Salient. The Newspaper of Victoria University College. Vol. 19, No. 5. May 5, 1955
Several readers have inquired whether or not "Salient" has a fixed policy. In reply to this, we suggest that one of the primary functions of the University is to produce in students a critical attitude of mind together with technical knowledge. This critical attitude should be applied by members of the University to their local, national and international affairs. At the college itself we find that the common rooms, the cafeteria, the gymnasium and the cloak rooms require considerable capital expenditure to bring them up to a minimum standard for relaxing in. The teaching staff is too small in proportion to the student body. Buildings are lacking. University teachers' salaries compare unfavourably with those overseas. The failure rate of first year, full-time students is causing little concern. Bursaries are not designed to keep pace with the rising cost of living. And, we have no student union building.
On a national level it appears that juvenile delinquency is on the rampant. Social Credit is a more or less unknown political factor. The Police Force is thoroughly dissatisfied with the system of promotion within its ranks. Mr Holland is sending 250 troops to Malaya. Our future school teachers have no incentive to take up that profession. The Government has not provided any economic safeguards against the obvious currency inflation. Import controls in the last three years have been lifted to a greater extent than they were in 1939. NZUSA want a student representative on Senate.
In the international field few people know what the situation in Malaya really is. Even fewer have made it their business to find out German re-armament is being carried out. The current controversy between the United States and the United Kingdom foreign policy makers regarding Formosa is a matter which has not been considered in our columns. The Afro-Asian talks currently taking place in Bandoeng have brought forth no comments from readers. And, Asian nationalism has been barely touched upon.
These are but a few of the many factors which affect the student, whether he likes it or not, in the course of his daily life. University students, of all the people in the country, should be better able to give a sound commentary on all of these matters and many others besides. That they have not yet done so is in many ways an indictment of the students' so-called "critical attitude". We still believe that students are capable of presenting sound opinions on these matters although we feel there is a current attitude that every person who holds an opinion on a particular subject is in fact biased in that subject. True, there are a number of fence-sitters in this college, and the staff are not least among them. We are aware that a considerable number of students have, in fact, very sane and mature attitudes but we deplore the fact that few have expressed their ideas in written form through the columns of "Salient," There is, presumably, a reason for this. If "Salient" is to survive the many difficulties under which it is at present labouring we must have more expressions of readers' opinions. For the rest of the year if there is insufficient copy available from readers "Salient" will not be published. This is drastic policy, but we feel that it is the only way to overcome the handicaps Involved.
"Salient" has existed since 1938. It then had a policy of critically dissecting current events. It is up to you then, readers. Upon you "Salient", 1955, stands or falls.