Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 13, No. 9. May 9th, 1950
No Man's Land
No Man's Land
Vulgar, low, obscene . . .
Sir,—in this, my second year at college, I paid my first visit to the Debating Society. Many old pupils had recommended the debates and I looked forward to it—in spite of adverse comment by some present pupils.
The subject ("That Socialism in the Western Democracies had had its day") left nothing to be desired—but the debaters were not of the required mental development to turn it into an even reasonable effort. With interjections flowing freely, the result was a wordy shambles, of at times a vulgar, low and obscene variety, which was downright insulting to the judge in particular and the audience in general (small as it was—no doubt through past experience).
Of the four chosen speakers, three at least made a genuine effort to produce something worthwhile; the fourth was at least inoffensive. Throughout these speeches and the speeches from the floor there was a constant flow of interjections (as "interjections" implies something intelligent, the word is euphemistic.)
The gentleman at my right sat stiff on the edge of his seat through out the entire two and a half hours of the debate endeavouring to keep up to his schedule of two (2) funny remarks every seven minutes. The "character" on my left chewed gum or tobacco, gulped in smoke and possibly spat on the floor and a remark ". . . bloody free love" was typical of his contribution to the evening.
(J.B.T. cannot have attended the debate on April 21; the standard was very high, as the judge commented. Some people can't learn from experience either, because there was an attendance of about 70. Could we point out that we usually refer to "students" rather than"pupils?" When J.B.T. has been away from high school a little longer he may perhaps not take life in such deadly earnest.—Ed.)
... and Treacherous
Sir,—Your reporter J.D.M. urges all freshmen to seek fellowship in the College clubs. In the same issue they were warmly invited to join the Debating Society. But both these invitations conceal a sinister purpose. Old debaters take a sadistic pleasure in bullying freshers and they are ever anxious for fresh victims. Two children, eager for fellowship, went to the Debating A.G.M. where they were warmly welcomed. For the first hour they enjoyed themselves immensely. They helped elect a new president, secretary, and committee, returning the treasurer; but later the new secretary (no doubt eager to show that despite his youth he was fully capable), together with the outgoing president (who was having a final fling) seized upon these two bewildered babes, forced them on to their feet and out to the front for impromptu debating. Then came the last bitter blow—they were to contest the motion that "Chivalry is not dead, but sleeping." Both now agree that they could have said many things about the unchivalrous types who forced them into speaking had they not been petrified. Happily they are now learning to forget that Night of Terror.
Perhaps J.D.M., the Society's acknowledged leader, can explain this treacherous conduct?
Cicerones Non Sumus.
Sir,—The Committee of the Athletic Club does not associate itself with the article appearing in "Salient'.' of April 13, entitled "Runner Mortis." It considers that this article is not only destructive, but is also in extremely bad taste, and is not true in fact. The performances of D. R. Batten and Misses Burr and Hill both at Tournament and during the season were more than satisfactory and all three contributed points to the two Tournament Athletic Shields.
In fact, the Athletic Club as a whole performed more creditably at Tournament and gained more points than any other VUC club.
G.I. Fox, Secretary.
(The person who wrote the article is more than competent to pass the comments he did pass. The assertion that "the article is in extremely bad taste" is the sheerest nonsense.
The people referred to, were stated to have done insufficient training: this is not denied. It was not stated, that—nor was it suggested—the Committee associated itself with the article. If criticism such as this is regarded as "destructive" when it sought only to point the moral that training had to be taken seriously, then the Committee must differ from us on the interpretation of "destructive" criticism. No personal remarks were made which could possibly be regarded as "in bad taste"; such comments as were made were well within the bounds of criticism, and could only be objected to if they were totally inaccurate. We doubt, from the writer's knowledge, whether this is possible.
Salient will agree that the Club did very well indeed in getting more points than any other club. But this is certainly not to say that the performances can't be improved.—Ed.)