Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Student's Newspaper. Volume 31, Number 5. April 2 1968
Exec. Members Report — Women's Vice President
Exec. Members Report
Women's Vice President
No doubt some recent events around the University have in part been stimulated by events in British universities such as Edinburgh, Aston University, and the London School of Economics. As is common with other universities in Britain at present, these three are asking for greater student representation on their governing bodies.
At the London School of Economics proposals have arisen from their new Machinery of Government Committee, that students should be represented on the School's new Senate or Council.
Events at Edinburgh have attracted more attention, because of the personality Malcolm Muggeridge. Mr. Muggeridge resigned as Rector of Edinburgh University over the pressure brought on him to back the students demands for contraceptives to be made freely available through the Health Service.
The clash was not really about whether students should have contraceptives or whether Malcolm Muggeridge, as Rector, agreed with this, but about what kind of voice students should have on the governing body of the university. By tradition, the Rector represents their views and acts as a liaison between the student's Association and the University Council. Mr. Muggeridge resigned because he felt he could not present the official student view. which the students thought it his 'duty' to present. The Edinburghstudents were concerned that their representative might be a better representative if he was a working member of the student body.
British students are concerned that a partnership be established with their Councils. They wish to be consulted on matters that concern them; they want to talk about their syllabus, accommodation, admissions, appointments, make representations to the University Grants Committee, and discuss what their financial grants should be spent on.
It is from this premise that we should reflect on our own situation in New Zealand. Maybe we are a little more fortunate; all New Zealand Universities have representatives on their Councils. Here at Victoria our Student Representative is Mr. John McGranth, former President of the Association, and now President of NZUSA. He is elected for two years by the Executive. Former Student Representatives have not always been so in touch with student affairs as Mr. McGrath.
Although we have already what some British Universities are striving for, we now need to cement this partnership make full use of it, and enlarge it to other Administrative bodies of the University. It is acknowledge that there are probably 10 subcommittees of Council that students are interested in. One representative cannot be expected to have full contact with all of these. Within the Professorial Board there are are 7-8 committees students would be interested in having a voice on if not a vote. A staff/student Board would have many advantages.
Increased representation would facilitate the smoothness of Executive's organisation; and apart from the advantage of being better informed on University matters and particularly future developments, Executive would be in a better position to represent, and Act on student concerns.