Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume. 33, Number 13. 1970
It is very difficult at times to by-pass the personality clashes at an NZUSA meeting. It's even harder to recall that one is not there to argue with super-egos a la Draper or Law, but to put forward ideas on behalf of Victoria students and to try to reach some kind of agreement with the other universities.
NZUSA, after all, is merely a vehicle created by the various Student's. Associations to enable them to carry out some of their functions (Educational, National, Political) in co-operation and also to exchange local information.
Amazingly enough, within the hurly-burly of Winter Council (at Massey this year) these, functions were in fact performed. Information was received and co-operation was achieved on matters relating to student accommodation, education in New Zealand, international affairs, student welfare, and many of the social issues of concern to students.
The major debates centred first around Focus, and next around the raising of the levy in 1971.
The Focus debate ranged long and bitter. All agreed that the present Focus was not the magazine NZUSA wanted. These questions remain. Do we want a national student magazine at all? If so, what kind of magazine should it be and what should it aim at?
Should we aim for a slick, professional magazine of comment, for a semi-professional hard-hitting monthly magazine, or for a fortnightly underground newspaper? The final decisions will be made, probably on a compromise basis, later this term.
The levy question is extremely vexed. Constituents are now asking NZUSA for so much that costs are high and rising. Even so, Victoria, along with Massey, dissented from the decision to raise the levy to $1 per student. Otago and Lincoln are now reported to be unhappy as well. A major discussion on the limitation of levies and curtailment of national activities will have to take place soon at Victoria.
It would be silly to pretend that this Winter Council was enjoyable, or satisfactory. It was marred by more personal bickering and political intrigue away from the table. Perhaps the most, positive contributions were the Constitutional Amendment and the Focus reports. In these Victoria played a leading part. But Victoria failed as much as any other constituent to keep the National Commission on a co-operative and non-personal basis.