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Salient: Victoria University Students' Newspaper. Vol. 24, No. 7. 1961.

Who to Blame?

Who to Blame?

Here is a blatant case of very serious neglect on the part of the Election Organisers. It is not the fault of "Student Apathy." nor in any way of Mr Mitchell (we give him our good wishes for his coming term of office) but of these organisers, who should have made special efforts to decently notify "outsiders." Democratic principles have been abused; the slight odour that has hung about the Presidency since the "unfortunate" election business last year. (When the only available publicity was more favourable to Mr Hercus than to the other two candidates, and thus he was given an unfair advantage—once again, presumably not at all his fault) has not dissipated; Mr Mitchell has not had the 'vote of confidence from the student body that he deserves.

The organisers had a duty to give every student a reasonable chance of knowing about nomination dates. They failed. Don't let this happen again with the election for the rest of the Executive. Publicity

In the last few years, it has been proved repeatedly that small typed notices on the Main Vestibule notice board are totally ineffective in communicating with the student body. Nomination dates closed before more than a fraction of students even realised that elections were imminent, and a disgraceful number of candidates were returned unopposed. Several times, less than four nominations were received for the Women's Committee, and extra members had to be elected, in very hard-fought contests, at the A.G.M. Some of the unsuccessful contestants at the A.G.M 's were undeniably far higher qualified than some of the girls elected unopposed. This is not the Fault of Student Apathy. It is due to inadequate election publicity before the closing of nominations. Afterwards is too late.

There is a dangerous tendency for Executive to become cliquy, with members renominating each other year after tired year. To do a fair share of the work involves a great deal of time and enthusiasm; and enthusiasm naturally wanes when one is doing something for the third time. Executive is getting too conservative and too concerned with its own red tape. It needs a constant stream of new blood, and the best available. So there must be a constant effort to interest new people.

If Executive will provide "Salient" with facts, we are only to eager to print them. But it doesn't. We have had no help whatever from its so-called public relations officer. Firstly, the nomination details for the Executive election must be published as soon as they are available. Secondly, profiles of candidates, giving details of their qualifications and achievements, with photos, must be provided by nominators and seconders, as soon as reasonably possible. Thirdly, every encouragement should be given to all students to stand for Executive, in adequate time to let them make up their minds. Fourthly, as a mere suggestion a Student Council could be set up, similar to that at Otago University, as an intermediary between Executive and the student body to handle some of the work so that more people could actively be interested in the running of the Association, and the personal load be lighter. Don't Let our Elections Become a Shabby Pretence.

Fred Spit.