Salient: Victoria University Students' Newspaper. Vol. 24, No. 7. 1961.
Once more we are approaching the annual Executive elections, Every year the same problem arises—how does one distinguish candidates who are largely anonymous, emerging briefly from obscurity only to vanish once more when the fuss has died down? Who can decide a stranger's capabilities? Is this why so few students actually vote? The usual means of publicity is the blurb. This is written either by the candidate or a supporter, lists his virtues (real or imagined), and is printed, along with all the others, in the special election issue of Salient.
This is better than nothing, but does it really ensure that we will be any the wiser after reading than before? For what we are particularly interested in will not appear in print. Has the candidate really the aim of doing the job conscientiously and to the best of his ability, or is he more interested in the prestige attached to the office? What is the real extent of his past activities and contributions to student affairs, and what does he intend to do once he is on our executive?
The immediate past executive has had a particularly difficult job, with the complications caused by the construction of the new Student Union Building adding to its difficulties. It has done well, though its tasks have not been made any easier by those one or two members who have played a purely nominal part in its deliberations. Working until one a.m. on the occasional meeting night is no substitute for a steady neglect of routine affairs.
The new Executive must strengthen its contact with the individual student and be easily accessible to everyone. How often does one see any exec, member around the Student Association office? Too often in the past, executive has consisted of a large number of part-timers, eight to five office workers who do not get to the university until six o'clock at night (and then only to collect their mail). Can such absentees be said to fairly represent anyone apart from other part-timers?
The executive must be a representative body.
Where are we going to get the candidates from for the new exec.? Salient suggests that students should nominate only those who have an immediately accessible record of service in the university, who are senior students, are (preferably) full-timers, and have already shown their fitness for the privilege of being our representatives. If the executive is going to represent us fairly, it must have our trust and confidence.