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Salient. The Newspaper of Victoria University College. Vol. 19, No. 6. May 31, 1955

Points Against

Points Against

OU were not opposed to a representative on Senate, but considered that all arguments so far put forward were insufficient to induce them to accept this view. They enumerated the points against a Senate representative:—
  • In 1952 Senate was firmly opposed to student representation—it was useless to try again without different and sound arguments in favour of the proposed move;
  • representative status of the student member of Senate would place him in an invidious position if he was opposed to a motion which he had been instructed to Introduce to Senate;
  • there was already in existence all necessary machinery in college Councils to present views of the students to Senate—as long as the student representative on the College Council kept Council informed on matters affecting students and gave student views on the matter. Council could take the matter up to Senate level through its representatives;
  • before Senate votes on an important matter, it usually sets up a sub-committee to discuss the question fully—the student representative would not necessarily be elected to a sub-committee discussing mutters affecting students' interests;
  • undergraduates were legally not members of the University of New Zealand.
  • any member of Senate could vote as they personally felt appropriate on all questions.

Mr K. B. O'Brien, in reply to OU's first objection, suggested that when attempts were being made to obtain a student representative on College Councils, old arguments were repeatedly used until eventually Councils capitulated. The matters discussed by Senate do not usually concern the students as such; this idea was wrong.

Senate today often did things of which Council was unaware until after a decision had been reached.

Mr. N. Beach (Res. Exec. CUC) suggested that whereas the student representative on Council was concerned with student matters on a local level, the student representative on the UNZ Senate would be concerned with student matters at a national level.

Mr. K. O'Brien stated that Senate did not consider that those on Senate as representatives of bodies were responsible to the bodies which elected them. The position was somewhat similar to a member of Parliament not being responsible to his constituents until the end of his term of office.

Mr. Grater (OU) stated that the time was not far off, when matters of national student importance would be discussed at Council level. Mr. Douglas (CUC) "The year 2055".

Mr. Grater "It may not be as far off as that."

Mr. K. B. O'Brien suggested that the devolution of the university presented many problems for students—as e.g., the language requirements which varied from College to College.