Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 20, No. 2. March 20, 1957
In V.U.C.'s red postwar days, the Students Association was affiliated to an outfit with the incredible title "World Federation of Democratic Youth," known locally as Woofdee. Like the student and trade unuion internationals formed at the same time, WFDY fell victim to the cold war, western affiliates withdrawing and leaving the rump to become increasingly Kremlinired.
VUSCA stayed in, rejecting repeated right-wing moves for disaffiliation, till the warscare of mid-1960. We were represented at WFDY's first two biennial "World Festivals of Youth and Students for Peace"—Prague 1947 and Budapest 1949. The three festivals since have been graced by a few New Zealand student leftwingers, but VUC as such has been absent.
This year, the Festival is in Moscow, repeat Moscow. Mr. Lutsky of Wellington's Soviot Legation states that it will begin on 28 July, and that "he was able to say that there would be no difficulty whatsoever about visas. Russia would welcome New Zealand representation."
The odd local Party-liner (if there's one left) wilt be sure to be going—but that won't further the cause of peaceful co-existence very far. What is needed is as many ordinary students as possible to get there—not just to participate in the Festival convivialities, but to see Russia for themselves, tell ordinary Russian students what they think about it, and break down the barriers by frank interchange.
Equality of the sexes. Yes, at last! Men have invaded another former female monopoly. At least two men have lockers. Until the change-over to a common Common Room it was taken for granted that lockers were the women's prerogative. But they now have a better: men no longer have a segregated common room, women of course, do. It is time that the persecuted sex was organized to gain equal facilities.
S.C.M. Bookstall manager Brian Davies was worried at having well over £1,000 worth of books in the easily-entered gym. Last year the V.U.C.S.A. Secretary had to write to the parent of a child complaining that, although repeatedly ordered off, her son persistently haunted our collapsing bam. It is most surprising—not to say disturbing—that despite all the valuable equipment and books housed at Vic. there is no night watchman. Are these rambling buildings so fireproof, earthquake-proof, thief-proof and vandal-proof that we can afford such laxity?
The bloody slaughter in Hungary last year has had repercussions even in New Zealand student circles. N.Z.U.S.A. with the support of the constituent Colleges has agreed to do everything in its power to help refugees interested in University study. Exec. member Miss Janette McCracken, holding the portfolio of International Affairs Corresponding Member, is handling this problem in the V.U.C. area. As far as is known at the moment there are at least eight concerned, but Miss McCracken is having great difficulty in tracking them down [unclear: ince] some of their addresses supplied by the Labour Department are now out of date. Therefore any newly arrived refugees interested in the University should contact Janette McCracken, c/o V.U.C.S.A. Exec. Office.
Two highly successful dances were held last week. The first, immediately after the President's address, was preceded by an invasion of the Weir Haka party, who, yelling and gesticulating, carried off the most ravishing Fresher girls. The Ball on Friday was packed out. Door takings were £70 or £80, and 60 dozen Coco-cola bottles were sold. The dance ended on the tennis courts.
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