Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume. 34, Number 6. 1971
So the revolution has come - at least in the Anthropology department (even if it was only leftovers from the one in Sociology I) and not it's in the chaotic stage characteristic of most revolutions. It's a pity that two quite different interests have got mixed up in it all. Both stem from the frustration at the poor quality and boredom of lectures and tutorials, but the moderates want to hold weekly seminars on things not dealt with adequately in lectures, while the radicals want to put pressure on the department/university/all N.Z. to change our whole education system. The second idea was presented in an inarticulate way during a 25 minute interruption of an Anthro I lecture, largely by someone who wasn't even doing Anthropology.
At a follow-up meeting on Thursday night discussion tended to concentrate on diffuse, abstract issues rather than on specific means of action - a characteristic of all student discussions from SCM seminars to 'forum.' At times the topics seemed only an excuse to air other hang-ups and the group got so obsessed with bureaucracy-hatred at one point that it nearly degenerated into anarchy. Some of the feelings about exams stemmed from paranoia on the part of some first-year students more, I suspect, than from a desire to improve our educational experience. It is interesting to note that only 23 of the 50-odd people present actually spoke, and while this is a good figure in itself, it does mean that over half the people there showed that same unwillingness to talk which the meeting as a whole condemned in the present lecture system.
The meeting didn't come up with anything concre [unclear: the] opposite in fact, than [unclear: re] anarchist elements [unclear: with the] group. It was vaguely [unclear: decided], however, to combine the interests of both radicals and moderates so that interested students from all social sciences would be catered for. The old cliche "more research is needed" was heard in different form when they avoided having to make a decision by arranging another talk-session this Thursday.
To a prejudiced critic like myself, the intentions of the radicals (majority) are sincere but too woolly to be much use. All the discussion centered around abstract and extremist views without trying to work out practical ways to change things. Does this stem from unwillingness to work for the cause they so ardently preach or just from inability to come down to ground level? So I don't think constructive proposals will come from the group in its present state until they realise that words without practical action cannot achieve anything, except perhaps more words.
S. F. Maclean
[The same event prompted a more positive contribution]
Amid the current conflict over reassessment of the marking system, the abolition of exams and the general dissatisfaction with university course emphasis students met last Thursday to discuss mutual problems. The usual percentage of enrolled students attended - 0.1%.
The result was a proposal for an open university existing independantly of the present system along the lines that one can study what one likes.
Tomorrow the group will meet at an advertised place and time to discuss the structure of such an open university. Come along!