Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Salient: Victoria University Students' Newspaper. Vol. 24, No. 11. 1961

Prof. Comment on "Victoria"

page 4

Prof. Comment on "Victoria"

Sir,—I think your article in last "Salient" calls for comment, as it sacrifices accuracy and logic for emotion—like your other front-page articles this year! Must you use your front page like that?

Unfortunately, both sides of this controversy have been badly presented to the University and to the public. In favour of the change we have heard little but brevity and town-gown relationships. Both have some merit in spite of your curious claim that "Wellington University" would not be formally correct; all over the world there are universities bearing the names of the cities in which they are located, and that doesn't prevent them from serving a wider area. But it does let people know where they are! People outside New Zealand don't know (without research) where Victoria University is; their first guess is Australia, then British Columbia. For a third solution, see later. Letters sometimes reach us by strange routes. You claim that "Victoria" in its various forms is distinctive; unfortunately it is the least distinctive name in the Commonwealth for obvious historical reasons. True, "Wellington" might well be second in this respect, but at least this Wellington is probably the best known, whereas that is not true of this "Victoria."

The case for retaining the old name is primarily that it provides a continuity of tradition and would best retain the loyal interest of graduates. This has merit, but is not helped by your exaggerated claim that the name is essential, or that a change would be disrespectful to British royalty. Such changes have occurred elsewhere without the heavens falling.

If the Council decides to retain the status quo, we will follow the same course as the Victoria University of Manchester. Yes, that's its name, but of course it is seldom used, and probably never as "Victoria University* without the "Manchester." For all practical purposes it is "The University of Manchester," and its degrees are indicated by (Mane.) not (Vic.), f Council should decide to grasp the nettle and make the change now instead of leaving it to happen gradually, we should realise that their action is not prompted by malice or by the dictates of "petty businessmen." Let's try to keep any further discussion reasonable.

Pro. H. D. Gordon