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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 22, No. 8. August 3, 1959

Exec Notes — Flaccid Pliability of Exec

Exec Notes

Flaccid Pliability of Exec

Judging from the number of times the new members of Exec are moving adjournments, weariness is chronic with them.

Apart from Messrs Hercus, Davy, Brooker and Deacon, who start guiltily and move fresh motions at the drop of a brick, all show a kind of flaccid pliability, a dozey lack of alertness that makes for shapeless and haphazard debate and erratic, arbitrary decision.

It is bound to happen that on a committee of thirteen no one piece of business can interest all members at once. This does not excuse refusal to participate in and help guide the course of argument. Consider this:—

Mr Armour Mitchell had sent Exec a letter complaining about the non-renewal of his appointment as the Student Rep. on the City Public Relations Advisory Committee. He had formerly made it as clear as he could that our interests would best be served by his remaining our representative. David Davy, elected as our new representative, generously withdrew.

There was a scramble to nominate Mr Mitchell, who was elected unanimously. Now at the last meeting Exec had also decided that the Student Rep. should hold office for 18 months.

This was now revoked on Mr Davy's motion 8-4.

Then damn our eyes and ears, Mr Brooker moved that the Student Rep. should hold office for 18 months—not just that Mr Mitchell should, but that every representative should.

They then restored the 18-month period 10-2. This took, in all, ten minutes. Dozey, I say.


It was an oddly misshapen meeting. It took them two and a half hours to get through Correspondence, fifteen minutes to dispose of finance, and a sensational twenty minutes to fly through recommendations from two sub-committees and polish off General.


Admittedly, there was some important material in the letters. One concerned one of the many difficulties—one of the minor difficulties at that—caused by our new Palmerston North University College.

To whom will the new students belong? Are they to be controlled from Victoria by our Association, or from Massey?

To begin with, all subjects at the new university will be at Stage One level only. There will, therefore, be no experienced students there.

It was quickly pointed out that Palmerston is 100 miles away.

Further, it was felt Massey needed an infusion of strength. Mr Brooker felt that Massey had been ignored when the new college was founded.

That, unfortunately, is not the point. The new college will be controlled from here by the University Council, hence the Palmerston students by our Association, whether we like it or not, until they can take care of themselves.

As it is, Exec "agrees in principle" to control from Massey. Poor old Exec.

Wrong again.


We had a letter from the All Blacks Tour Committee, asking Exec to give publicity to the meeting in the Town Hall on August 12, and help draft a petition to Parliament.

This time, the revisionist, reactionary voices were more muted but Sharon Thompson led off briskly, saying:

"I don't see why we should be associated with another pressure group. After all we are quite capable of giving our own views in a little more intelligent way than they are."

Not helpful.

Don Brooker, whom we may consider speaks for the University Rugby Club (not yet committed), made quite a legitimate point when he said:

"No matter what anyone does, says or thinks, the matter will remain the decision of the R.N.Z.F.U., which is a law unto itself . . . we shouldn't think that 500,000 signatures to a petition will move the earth."

Fortunately, though, the idea did move Exec a little.


A Good Thing; organisations requiring grog on the Students' Association account must now present a chit signed by the president and the treasurer. . . Something may at last be done about the filthy towels in the conveniences.

Des Deacon became lyrical about endless-towelling-impregnated-with-an-antiseptic-coating-in-automatic-towel-dispenser-tested-by-health-authorities, wonderfully worded. Beautifully spoken too . . . at the same time Exec took 12 minutes to deal with the topic.