Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 16. 1972
Just a few comments on certain statements made by the rather naive Mr Coogan in his last letter, June 13.
Firstly, "the imperfections of modern medical science are not the cause of pregnancy" I am not about to argue the intricacies of cause and effect, but I would like to point out that a woman can take every precaution available and still get pregnant. It seems somewhat "strange" to me that Mr Coogan knows nobody to whom this has happened. I can name at least ten. Secondly, I think Mr Coogans phrase, referring to the presence of our children at our university, viz, "that they would be hanging around", aptly reflects his whole attitude to children: they are a drag. No wonder there are so many fucked up kids around.
Thirdly, children are not "luxuries" to be "indulged in". As I have pointed out above, when two people have intercourse, whether precautions are taken or not, a child may be conceived. Or hasn't Mr Coogan noticed?? Although I am prepared to concede that his language in this context is used purely metaphorically, it once again reflects his somewhat warped concept of what a child is. Would you believe a person, Mr Coogan? Fourthly, what makes Mr Coogan think that the women who study at this university and need this creche do not also live in these "depressing suburbs"? When three people are living on one person's income, where else could they possibly afford to live?
And finally, we also pay taxes, Mr Coogan. I am sure you are aware that this fact does not of itself give us any power to decide the priorities of the government. Yet when the government won't do anything, and we naively think the student body will, we are confronted with Mr Cullen's diatribe on where the student body stands on the issue: on the bloody fence!
[A letter from John Nicholls of the VUW Education Dept to Deborah Morris who wrote the article in last weeks Salient on the Head Teachers Seminar]
I wonder if you would like to clear up a point of misunderstanding. I wouldn't like to give the impression that all students who protest or revolt are post conventional in their reasoning. Some certainly are, but there is a load of preconventional reasoning, by revolutionary students and others. I used Abbie Hoffman as an example of someone who recognised the immorality of people and institutional practices in American society, but advocated action based in part on a morality similar to that which he attacks.
Do you think it worth clarifying - that all the revolutionaries are not post conventional types.
Regards, John Nicholls.
Best Pissed On?
I am becoming increasingly pissed off with the petty politics that go on within this University. The latest donation of $2,000 (not publicised by Salient in its last issue I might add) to North Vietnam serves to stress my point.
How 130 students can give away $2,000 of other peoples money, never ceases to amaze and the fact that Exec have already passed the Cheque - (although it is post dated to allow for an S.G.M. to reconsider the matter) makes me wonder just how weak Cullen is. At last years elections you may remember that there were two main candidates Cullen and Tim Groser. Cullen won fairly comfortably thanks to the support by the more conservative, more rational members of this University.
And yet Cullen has proved himself as one of the weakest Presidents we have seen. He has allowed himself to be manipulated by those of the likes of Alick Shaw into a position where he bows to their wants.
While I must admit that it demonstrates a shrewd move on the part of these "politicians" it makes me wonder just who holds the strings in this University. Cullen is the puppet; Who is making him dance? Cullen will undoubtedly in reply look to S.R.C. but that's a white elephant in itself. Its only effect has been to cause more S.G.M.s being called to reverse ridiculous motions. You see it is easy to stack an S.R.C. One only needs to muster about 30 of your mates to get something passed because half those in the Union Hall on that day are there every day eating their lunch.
If S.R.C. was held in an obscure lecture theatre somewhere, I sincerely doubt whether a quorum could be mustered. Agreed it is ideal for such things as voting for student reps and other administrative tasks, but for major policy decisions it is undemocratic.
What I would like to see is a referendum held on major issues once a term. Cullen will be quick to point.out the cost. Out of 6,300 students the motion of 130 is not bad. Lets see if you can change your step a little Pete.
The innocent child's laughter is sumphed by the shit of the monolith of progress.
Meanwhile, back on the "letter page." Our dear eloquent foiling egomanics, with their flaunted concern, I et the child eat sooted crusts moistened in tears.
The preoccupation with criticism is not enough nor succumbing to the depression and frustration offered by an unsympathetic world. Stop meta-acting do something.
Your article on NZUSA'S NUS Con is a lot of crap - I expect the national association to represent students nationally e.g. on bursaries or travel concessions. If you want VUWSA to 'relate to' students why not suggest that the green newsheet is distributed in foyers, not locked in the office and available during office hours!
Our Support for I.T.T.
'Eaten any good companies lately.'
So you don't like International Telephone and Telegraph. Why should we pay more for meals to some other food firm to satisfy your quirks.
PS, I.T.T. interests in New Zealand would appear to be: Standard Telephones & Cables (Upper Hutt Factory). Hartford Fire Insurance? Mutual-Avis? (through Avis) Austral Standard Cables (Chch factory) (minority interest)?
I hope you sleep tonight.
