Salient. Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 26, No. 4. Monday, April 8, 1963
Letters to the Editor...
Letters to the Editor....
Women And University
Sir,—While Miss Susan Cook may be quite Justified in trying to take Jill Shand down from her I'm worldly wise and proud of it peg, perhaps she used the wrong approach.
In the heat of the moment, when you feel strongly on some subject, it is easy to let what could be a logically sound and effective assault on an opponent's position degenerate into an unbridled personal attack.
For, despite Miss Cook's assurance "I am not abusing Miss Shand" one notices a pronounced note of the abusive in her letter.
The Ethics Of Sgm's
Sir,—Before resigning his position as editor of Salient, G. W. R. Palmer has abused that position, entrusted to him by the Association, to slander the character of two students.
He has raked up the past of one to bolster his disgraceful leading article. While all fair-minded persons will deplore such tactics I have no doubt but that this student will answer for himself.
Mr. Palmer has largely replied on innuendo and distortion of fact to substantiate his attack. Referring to the part that I played in the Pees issue last year, he says: "The methods he used then were thought by some to be unsavoury." What methods? Who thought they were unsavoury?
The methods I used were to assist in the requisition of a Special General Meeting of the Association in accordance with its constitution and at that meeting to move a vote of no confidence in the Executive which was carried by a substantial majority.
Using the two facts that I once worked on the Waterfront and that I am now studying at the University, he issues this distortion: "Since Bill Dwyer retired to University from his Union activities on the waterfront, he has become something of an agitator." I need hardly point out that the word "retired" is an invention of Mr. Palmers imagination, that the word "agitator" results from his prejudice and inability to acknowledge that the views of another may be honestly held and are, to that extent at least, valid.
For Mr. Palmer's information I might add that I was instrumental in calling far more special general meetings on the Waterfront than' I have been involved in here at the University. Some people may fear and dislike such meetings. For my part they appear to be healthy organs of a democratic society.
Mr. Palmer implies that as my name appeared either moving or seconding a number of resolutions at the Special General Meeting. I must have been responsible for the "forgeries" in respect of resolutions which were erased from the agenda.
The Constitution of the Association provides that fifty members may requisition a Special General Meeting and must stipulate the business to be transacted. Hence forgery could only occur in the list of signatures. It is common knowledge that requisitions in the past have been signed by such personages as "K. J. Holyoake," "A. T. Mitchell . . . subject to his consent" etc. Of course, strictly speaking, it might be said that the perpetrators of these signatures were guilty of forgery. The persons circulating a requisition must expect flippancy and even abuse of this type.
As for the names linked to the resolutions, there is no requirement or provision in the Constitution for them. However, as a matter of convenience in the past, it is now normal practice for the sponsors of a requisition to tender a list of movers and seconders to the Secretary. While I was not a sponsor of the last requisition I may speak in respect of those I sponsored last year and say that when the secretary asked me for such names—there being none on the actual order paper—I supplied such to the best of my ability relying on my own judgment, largely, in the absence of specific commitments.
Thus where I was unable to contact a person, who had signed the requisition in the first place, and who, I thought, was interested in moving or seconding a specific item on the agenda, I placed this persons name with the secretary.
At the Special General Meeting, I laid responsibility for the "Cappicade shambles" (Salient terminology) on the shoulders of the Executive.
I did so because the Constitution gives the Executive unrestricted power over the affairs of the Association. Such power surely implies corresponding responsibility. Whether Mr. Palmer agrees or not, this is certainly a valid point which may be honestly held and advanced.
But this position for Mr. Palmer is sufficient justification of the accusation of "contemptibly low political principles applied without discrimination."
Mr. Palmer has done the student body and Salient' a gross disservice. An apology might help to undo the damage done. Adequate space for reply is the least that justice requires.
An Old Salt
My humble reply to the author of "An Old Salt."
Salt is a medium—a material medium—through which we, or I at least, overcome sourness. Can you blame me for using it when the plums are sour? I don't care why you:
|(a)||Sit in the Cafeteria giggling, peeping and sneering at others|
|(b)||eat your sandwiches with five to ten fingers instead of three|
|(c)||talk when you should be eating|
|(d)||why you like tomato soup (ugh!) when I don't . . . so why should you care what I sprinkle on my plums?|
Is sprinkling salt on plums so different from sprinkling sugar on them? If so, where does the distinction lie? In the fact that the latter is customary?
If that is your answer I think you desperately need to be overhauled. Don't you know, or haven't you realised, that different people have different tastes? If I happen to like plums with salt, it's just too bad if you have to say "ugh!" with every bite. "Ugh!" back to you!
Incidentally, I take salt with apples, too.
S. E. P. Teck.
Salient offers Its apologies to Mr. Teck, a Colombo Plan student, for its apparent Intolerance of his customs.—Ed.
Could your correspondent Pl please elucidate the following points in the article on Extrav.
|(1)||What are the gags that are "heavy and plodding and recur with relentless and monotonous regularity year after year"?|
|(2)||Apart from John Koolman, who are the "number of non-students who have for many years been awarded star parts"?|
|(3)||What grounds are there for the statement that "actors . . . are concerned primarily with sex and alcohol"?|
|(4)||Who are "the tightly closed clique of hard men and women who annually govern the show"?|
I am, sir, a past student, who has been asked again to produce this year's Extravaganza. I would
be most happy if the student body offered some person capable of taking the job. It may not be generally known but the Extravaganza costs the Students' Association approximately £2500 each year.
For this expenditure a profit of up to £1800 has been made within the last five years, and indeed this amount, with the Government subsidy, finally made the Student Union Building a reality.
I ask your correspondent, sir. Why has she not come forward with a script with the "subtle, flippant, and risque dialogue and sharp witty satire denoted by the word satire"?
How would she distinguish between "Jokes badly lewd and full of obscene suggestion" from those which are "risque."
I have had, sir, the privilege to be intermittently associated with Extrav since 1950 in all capacities. I have been a student for five of those years. It would be a change and a great pleasure to see some new member of the student body come forward to either produce or indicate willingness to learn the business of producing the annual University Extrav. Perhaps your correspondent would like to take on the Job.
Terry Browne,Producer Extrav '63.
Trim starlet Margot Sutherland, last year's heroine, was no student. Salient appreciates Reader Browne's opinion but stands by its correspondent.—Editors.
The Ethics of Sgm's
Sir,—Rather than let some poor cobber of mine abuse Gwrp I will bolster my persecution complex with this lot.
The implied charge of forgery in Gwrp's editorial was answered at the Sgm after a similar wild charge. To abide by the Constitution members must deem signatures to be valid until any invalidity is proved. I have never forged signatures, so I can't see why this rot got into an editorial.
The style of the editorial was such a fine example of righteous and etihical Journalism that its motives are obvious. Someone is very angry and perhaps even hates Bill Dwyer and myself. Hate usually grows from Jealousy or fear.
Readers—Please keep letters short, concise.
It must have been something big to cause a charge of "political smear tactics." If this charge was directed at Dwyer and myself, then likewise to you mate. Journalistic smear tactics are usually answered in the courts. Such rubbish shouldn't appear in Salient, published with Stud. Ass funds and opening up the Association for costly lawsuits. Salient is not medium for lies and malevolent innuendo.
It's easy to rake muck, but it usually shows a lack of morals as well as ethics. If other peoples' money is used and risked it also shows remarkable irresponsibility.
I hope that Salient will never again reach its all-time low and that it will regain its name for fair and responsible Journalism. I am, etc.,
R. E. Magnusson
"Cynics are only happy in making the world as barren for others as they have made it for themselves"—George Meredith.