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Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Vol. 32. No. 25. October 9, 1969

Opinion: $4000 Or Bust

Opinion: $4000 Or Bust

This year cultural activities were rather slack. Clubs were slow to re-affiliate and the deadline for affiliation was extended several times. 42 clubs affiliated (compared with 48 in 1968). "Little Congress" was held at Otaki, attracting about 70 people and incurring a loss of over $150. A poetry reading was held in the first term by the Literary Society. Prior to Arts Festival, a Cultural Concert was held in the Concert Chamber, again running at a loss. During August, about 180 students travelled to Dunedin for Arts Festival.

Cultural Affairs had a budget of $1,600 allocated from the General Account fund this year. This amount was clearly insufficient to cover club grants (application of which totalled $3,003), Little Congress, pre-Arts Festival concerts, and general cultural activities. Sports Clubs, in comparison, held a budget of at least $5,000. It is interesting to note here that there are 42 cultural clubs and 29 sports clubs. Interesting too is the indication by available figures that there are more students belonging to cultural clubs than there are in sports clubs.

This year's cultural activities were dampened considerably by lack of facilities around the campus. This was partially due to alterations and extensions. However, the lack of activities is more directly attributable to lack of funds. The Cultural Affairs Officer earlier this year (Helen McGrath) moved a motion at Executive for increased funds, which attracted only one supporter.

Next year Arts Festival is being held at Victoria from 16th to 22nd of August. A Shakespearean festival is also being planned. Many more cultural activities—poetry reading, happenings, visiting folk/blues/jazz artists, exhibitions and displays, and film showings are already being planned for next year. Larger club grants are envisaged. This will only be realised if the Cultural Affairs annual grant is increased. It must be increased, And It Must Be Increased To $4,000.

This figure is not exorbitant. $2,500 of this would be spent on club grants. $1,000 would be needed for activities organised and subsidized by Cultural Affairs. I would like to see members of the Folk, Blues, Music, Drama, and Debating clubs travelling out as far as the Hutt Valley giving concerts to the public, all being subsidised by Cultural Affairs. The Shakespearean Festival needs financial support. The Radical Students conference along with other political conferences, need more financial support. The religious clubs hold weekend seminars which need financial subsidies.

The increased grant could easily be met by the Student Association. The Treasurer, David Tait, has told us that general account made a profit of $5,000 last year and will probably again this year. With fees now increased, less pressure is on the general account as a reserve for building and maintenance funds. I should make it clear that I am NOT advocating a decrease in the sports clubs budget —I am merely asking for a little less than equalization.

It is more than likely that with this increased grant cultural activities would finally have the means to promote activities which return funds. The Cultural Concert held in August, for example, would have made a profit if more initial outlay had been spent on advertising.

Every student will benefit from a soundly financial Cultural Affairs. Lunch-time concerts could be held regularly and admission fees abolished. If you support any club—religious, musical, political, social—or any other general cultural activity, you must support this increase.