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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 25. 6 October 1972

Take it All Off!

Take it All Off!


A short paragraph in last week's Salient (No. 24) dealt with sale of the names and addresses of past students to commercial firms. The University Administration through Peter Cullen, has admitted that this used to happen, though it has now been discontinued. Earlier this year it was found out that the photographer who took the enrolment photographs was quite willing to allow the police department to inspect the same.

These two events may not, at first glance, seem to be related to each other. However they are both inroads to what one might call personal liberty and freedom. This is not unusual in today's society, but what annoys me personally is that this sale, was made by the institution, one of whose basic functions is to uphold such values. What is worse, in the case of the sale of names and addresses, this was done by that portion of the University Community in whom the respect for such values should be at their highest.

For such reasons I feel that the Administration should make a full public statement about what was going on: How the practice originated, and how long it has been going on for? For something of the nature has more than purely financial considerations. You know, the old cry of the worker against the management, 'We're people not just industrial units of labour.'

There's another point that can come out of this too. Presumably this practice has been going on for some time, why hasn't someone questioned it before? I think I know the answer to that. No-one outside the central administration knew it was going on. This brings up a further question. Why weren't we informed of this previously? Its alright to say, well its all over now, the damage has already been done, but an inquiry at this stage could prevent a similar situation from recurring, possibly with slightly more disastrous results. It might also bring out the true facts of the matter. There is nothing worse than having a load of half-truths and rumours running around.

You never know, it might uncover some more questionable practices. This is something we now know about; how much more is there that we don't know about!

In the preceeding evaluation of the position I have tried to be as objective as possible, but I feel I must finish with a personal opinion: The Administration ought to have known better and should bloody well be ashamed of themselves.

Philip J. Tree.