Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 25. 6 October 1972
Vic House Flare~Up
Vic House Flare~Up
Eight students - 4 male and 4 females, have been evicted from Victoria House since last weekend. The reasons given were that they were making too much noise and that they were 'incompatible' to the 'community' spirit of Victoria House.
On Sunday night at a House meeting, the chairwomen of the Vic House Council, Mrs Hunter told the gathered students the reasons. It appears (from the meeting and later interviews) that there had been a considerable amount of noise for sometime especially from the stereo of two male students. This ed to a petition signed by about 20 students, complaining about the unbearable noise level. During tea-time on Thursday 28th Sept., the assistant warden, Jeff Chappel, announced that the noise level at the hostel was becoming intolerable and had to stop. Students would be given 24 hours notice to [unclear: vacate] Victoria House if they did not comply.
A group of between 20-30 students, male and females, defied the warning and held a noisy party in one of the rooms that night. Around 10pm, Ann-Maria Morehead, assistant warden, came to the room and told the students to break up the party. The students refused to obey her and treated her in a 'rude' manner. The other two assistant wardens - Jeff Chappel and Jocelyn Truby, arrived at the scene and they too were subjected to rude treatment. The wardens then warned the students to leave the party in 10mins., otherwise they (the students) would be evicted. Some left, but about 15 students stayed on and argued with the wardens till well after mid-night.
The wardens left and held a meeting. After careful consideration, they decided that 10 of the 15 students concerned had to leave the hostel. Two of the 10 students had already informed the hostel they were leaving, the remaining 8, had for some time been giving trouble to the hostel and in the opinion of the wardens, were 'incompatible' to the hostel and their behaviour was destroying the 'community' spirit of the hostel. The following day the 8 concerned were given written notice to vacate the hostel by 12 noon on 30th Sept.
At the meeting on Sat morning attended by about 67 students, the apology of the 8 students was accepted. The meeting felt that the decision to evict the 8 was a bit too harsh They were prepared to accept the 8 back and to give them another chance provided the 8 would behave themselves.
The following motions were passed at that meeting.
"That noise, at any time of the day or night be confined to the room of the students or common room concerned."
If the noise is of a level unacceptable to those in the proximate vicinity, they may complain and request that the noise cease or be reduced"
"That any person who refuse or fails to comply with such request shall be subjected to a fine, set on a sliding scale to be determined by the Vic. House Student Committee." "That any such fines be collected by the Committee and deposited with the social fund."
On Saturday morning Porky Cullen and Mike McKinley met with the wardens and the deadline was temporarily extended. The wardens agreed to an independent arbitrator to solve the matter and Mr Ian Boyd was called in. He arranged a meeting between the 8 students and the Vic. House Council.
At the meeting that night, the students apologised for their behaviour. However, after much discussion, the Council felt that in the best interests of the hostel, the 8 should leave. The deadline was extended to 4p.m. Monday 2 Oct.
The decision to evict the 8 students was best summed up by Mr Ian Boyd. 'You have to put the good of society before the good of the individual/
According to the students, the noise of the party was not loud and there were no complaints from other students. It only became noisy when the wardens arrived at the farewell party for two students who were leaving the following day - the two who had been making all the noise. The 8 students concerned claimed that they had been evicted not so much because of the noise they made but because of their association with the two real trouble makers.
The 8 students concerned had made a nuisance of themselves and been rude to the wardens. But they had apologised to the wardens, their fellow students and the Vic. House Council. They had also given their personal assurance that they would have behaved themselves in the future. Their fellow students were willing to forgive them and have them back.
Incompatible. If the students were incompatible all along, why didn't the authorities of Vic. House do something earlier? Why didn't they ask the 8 to leave at the end of the 2nd term or the beginning of this term?
Community Spirit. Far from trying to preserve the community spirit of the hostel, the actions of the authorities of Vic House are doing the reverse. Most of the students I spoke to were disturbed by the whole affair feeling the action was harsh.
It seems that the students were prepared to admit their faults while the authorities were not. In my opinion, the authorities of Vic. House acted in a harsh, hysterical, and uncompromising manner.