Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 20, No. 6. May 9, 1957
Tournament Sidelights — Wine Women And .
Wine Women And . .
Hostel Life at O.U. In And Out of Windows
The renowned Scottish respect for education has resulted in a number of large hostels, usually financed by an individual benefactor in conjunction with a religious organisation, the high percentage of Otago Students "foreign" to Dunedin are mainly in these institutions and as a result of this social life is supposed to centre there.
This is true, but only in limited aspects. owing to the warden's unfortunate habit of locking up their women at ten p.m. The Hall where I stayed held both men and women, who ate together but lived in separate buildings. The inmates strongly objected to the paradox that although a rigid curfew was applied to young ladies, young gentlemen could come to breakfast in their dinner suits, which suggested that they were disposed to look for companionship further afield.
Nevertheless, co-operation among the women has produced a highly organised system of unofficial leave. One has only to whistle at the right window for the collaborator on duty to unlock the door at any hour of the night.
Unwittingly I whistied at the warden's window and, receiving no reply, climbed with great difficulty through a half open shutter. At the moment of extricating myself from a misplaced flower-pot the warden arrived, and in somewhat aflicious answer to my polite "Good Evening" demanded to know my way of entrance. Having decided that it was definitely unorthedox she strongly suggested that it would have been preferable to have asked her to let me in. In actual fact I had, and said so, but her reaction to this was unpleasant.
However, the A.W.O.L. system usually works smoothly, and no bright young thing allows herself to be seriously inconvenienced by middleaged respectability.
"The fiat" is one of the institutions of student life which arises to especial popularity at Tournament time. For Easter Tournament goers, "The Shambles", "Leith Street", "Castle Street" or "the Jam Factory" are names to be rolled deliciously upon the tongue. Old hands will correlate them with similar titles in other University cities, "22 Armargh Street" being perhaps the most famous of them all.
For those who remain in a fit state to remember, the tournament parties held in these renowned residences far exceed any other form of entertainment, although why this is so remains a mystery. The party follows a set pattern. It does not conform to the specifications until every room is crammed to sardine-point with people. The next two requirements are noise and grog. As the morning gets older the noise increases and the grog gets less so that by the time of the inevitable arrival of the police all that can be done to limit the nuisance to society is to shut the windows. This induces 100 per cent, humidity and enforces a few to leave, but more to collapse on sagging beds and sofas. The resulting extra floor space is immediately used by jivers and rock 'n roll artists who operate elbow to elbow with remarkable efficiency. From 5-7 a.m., most people if not flaked, expressions and go home to revive are conscious of their fellows' haggard before resuming sports. The universal cry before a match begins is "no sleep and no breakfast". However, the victims are not contrite. The process will be repeated with increasing enthusiasm but declining energy until everyone returning to his own city, and work.
Games, although the official reason for Tournament, tend to be regarded by the participants as necessary evils to be got out of the way as soon as possible. (This is modified in the case of those who are hunting New Zealand Blues.) The attitude results in few spectators being present at matches where even a small crowd, if vociferous, would greatly encourage the players. On the whole, V.U.C. seemed to be specially guilty in this direction. More encouragement at Winter Tournament might help our players think they are doing twice as well—which would at least be an improvement on our present inferiority complex.