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Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 31, Number 17. July 23, 1968

submissions received

submissions received

Extracts from submissions to the Joint Committee on Student Participation in the University:

L. Cleveland, Teaching Fellow, School of Political Science and Public Administration.

"This report expresses no view on the desirability or otherwise of increased student representation in the various levels of university government.

Even if students were to be given more seats on the council of Victoria University, and places on committees within its system of administration, it is doubtful if this would improve the university's internal public relations under present conditions.

Reasons for this are to be found in the transient nature of the student population and the considerable time it takes any one person to obtain sufficient experience of the workings of the complex system of university administration to be able to play a significant role in its processes. Certainly, were such a reform to be attempted it would be likely to be fruitless unless the present complaints about the adequacy of student representation are recognised as aspects of a general communications problem which exists within the university."

J. T. Salmon —Professor of Zoology.

"I cannot see how student union representation could be organised on the Professorial Board on account of the confidential material concerning academic matters which comes before the Board. However, I do feel that some better form of liaison could be established between the Faculties, the Board and the students than at the present time."

V.U.W. Student Christian Movement

"We submit that students, if given the opportunity, would take a valuable part in the affairs of their University. We acknowledge problems in the field of increased representation, especially from the angle of the rapidly changing nature of the student population. Nevertheless, we feel that increased representation would be of inestimable benefit to the University as a whole. We are grateful for this opportunity to express our views on the matter, and we thank those who made it possible."

Mr Armour Mitchell —Acting Secretary of the Student Union

"It has been suggested that some student represent dives should be elected by the student body at large. I am doubtful whether an election campaign of this type would necessarily encourage students to be better informed on university administration matters nor would it produce the best person for the job. This process would erroneously reinforce the myth of "student opinion". Student representatives must be able to earn the confidence of a committee around the table and I believe the Associations Executive (which is itself elected at large) is better able to judge the abilities required.

"In general. I see little possible harm in extending student representation, but considerable potential benefit—not as a panacea for student discontent but as a means of assisting other channels of communication within the University between Students and the administration."

The Law Faculty Club Committee

"A staff evaluation scheme should be introduced to allow students' opinions of courses and lecturers to be brought to the notice of the Faculty.

"There is at present no system whereby the Dean and other appropriate persons in positions to rectify such matters can evaluate lecturers. A form of questionnaire, based on proper educational principles, should be issued and tilled in by students regularly, and be forwarded to the staff for appropriate action. Any defects that become apparent could then be rectified and the staff would have somes idea of how each subject and its lecturer were progressing. Such ideas from studenis should also be helpful to lecturers on course content, size of course etc."

It was recommended:

"That each Faculty (or Department) of the University should elect a Committee to form a basis for the communication of opinion from the students to the staff of that Faculty."

Prof. C. L. Bailey —Head of the Department of Education

"As will be well known to the Committee, university students are represented on the University Council, and this is something for which university students in England are currently pressing but do not as yet enjoy. I am not too sure how the Student Union appoints its representatives. I must observe, however, that at least some past representatives seem to me to have been long past the student status. Unless the student representative is a student, in my view he cannot represent students."

Caroline McGrath —Education Officer

"The Education Sub-Committee of V.U.W.S.A. would like to submit for your consideration that the Education Officer of V.U.W.S.A. be a member with voice and vote, of the Academic Sub-committee of the Professorial Board.

"If this is not possible the Education Subcommittee should like the Education Officer to be present and to have speaking rights at the meetings of this sub-committee of the Professorial Board."