed to enlighten you on this subject. Extravaganza 1949 from the time it was first discussed by the Executive early in the second term of last year presented something of a problem. Since 1949 is Jubilee Year, the obvious thing to do was to have a Jubilee Extrav.
The matter was therefore handed over to the group or ex-students who constituted the Jubilee Celebrations Committee, and who expressed some considerable interest in the idea. Meanwhile much interesting speculation was carried on into the promising possibility of having a college Council Chorus, a Professorial Ballet and so on. At a meeting held on the 5th. July 1948 the Executive received a petition from a group of present students, complaining that because of the Extrav. being prepared by ex-students, "those students who have commenced writing scripts will lose the experience they otherwise might have gained." The petition asked that in order to "maintain a continuity of experience amongst students writers," a number of present students be included in the Jubilee Extrav. Committees. In its usual democratic manner my Executive then appointed seven well-known students to sit with the ex-students on the committee.. On 12th. August 1948 the chairman reported to the Executive "that a sub-committee were working out a scheme for Extravaganza 1949, and were to report back to the combined Committee.
By February of this year, "since nothing further had been heard of this sub-committee it became clear that either the sub-committee had placed too wide an interpretation on the words, "about September'" or else had gone the way of all good sub-committees. Therefore, the Exec, decided to take things into its own hands. It was agreed that owing to the default of the Jubilee committee the Extrav. would have to be written by present students as in the past. Therefore a notice was posted calling for scripts, setting a dead-line at March 3rd later extended to March 29th. The position at the moment is that there are two scripts in the hands of the selectors, and by the time that your issue appears, the casting meeting will be imminent.
The lash of your front-page streamer has provoked the Executive into committing itself to print and perhaps you feel that this in itself is an achievement worthy of satisfaction (We had previously held the opinion that nothing short of tidal wave or famine could stir the Exec, to action of any sort.—Ed.) However I would recommend that the next time you feel you "would like very much to know when the Exec, will actually do something" you refer yourself in the obvious manner, to the minutes of the Executive which are recorded in Scientific prose for the purpose of dispelling such ignorance as that of which you have been the unwitting victims.
H. C. Evison.Hon. Secretary. VUCSA.
(1) I did not say student apathy is NOT a factor. I did say. "Any attempt to plead apathy generally I cannot allow." A different thing.
(2) I did not label any specific articles bad journalism. I did say that "Cries of Red . . . may be justified by bad journalism." Also a different thing. That is to say that bad journalism gives a wrong impression and causes cries of Red.
(3) I did not say that you should cater for the woolly-minded. I suggested you make some allowances for them.
(4) I did not criticise articles on their own ground because my point is that "the over-all impression is important." My criticisms were of Salient content, not article content. This also is an obvious distinction.
(5) I did not say that the "last issue" ran fillers. My criticism was of the chosen viewpoint of fillers when they are used in any issue.
(6) My criticism was not founded on an appeal to a "fundamental political or religious bias" but on an appeal to Salient to realise that too much evidence of that very bias in any direction in Salient itself takes away from Salient's effectiveness.
I want Salient read by as many people as possible without surrendering a fundamental viewpoint. Wise journalism, I contended, could achieve this without alienating as many potential readers as at present—a contention your wildly inaccurate editorial ignores.
. . . Criticised
It is useful, in these red-baiting days, to ask ourselves what constitutes a Red?
On looking over the organisations in our community that are called "Red" and such like terms of affection, we can see numbered amongst them the World Federation of Democratic Youth, Socialist Club and "Salient," that are organizations which are rightly for the needs of the people. WFDY discovers and publicises the facts that land owners in Algeria employ peasant youth for 14 hours per day: that in Chile apprentices have no paid holidays: that in Mexico women have no vote; that striking seamen in Canada are persuaded by steam hosing to resume labour.
Is it not rational that the landowners in Algeria and the shipowners in Canada should find the activities of W.F.D.Y undersirable, and brand it with the most vicious stamp that is available—that of "Red." And when "Salient" publicises these facts and shows that the conditions of young people everywhere are affected by them, it too is called "Red" by the friends and relations of these shipowners and landowners right here in N.Z. This is only natural, but it is not a good enough reason to slop defending the conditions of students and young workers.
And if it is "Red" to fight for a better life for young people, then to be called Red is an honour second to none in our present setup.
Be in - - -Jubilee Procesh this Year
Hand in your name to the Exec Room, or to Chris Pottinger, c/o Letter Rack.
We Need - - -Bods—Floats—Ideas Everything
In your issue of February 23, 1949, there is a lengthy article over the name of P.J.A. called "Lysenko v. the World" in which appear a considerable number of statements reflecting on the integrity of distinguished genetecists and by implication, upon persons who teach the science of Genetics along the lines established by Mendel. Morgan and their successors.
We do not propose to enter upon an argument as to the relative merits of Michurin Genetics as opposed to Genetic Theory as Understood in Western countries since the lectures normally given at this College offer ample opportunity for such discussion if it is required.
We wish, however, to record emphatically that we reject the article in question as offensive to sincere students of genetics and also discordant with scientific method in that the experimental methods of Lysenko and his school do not conform with those generally accepted as likely to give a reliable result.
We feel that Vavilov's reported death in gaol in 1943. followed by the decree of August 23, 1948 (which has been translated in full by the Commonwealth Bureau of Plant Breeding and Genetics) are adequate evidence of the kind of fate that awaits opponents of Michurin Genetics, and, as such, arouse only disgust in the minds of fair-thinking persons.
H. B. Fell.
L. R. Richardson,
H. D. Gordon.
J. C. Gibbs.
Patricia M. Ralph.
W. H. Dawbin.
B. M. Bary.
D. A. Crawford.Zoology and Botany Departments. Victoria University College.
So the Exec, has raised the price of the evening meal again to 2/-this time. Perhaps they will now rally round and let us know as soon as possible when they are going to raise the evening meal.
This is being written at a table in the Caf. at 6 o'clock, and I am surrounded by mournful and very hungry students who are trying to imagine that eight biscuits and a cup of tea are an evening meal.
These are students who have to Cat in the Caf. as they have lectures from 5 to 6 and from 6 to 7. Empty bellies, Sir, make the most noise.
The situation of the students in this college who have to eat in the Cafeteria and who cannot do so, because of lectures, until six o'clock is no longer a subject for light chatter and jokes.
It is time that the Executive realised that students who have been working and studying until six o'clock and who have more lectures at seven o'clock should be expected to exist on dry biscuits, apples and tea. On many occasions this year the only "dinner" offering for these poor wights has been just that.
"If it must be 2/- then let there be a meal."
It has come to my notice that certain persons in this College have recently been defacing posters, particularly "red" ones, and as a result some people have seen fit to accuse club members of this outrage. I would like to say on behalf of this club that, to my mind, this form of "escapism" represents the depths of puerility and that such conduct is deplorable. In future, therefore, it would be appreciated if such careless statements were not made without substantial proof.