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



Course Orientation

How many students last year, while reviewing for their finals, wished that they had some over-all guide to the pattern and meaning of the various parts of their courses for quick reference?

How many students would have had a much clearer idea of the whole year's reading and study if they had been given course orientation guides at the very start?

Very few faculties at Victoria seem to consider it necessary for them to give any more details than are provided by the syllabus to students starting a new year's work. As a result, many students find in July that they still don't have a very clear idea of exactly where the work is leading, or what is going to be studied next. If they are lucky, they can find a past student and ask him just what to expect. If they are high on initiative, and courage, they can badger the department concerned for details. But if they are average students, particularly freshers, they don't get around to either.

Some forgotten but no doubt famous person said that the best way to teach anything is to say what you intend to teach, then teach it, then say what you have just taught. Most faculties give the latter two, but neglect the first.

Course orientation could include a statement of the purpose and scope of the course; a description of the different parts, and when they will be studied, and with whom; lists of reading for the whole year; and an evaluation of the major texts, together with some indication of the amount of detail the student should now from each.

If it is to be of maximum value, it should be available in about January, for students still wavering about their subjects.


When, Oh, When

Dear Sir,—Last year I used to sit on hard benches in C3 to watch Film Society screenings.

Are we going to be able to watch films in the comfort of the new theatre this year, or are we still going to have to nortify our flesh while fortifying our spirit in C3?—Yours, etc.,


[Mr. Everard, Secretary of the Film Society, replies: "If Blistered is sore from sitting on a hard bench, how does he think I feel cooped up in the dark at the top of the stairs. If the Students' Association ever supplies the projectors they promised us a year ago for the projection booth in the new theatre, I will be only too happy to screen over there every week. Until then, I have no intention of carrying heavy gear hundreds of yards every time we have a show."]


Dear Sir,—The raising of University fees by the National Government is a shabby act. It reflects well neither on their intelligence nor on their integrity. As a method of cutting down the number of students who consistently fail, it was examined by the Parry Commission and specifically rejected.

The timing was blatantly arranged to hinder opposition—during the long vacation so that students would have already paid their fees for the next year before they could organize protests. This shows a somewhat cynical attitude to democratic principle.

The National Party declares itself the champion of Free Enterprise. But this new fee-scale acts to stamp out free enterprise in the University: it hits very hard the person who for any reason whatsoever is paying his own fees. It means that almost every student must be dependent on the state for a bursary. How does this fit in with their principle?

For one thing it favours a sectional interest. People with money behind them can afford to stay longer than the minimum time, can afford to fail, can afford to take long courses such as Law. This would help to reduce social mobility and reinforce class privileges.

Secondly, I think it is a reduction of the freedom of the University. On the whole it is those people who stay around for long enough to gain sufficient maturity, confidence and know-how who run student affairs and organise the various hot-headed clubs. Many of them are liable to be eliminated.

Thirdly, it hinders national development. The Minister of Education himself declared that the country needs more graduates. He is going the right way to get less.—Yours, etc.,

J. C. Ross.