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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 30, No. 7. 1967.

Presidential bursary — a tangible thanks

Presidential bursary — a tangible thanks

True, there is a large amount of prestige attached to the presidency of the Students Association, but it remains a thankless task. It is time that some thanks in the form of a bursary be attached to it.

If a president is to do his job properly, he will devote about 30 to 35 hours a week to student affairs. This often means (as is the case with the current president and the president-elect) that he must give up a part-time job.

The resulting loss of income restricts the field of presidential candidates. Students who live away from home often cannot stand because of their dependence on part-time income to meet boarding costs.

If there were a bursary we could expect a greater number of suitable candidates.

We should feel free to criticise any president, but when there is no remuneration one feels a little reticent about criticising. Payment of a bursary would provide the required political lever.

With the increase in student business that has to be attended to, it becomes obvious that we require a president who has no part-time commitments. Only when a bursary is paid could we be justified in insisting on this.

There will be difference of opinion as to what would be an adequate bursary. Somewhere around £350 would almost cover it.

Payment of other executive positions is immediately raised. Of these the most onerous is treasurer. With our income climbing toward the £40,000 mark we feel it is time that a professional accountant was engaged.

Some case could be made out for the payment of secretary. Other executive positions do tend to fall outside the area of payment.

Though every executive post does demand much time, often resulting in failing units. Some tangible benefit may not be out of place.

As students we have been an ungrateful lot. We expect our president and executive to work long hours, to accept great responsibility, and to be at our service at all times. And we insist that the prestige and experience are sufficient reward. They are not.

If we want a vital administration, we must be prepared to pay for it.