Salient: Victoria University Students' Newspaper. Vol. 24, No. 8. 1961.
Dear Sir.—Your front page treatment in the latest Salient of the Graduands' Supper certainly leaves a bad taste, not only on account of the incidents which are alleged to have taken place, but also on account of the sensationalist tone of the article itself.
In Cappicade 1961 we read a stirring article by John Gamby decrying the scurrilous rantings of certain dailies subsequent to last year's Hastings Blossom Festival. The article was moderate and sincere. That Salient should degenerate to the same type of hysteria and use such terms as "orgy," "swinish" and "shocking brawl is not in the best traditions of our University newspaper.
Please do not think that we condone the behaviour of certain people at the Graduands' Supper—far from it, but we think that there were mitigating circumstances which should be considered by the Students' Association when planning next year's function.
Graduands could be taken as a fairly representative cross-section of the University population. This year, as has been normal in the past .the Students' Association provided a supper and liquor. Obviously these were not provided for guests to admire, and being relatively normal, graduands and staff members present availed themselves of Student Association hospitality.
But this was where the Student Association blundered in their organisation of the programme: what student group, after two hours of fraternising, would be prepared to sit quietly through a whole hour of speeches? Why were these speeches not given at least an hour earlier?
Certainly, very few people felt disposed to listen for such a time to speakers who, with the best of intentions, spoke for an unnecessarily long time. Furthermore, with the notable exception of the Hon. J. R. Marshall and Professor Gordon, t he speakers were extremely hard to hear. The noise from the "noisy, drunken throng" resulted from this futility of trying to listen to something which was inaudible.
Remember that "this excessive liquor" had all been consumed by the time the speeches started; had the speeches been arranged to start an hour earlier, less embarrassment to the speakers would undoubtedly have resulted.
In conclusion, may we say that we think that Salient would do a more responsible job by trying to ascertain the causes of such incidents, rather than by seeking to iay the blame upon the great mass of graduands after a hasty examination of the facts. The sensation-seeking presentation of this article did not impress us. Yours, etc.,
K. M. Johnston
F. P. Crotty
S. M. King
P. L. Shaw
C. J. Hagam
R. N. Rankin
T. J. Young