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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 25, No. 1. 1962.

We, at Victoria

We, at Victoria

In what must surely be a momentous year for this University, "Salient" again extends its semester welcome to the students and staff of Victoria. But perhaps for this year, we may find a more suitable word in unique. For when, at what other stage of its short history, has this University seen so much happen in such a short space of time. Freshers this year will be using facilities unknown to Victoria's students for sixty-one years; facilities which, all the same will undoubtedly be dated by 1965. This year the new privileged education system also comes into operation—offering cheap learning to the young and the wealthy, not so cheap to the not so young and not so wealthy. This year too, a new Victoria University of Wellington has arisen. We have slipped silently, almost unnoticed out of constituency into autonomy.

Yet, is it possible that students could remain unaffected by these changes in the status and operation of our University? If we can judge by previous student activity, we must say yes, unfortunately, they can. For apart from certain monetary and personal considerations, few students concern themselves with the general welfare of the student body, or with their direct responsibilities towards other people. A stultifying complacency has almost deadened the students' voice. We no longer seem to care about our national or international obligations — our opinions and thoughts have become valueless; we are in a state of grooved apathy.

And where can we see this apathy reflected? Most likely in the actions of students themselves; often in the actions (or inactions) of the students' executive; and most certainly in the columns of student publications — the New Zealand Student Newspapers are especially noted for their nonsensical and irrelevant material. But this is not all gripe and moan; it is simply stating a few home truths. And what can we do about it? We can improve the standard of our publications; the efficiency of our executives; our relations with the Universities Council. And the most important piece of all, the individual student; the person who, by his actions alone, will rid us of our present complacent and apathetic quandary.

One is often challenged by the conservative outlook of the New Zealand student. Are we going to sit tight for the next fifty years; or are we going to open the doors and let in the winds of change? It's certainly a talking point!