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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 20, No. 7. 30th May, 1957

Press Council What and Why ?

page 6

Press Council What and Why ?

The N.Z.U.S.P.C. (New Zealand University Students Press Council) is a clearing house of ideas for college editors. As such it can produce few concrete results, but the achievements are nevertheless there. The field in which it has expanded—publishing supplements on N.Z.U.S.A., and this year. Congress, have shown what worthwhile activities it can undertake.

They have, it is felt, succeeded in fostering a national students' consciousness on some level other than sport. The latest Supplement is enclosed in this issue.

The Council began its history in 1952, when a N.Z.U.S. Newspapers Association was formed under the influence of then Salient Editor Trevor Hill. Its early activities were not remarkable, but by August of 1953, it was firmly established, though still debating its aims and constitution. It has since met at the time of each Tournament. In 1950 it changed its name to the N.Z.U.S.P.C. (the N.Z.U.S.N.A. was too likely to be confused with that august body, N.Z.U.S.A.), and launched into Supplements.

Its aims are:—
(1)To publish and distribute Council reports and commentaries upon the New Zealand University Students' Association, Congress, Tournament, etc.
(2)To raise by mutual discussion and criticism the standard of journalism within the University colleges.
(3)To encourage mutual assistance among member newspapers, and with overseas universities' newspapers; and to increase the facilities available to each newspaper.
(4)To maintain satisfactory relations with the commercial press.

It has further adopted the practice of having a Dinner at each meeting (with all necessary luxuries, though at the participant's expense) attended by N.Z.U.S.A. officers, at which the editor of a commercial paper offers criticism and advice.

This Easter Mr. Hutton-Potts, well-known editor of Southland Daily News, gave a provocative address on "Fiction and Half-Truths."

This meeting the Council was hampered by lack of time for various reasons, and mostly only routine matters were discussed. Hut treat results are expected from an Extral ordinary Meeting to be held at Wellington during Queen's Birthday Weekend.

There was, however, one matter on which concrete advance could be made. The Council took advantage of the presence of the Australian Students' President at Tournament, to attempt through his willing offices to rectify present poor co-operation between our papers and those of Australia. It is hoped that by individual paper contacts and through our respective Public Relations Officers news will henceforth be exchanged frequently and in detail. (The P.R.O. is a well-established portfolio in Australia. The Officer issues bulletins on various topics to the student press, and convenes their annual conference.)

Press Council Officers for 1957 are: President, D. J. Stone (for a second term), past editor of A.U.C. paper Craccum, and now on Salient staff, and Secretary-Treasurer, Warwick Armstrong, 1957 Co-editor of Craccum.

what did You do with Orientation Week?

The average Fresher on being ultimately confronted with his first day at the University is more often than not somewhat disappointed. He has expected anything but what he gets. He probably arrives for his first lecture on time, and having sat through fifty minutes of initiation into his subject, is left at a dead end as to what to do next. If he has no luck in finding any of his friends he may to down to town and sit through a film—one way of filling in the time before he is required at another lecture. Unless he has a great many friends, he will find time hanging very heavily on his hands. He has the limited choice of spending his free time either in the Caf. or in the Common Common Room (if it is not completely wrecked before that) or even in the Library, according to inclination—but he will only discover the real lay-out of this building by trial and error, probably by error. Unless he makes an extraordinary effort for himself, he will meet few people prepared to make the effort for him.

At the moment, the Fresher is left to himself for longer than is good for him—or for his associates. The first day can be a complete disappointment unless the Exec. and some of the more senior students make an effort.

At Sydney University, Orientation Week is an adequate period of time during which the new students can get to know their way around the building and meet other students at inaugural lectures and Club activities: each day is filled up and the student is able to decide what meetings he will attend—there is a series of lectures delivered by various Professors on how to study, use the Library, etc.. as well as discussions on various aspects of student life. Both staff and students take part in these activities, to a greater degree than is the case here. For example, a typical day might run as follows:
  • 9—10: Arts Society—Talks by Heads of Departments.

    Medical Society—Symposium on "How to Enjoy Failing in Medicine".

  • >10—11: Official Welcome by Chancellor and President of the Students' Association.
  • 11—12: Symposium by Staff Members—"Sex—How Far Do You Go?"
  • 12—1: "Arts is the Easiest of the Technologies". Three speakers.
  • 2—3: Film Group—"Doctor in the House".

And so on. to 8 p.m.

Sports Clubs meet, there are dancing classes, a jazz concert, a Freshers' Informal and a Freshers' Camp ! !

Up till now. Orientation Week has been a week completely orientated for those with only the evenings to fill in Surely, the time has come to reorganise the first few days at University!

It is to be hoped that the present Exec. may do something to ensure that the future students have a pleasanter initiation into varsity life than those in the past. It would be in the interests of the University to consolidate the mass of freshers into the corporate body with at least a passing interest in their first few days of misery.—"Freshere."