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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 18, No. 7. June 10, 1954

Executive Elections — Once More to the Fray . .

Executive Elections

Once More to the Fray . . .

Voting for your representatives on the Executive of the Students' Association takes place next Friday, 18, Monday, 21, and Tuesday, 22. Results of polling will be announced at the Annual General Meeting to be held in the Upper Gym on Wednesday, 23 at 8 p.m. These elections are the most important part of the Association's year; the persons elected have the responsibility of running the affairs of the Association on behalf of the 2,300 members for the next twelve months.

It is good to observe that last year some 700 members cast their votes and thereby showed an interest in the Association. For many this was the only occasion in the year in which they actively participated in student affairs; but the 700 were one in three of the total student body, and proportionately the number of pollers against the number of persons eligible to vote was higher than it has been for many years.

Executive office is not something which should be sought simply for the honour of it: rather it is something which should be looked for only when a student feels that he is sufficiently capable and experienced to shoulder the responsibilities which will be placed upon his shoulders. The executive each year administers some five thousand pounds and largely shapes the policy of the Association.

It is necessary that at least some of the members of the executive have had previous experience. Several of the retiring executive are standing for re-election; some deserve to be re-elected, others do not. The student body should be well-informed on what has been done by the retiring executive and should bear in mind matters which deserve attention. It has been remarked to the writer that students are not interested in what the executive does and that they are not Interested in N.Z.U.S.A.'s policy on international student levels . . . this may be true—but it does not follow that students should not be aware of their duty to participate in these affairs.


Members of the executive have necessarily a specialised knowledge of matters which need not concern the individual student. The writer also regrets that not one member of the Association, apart from himself and the editor of "Salient," have exercised their privilege to attend executive meetings during the last year. True, much of the discussion centres around routine and possibly boring subjects—but there have been several important meetings at which no student was present. The fault does not lie in lack of publicity—the minutes of each meeting are posted on the main notice-board after each meeting and must remain up for at least seven days. Thus students are not well-informed upon the activities of the executive. They have to rely upon the medium of "Salient" for their information—admittedly it is much easier that way.


Important to the Association is its representative on the College Council. He is a person appointed directly by the executive and is responsible directly to them. On the administrative side, too there is a lot of hard work to be done on the executive—the secretary is required to devote some 25 hours per week to his office and often new members bright ideas do not look quite so bright when considered in the cold light of economics.

The Association has been fortunate in having one gentleman in particular on the executive this year. This individual has been a leading star in almost everything connected with student affairs. Approachable, unassuming ready with sound advice,—a veritable power-house of enthusiasm, yet not sufficiently appreciated because he has never brought it to the fore for his own account. These things are acknowledged in their own way. To Malcolm McCaw we tender our own grateful thanks.

Among the women, we notice a lamentable lack of action in most fields excepting the domestic. And the conduct of certain of these at recent executive meetings has been unusual, to say the least. The chairman has done his best to control them—doubtless hoping that common sense would overtake them—alas, in vain. Perhaps they are not to be blamed.

The student body is to be blamed for their mistaken choice of representatives. The fact that male members vote for female members on the basis of their photographs is superficially humorous, but in reality is a perversion of the right to vote. It must be remembered at all times that student self-government is too precious a thing not to have. The number of suggestions which can only in all fairness be called harebrained, put forward at the executive meetings is amazing. The amount of time wasted at meetings, too, is a matter which deserves some thought. Of course all of this hinges upon the type of person who is elected, and that person's motive in standing for election. Readers will be mature enough to bear this in mind when voting.

The executive however, as a whole, has done many things of benefit to students this season. The continuation of the stationery scheme and student employment schemes Inaugurated by the previous executive, the scheme for providing text-books at reduced prices, are but three.

We have not dwelt at length upon the activities of the executive during the year. They are adequately covered in the annual report which is now available for inspection.

In conclusion we would give a warning. "Salient" has purposely refrained from vociferously criticising the executive during the last year. This will not now be the case. From now on, we will endeavour to be Just, but will criticise where there is reason to.

Things to Do

Those standing for the executive should bear in mind the following matters which will require their attention before June, 1955: action on publicising the case for increased bursaries; action on the matter of student health schemes for this college (shortly to be discussed by the College Council); organisation of Winter Tournament, which will be held this year in Wellington; careful revision of the text-book scheme; control of social functions at the college; knowledge regarding the Student, Union building sub-commitee of the College Council; matters connected with the publication of "Spike" and the "Salient Literary Issue;" action regarding a Student Orientation Handbook to replace the present S.C.M. handbook; action to provide a bigger and better Orientation Week for freshers; improvement in relations with the public of Wellington and a policy on next year's procession: the organisation of next year's Capping week activities—to mention but the more pressing items. It means a lot of work for each member of the executive. If you are willing to do your share, good luck to you.

"If you are thinking of standing for exec, you should first consider some of the things you will be expected to do, and the matters upon which you will be expected to have an opinion. Those of you who will only be voting should give careful consideration to your choice before you mark your voting paper.

"It is important."

Mr. Kevin O'Brien, M.Com., B.A., has been nominated for a life membership of the Association by Messrs. B. V. Galvin, T. H. Beaglehole and B. C. Shaw. The nomination will be voted upon at the annual general meeting on the 23rd.

Mr. O'Brien is currently manager of the New Zealand Players Company and a part-time lecturer in Economics.

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