Salient: Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Vol. 32, No. 5. 1969.
Without wishing to take sides in the argument as to who should or should not have been appointed P.R.O., I must express my astonishment and dissatisfaction with the way the whole affair was carried out. Incidentally, I do feel the emphasis of your lead story should have been on the latter rather than the former.
Last year at Otago, the executive, of which I was a member, was faced with the problem of finding a new member. Although exec has the power to coopt members for short terms, we felt the onus of appointing an officer for a whole year's term of office should not be on such a small group. In soite of the fact this was in October, immediately before finals, a sp al meeting of Student Council was called for the sole purpose of allowing the students to elect their, not exec's officer.
Admittedly we would have been coopting an officer on to an incoming exec, on which the majority of us would not sit. But in the present situation, a consideration of this sort is minor and far outweighed by (1) (he length of term to be run, and (2) the fact the A.G.M. of the Students' Association was scheduled for the same week.
Secondly. Salient quoted Miss C. McGrath as asking Mr. Simon Arnold if "this was fust an attempt to get his favourite candidate on to exec, for he would have more chance at an A.G.M.". Regardless of the accuracy of this premise, and we will not be able to prove or disprove it now, that an exec member could suggest maybe the students would prefer the candidate that exec rejected is the greatest indictment of all. The exec after all represents the students and their interests, not dictates them.
If this example of highhanded and authoritarian behaviour is what we are to expect from Vic exec as it carries out its administrative duties end represents student opinion this year, then the sooner Vic gets a Student Representative Council with a responsible attitude the better.
Judy M. Dey.