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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 30, No. 14. 1967.

A reflection — not a stimulant

A reflection — not a stimulant

Victoria University is condemned to be a reflection of New Zealand society rather than its stimulant;

because it primarily functions as a degree factory rather than an institution of education;

because so many seem to think that mere presence at a university elevates one above the level of society;

because in our position of "elevation" intellectual snobbery is rife; students are just a cross section of society, perhaps a little more ambitious, perhaps a little more gifted, but certainly not more important:

because we are the silent witnesses to the two-culture society and stir little to thwart it — the gap between science and the humanities grows daily and neither students nor the administration seek to bridge it;

because despite the platitudes honouring flexible social movement students breed social snobbery, and this is not just the old-school tie version, the "in" literary or arty groups are just as stringent as the tweed suit variety;

because we isolate ourselves from society in a manner that inhibits communication between campus and community, restricting our ability to inject new ideas into social attitudes;

because we remain largely apathetic, the activists are few and tend to be the same few in differing spheres: though a widespread student interest in mental health did provide some encouragement: because as a group we lack leadership. Executive's refusal to formulate a policy on homosexual law reform is symptomatic;

because we lack culture in the same way as our society lacks culture; the walls of our Student Union Building boast of no art pieces, our music recitals go largely unheeded, extravaganza survives on an over-worked collection of sick jokes, and the administration persists with an enforced and culturally bereft reading knowledge;

because like our society we are over conscious of attainment in the examination room, despite the inability of examinations to quantify personality and leadership qualities, and despite the fact that exam success often depends on extraneous abilities — like rapid, neat, handwriting.

There's one lesson we don't seem to learn — the way to get most out of life is to try and put more back into it than we take out.