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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 21, No. 5. May 6, 1958

Irresponsible Element in Exec

Irresponsible Element in Exec

Jane Buckley and Collective Responsibility

To have the confidence of its constituents must surely be one of the primary aims of any Executive body.

To achieve this all decisions of that body must be supported by the various members of that Executive, publically at least.

To this end there exists in the Constitution of V.U.W.S.U. a section regarding the obligations of members of Exec, towards that body. This states:

Section 16, Clause 5, Subsection 1—

All resolutions of the Executive and all acts and things duly done or executed in good faith thereunder shall be binding upon all members of the Executive whether present at such meeting or not and upon all property and assets of the Association provided that such resolutions cannot be shown to be ultra vires the Executive or made in bad faith or with any improper motive.

If members of that body still cannot agree to give their public support to any motion passed by a majority vote they have but one alternative—resignation!

The case in point is, of course, the recent letter by Miss Jane Buckley referring to a decision of Executive to carry out strict censorship of "Salient". In this she virtually dissociates herself from that decision.

The position is that:

Miss Buckley was not at the meeting when the subject was raised.

Thus she had no real knowledge of the background discussion which lead to the motion.

The Constitutional procedure is resignation (far from unknown at Victoria) if she feels as strongly as she professes to do.

Despite these and more subtle objections of etiquette she saw fit to have published the statement that she has.

I personally feel that by her action she has done little to further the cause of a "Free Press" and has only brought discredit to herself and to the Executive.

Mr. Wilson on Tour

Recently the Men's Vice-President, Mr. D. Wilson, visited six east coast secondary schools for the purposes of giving prospective University students a picture of student "life" in the University. This tour was not in any way to replace that by the Liaison Officer of Victoria, Mr. Hogg, but rather to supplement it and give a more balanced picture of life at the University. While stressing the academic side of University he attempted to give his audiences a picture of University which incorporated all aspects of student life; that is, academic, social, and sporting.

Approximately 250 students received the benefit of Mr. Wilson's profound knowledge, most of whom had but a rough idea of University life.

This is the first of such tours but as the advantages of being able to arouse interest in student affairs in prospective members of our life can be clearly seen and as the tour this year has been described by Mr. Wilson as an outstanding success he consequently, in tabling his report, recommended that the tours be continued in forthcoming years. This suggestion was adopted by the Ex-excutive with the suggestion that the tours be alternated between East and West Coast Secondary schools yearly.


Recently the Librarian, Mr. H. Miller, waited on a meeting of the Executive to enable complaints and students' suggestions to be handed on to him. Among the topics discussed were:
1.The difficulty that some people have in finding their way about the library which, in some cases, caused the students to be forced to leave without the book they sought. It was felt that the initial instruction given to Freshers was inadequate and that some further instruction was necessary.

To this Mr. Miller replied that he was fully aware that the instruction on the use of the Library was not sufficient to enable students to feel confident that they knew how to operate the system. He added that a reference Librarian had been appointed for the last two years— part of her duties was to help students in their search for books. Unfortunately Miss Miller, the first appointment, left before she had come to know the Library well enough to be qualified to give any advice to students (Miss Art incidentally is a very highly qualified person—in her career she has been in Rome with F.A.O. for six years and with United Nations in Washington). Mr. Miller stated that "it was certainly part of her duties" to help students. He also pointed out that for more routine matters students should consult the desk librarians.

The problem of enabling students to receive sufficient instruction would, he said, be solved in the course of time as the reference librarian became more knowledgable about Victoria's library.

2.The difficulty that is sometimes encountered in the getting of books from the stack rooms.

To this Mr. Miller said that because of standing orders of the Library staff which required two librarians to be at the desk at all times it was sometimes difficult for books to be got immediately. It is felt that if students appreciate this point and also the fact that Stack Rooms are growing in number and complexity then slight delays will be accepted.

3.The problem of borrowing of periodicals. There have been complaints recently and not so recently that the borrowing of periodicals by staff and students meant that if an assignment had been set the relevant periodicals would be immediately snatched up, leaving some students with a great advantage over the others who had not been the first to rush to get them.

This point was only lightly treated by Mr. Miller and he did not appear to realise the importance of it. Obviously in our competitive education system there are students who will deliberately refrain from returning the periodical in order to retain his initial advantage over others. Personally I feel that the borrowing of periodicals should be stopped both from staff and students.

In conclusion Mr. Miller spoke of the "dream" library of the future Victoria, but realistically said that the present students would not be around to enjoy it. The question of stolen books was also mentioned by the Librarian. This question could be practically solved by the introduction of "turnstiles". This sort of theft protection is obviously effective, but humiliating for a University to have to introduce, but unless students realise their actions are causing considerable losses some measures will have to be taken. So please be honest!