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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 17, No. 1. March 4, 1953

The State of the Union

page 3

The State of the Union

Much progress has been made since the present executive took office last June and I feel that the Association should know something of what we have been doing without having to wait until this June to read the annual report. In this short statement I wish to make a review of those eight months and give some preview of the scheduled activity for the remaining four months.

For the first time in many years, the Association is now fully solvent. Much of the credit for this can go to the previous two executives who took the Initial steps towards recovery from a bank overdraft of some £900. This executive has continued and hastened those steps so that the cafeteria overdraft to no more and so that we will have some £400 more "usable" income this year than we had in the past 12 months. This position will not continue into 1954 when the 4/- per capita levy to the building fund will again be operative.

Within its budget, the executive has also reintroduced travel subsidies (£51 last August). Sportsmen will be interested to learn that some £310 will be spent on tournament travel subsidies in 1953. From last year's Cappicade profits (£420). and our budgeted surplus, we have allocated £100 to the improvement of the common rooms. These improvements should be well under way by the time that starts. We are also hopeful that the College Council will contribute a further £100 for this purpose. The Rugby gymnasium which will be of benefit to the college as a whole, is to receive £200. We have placed approximately £160 in a development reserves account for such purposes as improvements to Te Aro Park, etc.

Our aim has been to improve what amenities we have and to save for the day when we can spend more on capital improvements. Student amenities at this college are in a class of their own—the worst by far of any in Australasia and according to one informant, the worst by far in the whole Commonwealth. They are virtually non-existent. Lack of space and money prevents the college authorities from providing more amenities and that is why we adopt the policy that I outlined at the beginning of this paragraph.

In my view, the immediate expansion of the association's activities lies in the field of more and better student welfare facilities. We have made a start with the Student Employment Service and the stationery scheme but more can be done and I hope that the executive will take some action on this in the next four months.

We are very proud of the achievements of the major sporting clubs in winning their respective championships. Our relationships with these and the other clubs have been very good, and will probably become better after the meeting between club officers and the executive in late March. The purpose of this meeting is to explain executive policy and invite criticism and suggestions.

Arrangements for tournament, capping and extravaganza are well in hand. There is a job for everyone in those activities and I hope that many hundreds of students will take an active part.

We are soon to have another international students' evening and may proceed from that to the formation of an International Students' Club. We feel that this is one way of showing a practical interest in the welfare of students from other lands. Students will be invited to contribute to a collection for overseas student relief shortly and I hope that this collection will bring in at least £100. This result will be achieved if everyone contributes at least 2/-. Rest assured that the money will be well spent.

On the national level, we aim at making N.Z.U.S.A. activities as efficient as possible and giving all willing students equal opportunity to participate in these activities. I think that the executive is wholeheartedly behind any move in the international student field that will lead to more practical co-operation among as many student groups as possible.

From this brief review, you can see that the union is in a very healthy state. We have financial stability but, with more money to spend. Executive, clubs and students must become even more responsible in their use of that money. New Ideas are coming forward while the best of the old is being preserved and expended. I hope that this review gives you some idea of what is going on in the association and that it will provoke some discussion and criticism. I am sure that, with the co-operation of all sections of the association, this year could be one of Victoria's best.

M. J. O'Brien,