I find the situation regarding lighting in the lectures theatres intolerable. AM the spotlights illuminating the board in LB1 and two of these in E006 are not functionary —Nor have they been since the beginning of the year. This makes the wording on the board however large it may be, almost illegible from the rear of the lecture theatre. After approaching a certain lecturer on this matter several weeks ago, he has since informed me that the excuse given by the powers that be is that the lecture theatre will have to be closed for twenty four hours, to enable repplacement to be made. I would like to ask two questions of the administration—Why wasn't this done during study week? Isn't the administration prepared to pay time and a half to electricians on Saturdays? It seems to me that they are making a weak excuse to try to explain away their inaction. Do we have to make a major issue out of every single minor thing before something is done about it? Surely it isn't too much to ask that a small matter like this be attended to promptly.
Philip J. Tree.
Kicking Up the Health Service
I feel quite pissed off. The reason for this pissed offness is my confrontation with a rather thick piece of extremely red Bureaucratic tape. Namely the regulations under which the Student Welfare Service operates.
The regulation I refer to is the one which allows only students whose parents live outside the regulatory limits to receive free medical help. For the students inside those 'boundaries' the only free medical help available is a complete check up. A fat lot of use that is. What if some poor bastard finds out hes suffering from some disease. He has to go to a doctor 'down town' Now, admittedly the charge of $1.75 per visit is bugger all when compared to overseas rates, but when you consider the facts you will understand why I am pissed off. If like me you live in town for one reason or another while your parents live anywhere else within the boundary you too will probably feel as I do.
Firstly, why has a line been drawn? If you think its for economic reasons, try and account for the money being blown on armory that is crated .up and never used by the government. If you think it is because the doctors will become overworked you will be wrong. That is an excuse not a reason, because that facility can be improved through financial help. The bloody govt. seems preoccupied with obliterating the once world renowned NZ welfare service. Secondly I have implied the welfare service itself is partly to blame for this going on. If just a few students are in my predicament, surely to allow that extra few in won't bugger up the system. If there is a great multitude of student suffering the welfare service should kick up holy hell, and alter the situation for the better. No what do they do? They give you a list of doctors down town to whom you should go, or inform you to see your family doctor. It just so happens that I refuse to fork out $1.75 and pay expenses to go to Upper Hutt to see the family doctor.
Thirdly, and this is a good reason for my refusing to accept the list of doctors names, I have come to the conclusion that doctors have realised they should stretch your recovery over as long a period as possible so that you have to make many many visits $1.75 every bloody time. Cunning isnt it. How many times have you heard your doctor say with a rather authoritative voice "make an appointment to see me next week will you." Fourthly, when will the officialdom realise, a student at 21 years of age is no longer an integral part of the family. He often receives no financial support while at varsity particularly when he has packed his bags and gone. I cannot see the reason why this regulation should not be abolished. If who ever is responsible for it can, will he for my sake explain why.
(editors note: unsigned because student has yet to get his Free complete checkup).
R. Brown and D. Harrison are right. For too long Salient has allowed its irresponsible, biased staff, namely Peter Franks and Rob Campbell, to express their opinions. I suggest that they be banned from ever writing again in your paper, for it is clear from Brown and Harrison's letters that they have criticised the Socialist Action League the enormity of this crime must surely strike a response of horror and anger in the hearts and minds of all layers and segments of this university.
I suppose Franks and Campbell don't know that the Socialist Action League is the only revolutionary vanguard party in this country with a mass orientation and a perspective of success. They act as traitors to the working class when they pick up their venomous pens to criticise the Socialist Action League. They are as guilty as the man who axed Trotsky, or are their hands bloody with that crime too?
I urge all growth-orientated socialists on and off this campus to build a great new mobilisation around the central demands and slogans of 'Out Now' to these lickspittle running dogs of the bourgeoisie.
Some liberals may talk about freedom of the press, the right of anti-S.A.L. elements to express their views in Salient. I say let them read a real socialist newspaper. Socialist Friction to see how unnecessary and reactionary it is to allow room for the opinions of traitors. Even the Evening Post is more progressive than Salient in this regard.
Truth will Out
In the past I have had occasion to admire the bias of Peter Franks articles for Salient, but in his piece on the bi-elections he descends to the level of a vituperative guttersnipe. Granted he was talking about personalities rather than politics but I fail to see why he had to drag in the name of Alick Shaw who wasn't even standing. He exhorts the sons and daughters of the bourgeoisie to sleep easy in the knowledge that the "conservatives" are back. I rather suspect that they will instead be bothering about the two "radicals" who impudently squeezed in. (If I may be permitted to speak in terms of gross stereotypes so ably begun by Mr Franks) I often wonder how the likes of Mr Franks would fit people like Enoch Powell into their political spectrum. Although obviously reactionary over his racial bigotry he could almost be termed a radical on social welfare legislation. But these damnable shades of grey are ever so bothersome aren't they?
Mr Franks has an excellent opportunity for telling us why he thinks Messrs Carson and Maru are good chaps, but no, he prefers to vilify the baddies and in so doing achieves the intellectual level of the "Birch the Bashers" campaign After all Salient doesn't have to rake muck to sell to a fickle public. You are in a very enviable position being free of the many pressures created by moneyed interests, I think you would agree that any movement for social change needs an ideology or literature and in printing "Truth like" raves you are working against that end.
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