Salient. The Newspaper of Victoria University College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 19, No. 3. March 24, 1955
Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor
Lack Of Opinions
Dear Sir,—Some time now has gone by since the Congress at Curious Cove. There, many subjects were discussed and mighty decisions reached. A little later there was a Catholic students' congress at Raumati. Here again some of the subjects from Curious Cove have come to the fore and, as at the Cove, much hot air has ascended to the skies—and was doubtless recorded there by the tally clerk on the credit side of the ledger. How clottish he must feel when, after such a long time, nothing more—either for or against—has come from the students of Victoria.
Sir, I ask you, must we wait for Dr. Sutch or Sir Carl Berendsen to turn the handle before we squeak? Have we no minds of our own? What is this paper for, if not to air our views on the subjects discussed?
And so we move on to a subject which received much attention at Curious Cove: the relationship of China. Formosa and the United States. The problem is not quite as simply as certain people make out. Formosa, it appears, is little more or less than Chinese property: the Nationalists, a group of rebels opposing by force the attempts of the Communists to unify the country: the U.S.A. an imperialistic power trying to influence the fall of the cards to favour its own ambitions.
But does not even a minority have the right to express its views, to speak and be heard in public? Does the Communist Government offer the Nationalists or anyone else who opposes it in any way, the right of free speech? Are we morally justified in standing quietly by and watching a faction of thought exterminated by the Sword?
Are we as Christians justified in allowing an enemy of all we value, to run riot across the world? Do we quietly permit the hard won principles of Christianity and democracy to be thrown overboard in country after country?
"Students, my students, wherefore art thou?
Speak now or forever hold thy peace."
B. [unclear: Callingham.]
(Reader Callingham will find much to be discussed in our first of a register series of political commentaries by "Polemic," elsewhere in the issue—Ed.)
Lack Of Facilities
Dear Sir,—Recently we wrote to you about lack of student facilities in the College. Since then some of our members have discussed matters with the executive. We find that some action has been taken over the deplorable conditions in the common rooms and in the women's cloak rooms. Congrats to the exec.—keep it up.
We understand, however, that plans for improved conditions in these places will be submitted to the Registrar and that the problem will be, what percentages of the costs will be borne (a) by the Students Association, (b) by the college authorities.
It is our opinion that the college authorities who are, so to speak, the landlords, should be responsible for the repairs and improvements. The Students' Association has the responsibility of keeping the Student Union building fund healthy, and that should be our main consideration.
Another source of controversy between the students and the council again centres on the student facilities. Naturally the new science block has top priority, but what is to come next—a new library or the Union? We say the Union but Professor Bailey, acting-principal, has publicly stated otherwise. We can only conclude that the council's honeyed excuses when refusing permission to the Soc. Club to build a hut were sheer hypocrisy. (See "Pie in the Sky." page 4.) "Why should student facilities always come at the bottom of the list?
In the proposed plans for the Sub we notice that provision has been made for only two small clubrooms—one for the use of secretaries, the other for general purposes. Obviously these are inadequate. Club meeting times would clash and gear would still have to be housed—in some cases considerable libraries! The SCM. EU, CSG and Soc. Club all merit rooms of their own. Presumably the Drama Club will find a home in the Little Theatre, but there are also other sporting and cultural clubs needing accommodation.
Yours, etc.,Socialist Club Committee.
Dear Sir, It is with great pleasure that I pen this letter and ask you to print my hearty congratulations to both the executive of the Student's Association and those members of the staff who showed that they are alive to the necessity of maintaining good staff-student relations. I have been at this college now for longer than I wish to recall, and over the years the staff have not always been aware of their duties in this matter. Overcrowding, under-staffing, research have been but three of the scores of excuses that I have heard members of the staff give in an [unclear: attempt] to justify their apparent disinterestedness over the years. There are many good reasons why this peculiar relationship has of times exists.
Now the Students' Association have taken a positive action in providing what was missing: a time and place ordained for first-year students to meet their helpers. The staff response this year is on the whole very gratifying. It bodes well for this year's freshers: first impressions are after all most important. A correct attitude towards the staff, and encouragement by members of the staff, ensures that freshmen place university education in its proper perspective at the start of their studies, and also that they are not afraid to approach staff members for help with problems.
Kudos, then, to the executive and also to those members of the staff who showed that they appreciated the fact that the university, as Professor Slater remarked at the Science Faculty evening, is a community of students and staff.