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Salient: An organ of student opinion at Victoria University, Wellington. Vol. 23, No. 5. Wednesday, June 15, 1960

Exit Part-Time Students

Exit Part-Time Students

Should part-timers be excluded from Victoria University? Are these undesirable creatures, these money-grabbing "parasites," to be tolerated? these questions Messrs Allan Hall, Charles Schneiderman, Geoffrey Parmer, and B. W. Middleton endeavoured to answer before a wild, enthusiastic audience. The topic debated that night—April 29—was "That part-time students should be excluded from this university." The argument became heated at times, with insinuations about characters and morals plentiful.

There were evidently many part-timers present, but Mr Middleton was not to be discouraged. Ignoring the jeers, rude comments and paper darts, he earnestly begged the audience to appreciate the fact that:—

"Victoria University is not a university unless every student is a full-timer. Part-timers will turn Victoria into a glorified night school with students interested only in getting a degree as quickly as possible."

Mr Schneiderman was leader for the negative. He accused the first speaker of doing little more than quoting from the Parry Report. Admittedly, part-time students have a high failure rate. But what about the 900 full-time who failed all their units last year? "Part-timers," claimed Mr Schneiderman, "particularly law and commerce students need practical experience." (Interjection: "Everyone needs practical experience"). Mr Schneiderman closed with the opinion that, "… as part-time students are an integral part of this university, a university without them will just not be a university any longer!"

Mr Parmer retaliated with further Information about part-time students. Sixty per cent. In 1959 failed in their first year.

Mr Hall, having the last word for the negative side, was aloof, but disagreed violently with the full-time advocate violently with the the practical experience point. It would take too long, he said, to gain necessary experience and necessary exams separately.

Student Reaction

Mr O'Brien pleaded passionately for the affirmative when speakers from the floor were called. He believed that the university filled many important functions over and above degree grabbing. He instanced religion, politics and sex. "Of course," he slyly pointed out, "the part-timer can always stand at the corner of the G.P.O."

Mr P. J. Jenkins, a teetotaller, blamed the part-timer for V.U.W's ignoble performance in the drinking horn at Easter Tournament. The late lectures held for the benefit of part-timers had prevented anyone from practising, he alleged.

Mr Roberts having his say after "listening to the hot and cold winds of intellectual dispute from my warm little seat up in the auditorium," objected strongly to Mr O'Brien's principles and his "white, over-sexed face." "Friends," he continued, "let us all be honest; most of the people here are not really interested in a liberal education, they are only interested in that thing called a 'meat ticket'." He colled the full-time students "ivy-clad-full-time-cafeteria-s hopsitters."

Finally Mr Hercus, Students' Association President, called everyone's attention to the fact that while there were many part-timers on the Student Executive it was really the full-timers who did all the work.