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Salient. The Newspaper of Victoria University College. Vol. 19, No. 7. June 16, 1955

Once Again . . . — Participation In Cosec Examined by NZUSA

Once Again . . .

Participation In Cosec Examined by NZUSA

"Discontinue participation in international student affairs," said MAC at NZUSA Council at Easter. Their grounds for advocating this step were primarily that New Zealand students are not going to be interested in international student affairs as such unless they themselves can participate in these activities. Because of our geographically isolated position we were in no position to benefit from COSEC activities. Until such time as students of NZU are interested in these matters, it is impractical to despatch observers and delegates overseas.

If capping collections in each College, continued MAC's delegation, were devoted to specific projects in the international field, interest would be stimulated.

VUC pointed out that they were in no position to devote any proceeds from Capping to any fund other than their general one.

OU agreed that students were not interested in overseas activities, and suggested that one reason for this might be lack of Information. The cause of the lack might be attributed by some to NZUSA, whereas in fact it was the obligation of college executives to circulate information on these matters. It would be, said they a great pity if International activities were to cease because colleges did not circulate this news.

Delegates Bring Information

The fact was that New Zealand students were leaving this country and returning, bringing with them news and information to NZUSA and council meetings. Colleges in this way were kept informed of happenings, and the results were of considerable value to college executives.

Our interest in International affairs must be gradual because of our remote geographical situation. If the motion were carried, New Zealand students would be cut off more than ever. The fact that delegates have attended these overseas meetings is at least a starting point upon which to foster student interest and encouragement.

Too Ambiguous . . .

Staid, poker-faced Galvin, leader of verbose VUCs delegation, snapped that the motion was too ambiguous to be supported.

MAC elaborated. For some time now NZUSA had been sending delegations overseas. It was time to Formulate some practical scheme in which NZUSA could participate. The first report of an overseas delegate that MAC had on the files was dated 1949—six years ago. The time, repeated MAC, had come for practical consideration.

. . . But Information is Good

AUC's Boag, well briefed by sunken-eyed, cigarette rolling exPresident Rod ("Capping") Smith, pointed out that the delegates went overseas, came buck with Information.

It costs money to send off delegations in order that they came back with information. There appeared to be an opinion that, whatever else they brought back, it was good that they brought back information, sneered Boag.

For too long NZUSA has tried to work from the top. WUS is to be congratulated for their efforts. NZUSA should try to do something along these lines.

With regard to a delegation from NZUSA to visit South-East Asian countries, presumably Asian students in New Zealand could speak English, whereas this would not necessarily be the case if N.Z students visited S.E. Asia. Chortled, suave, debonair, diplomat M. J. ("Istanbul") O'Brien—"You'd be surprised."

What Good is It?

O'Brien, following his lead, asked Boag whether he considered that good would follow if NZUSA sent a delegation to the next COSEC Conference, and if the fares were paid.

Cogitated Boag verbally—"Nothing but good could arise—"pressed O'Brien—what good? AUC admitted that is was desirable that if COSEC conferences were to bo of any use, they should be attended regularly.

After not a little reiteration by colleges, Mr. M. O'Brien gave his opinions to the expectant, cynical meeting.

'There is a great deal of thought behind the last two motions of which I approve. These things should not be indulged in to any largo extent unless some good to N.Z. students will come of it, said he, There are three main type of conference—first, those as the COSEC conferences a gathering of students organised on an international basis—and secondly, those as the NUASU where benefit is expected from mutual contacts with the closest students—and thirdly, those such as envisaged by Mr. Brewster (a South-East Asian student group) organised in a particular area to work up practical schemes.

The International Field

The first type of conference, continued O'Brien, had to be considered in the light of two major considerations—first, theoretically. NZUSA was part of the international student community. There was a limit to the extent of co-operation within that field. A financial limit of some sort could destroy the theoretical argument of the advantages against the cost.

Practical Activities

On the question of practical activities, said O'Brien, we gained much from the NUAUS conferences—travel and exchanges congress, orientation activities, are exhibitions, the textbook scheme—all had their main impetus from the enthusiasm that NZUSA delegates brought back with them.

Graduate employment in Indonesia was another aspect. If this develops, then we will have another of the practical schemes which it is desirable to put into practice.

When it came to a point, we discontinued the practice of sending an observer to NUAUS because it was costing us £00 a year and nothing new was being brought back. Applying this test of utility to the international field, we find that reports of NZUSA observers go back to 1945.

In the post-war period, NZUSA worried, "Are we getting anything out of this participation?" Endeavouring to found a practical scheme in the South-East Asian area, NZUSA found that IUS objected. This began the international disintegration of student co-operation.

COSEC was formed, and when this organisation overcame its teething troubles NZUSA sent observers from Europe. At this stage there were not many practical schemes in which we could participate.

It was felt in 1953 that COSEC needed a bit more time, it has now had that extra time, and the question must be faced, "What are we getting out of COSEC?" Their practical schemed will increase in time, and the revised attitude to WUS in the NZU could be attributed in no small measure to information and enthusiasm brought back from COSEC conference, 1054, by Messrs. O'Brien and Dalgety.

It was true that nothing of direct practical interest to NZUSA had yet been formulated by COSEC COSEC had recently been admittds to consultative status to UNESCO.

Mr. D. Dalgety, speaking after the adjournment, said that following the principal motion of Easter, 1953, giving priority of activity to the South-East Asian area, a committee was set up to consider the matter: this committee produced the Brewster report of 1954.

Student Administration

NUAUS are somewhat unhappy about the general student administration in the S-E Asian area, with its dilatorys attitude. NUAUS will not take the first stop towards practical activities in these countries: it is up to the Asian national unions to take the initiative.

The Council then passed the following resolution:—

That NZUSA immediately establish a committee from colleges to contact Asian students in New Zealand and obtain from them Information and suggestions for future activity and that NZUSA contact the representatives of Asian student unions at the 5th International Student Conference.