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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 2. 1965.




Sirs,—When the first issue of the new non-sensational de-sexed Salient fell into my hands, I was almost deceived into expecting moral and journalistic rectitude from cover to cover. But on Page 9 the colours of the old, wicked Salient peep through in the form of an unsigned personal attack on Robert Erskine, mixed in with a woolly critique of Surveillance itself.

I hoped Salient had outgrown the name-calling stage, but the writer (shielded of course by anonymity) apparently thinks Erskine is a "budding Lord Thomson" and suffers from "extensive megalomania" and "durable egotism." Later the same writer who so relishes his attack on Erskine, piously hopes that Surveillance will keep its opinions of student personalities to itself.

The substance of the attack on Erskine is made up of one or two carefully selected quotations from a biased source, and a series of snide insinuations which are entirely unsubstantiated. The claim that Erskine was incompetent over the Tournament Handbook is not supported by facts and serves only to reveal Victoria's resentment at having its own incompetence pungently exposed to the New Zealand student public.

"So now the truth is clear." says the writer after talking for two paragraphs about an alleged mixed metaphor, and making a scarcely comprehensible reference to the "haves" and "have nots" of the student newspaper world. He says contemptuously that Surveillance is "the brainchild of individual students." I ask him, what else could it be? Did he expect every student in New Zealand to contribute a few ergs of brain power to it?

Surveillance is (he rightly says) a student newspaper. But it is not affiliated to a Students' Association or NZUSA because it wishes to retain complete freedom and independence. It is not a member of NZSPA because it has not yet had an opportunity to apply for membership.

The writer says that the "methods of those who floated the paper are to be deplored" but forgets to mention what these deplorable "methods" were. As for the money angle, any new paper must expect to make a loss in its first issues until it has gained the confidence of a loyal body of advertisers.

Finally, a word about Outspoke. After only about one year's existence Outspokeis now the premier paper at Auckland. The complete collapse of Craccum was avoided only by enlisting the support and co-operation of Surveillance.

Salient, grow up, please. If you have criticisms to make, use facts, not an occasional prejudiced quote and murky innuendos.

George Quinn.

(Wellington Editor, Surveillance) We reserve the right to print unsigned copy as Editorial Opinion.—Ed.

Rugby Politics

Sirs,—I notice with some amusement that certain members of the NZUSA executive are likely to contravene the NZUSA constitution.

There have been rumours floating around that NZUSA executive is going to try to pressure the New Zealand Universities rugby team in regard to the Springboks.

I draw the executive's attention to s.3 of the NZUSA constitution, which defines the objects of NZUSA. s3(d) reads "... to encourage and assist in the promotion of sport within the universities of New Zealand."

Later, s.10 (d) provides "... provided always that if any act, order, appointment, or anything whatsoever done or made by the executive is repugnant to this constitution, such act. order, appointment, or other thing shall be null and void."

Richard Shorter.