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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 7. 11th April 1973

Student Counselling Upholds Establishment

Student Counselling Upholds Establishment

Dear Sirs,

To supplement the comment on the University Administration giving information about students to the Labour Department to assist their administration of Military Service, we wish to point out the Student Counselling Service may well be playing an important role in supplying information about students, particularly overseas students, to the authorities. One has the impression that the Counselling Service is very keen on the issue of overseas students but there is no efficient check whether information about students has not been channelled to the Labour Department which has close contacts with the Student Counselling Service.

Will the Counselling Service destroy the personal file if any of their 'patients' request it to do so? It is understandable that no one would like his or her personal file held by others who may pass it to Security Service. The Student Counselling Service should agree to destroy the personal file when requested. It is unreasonable to withhold other personal files if the students concerned do not feel happy about it.

It should also be pointed out that there is no evidence to prove that the Student Counselling Service has destroyed, after the interview, the application for Lee Foundation Awards as promised. Overseas students are very annoyed at the actual function of the service which continues for years to build up its file about students.

There is a potential danger in that the Student Counselling Service tends to exert its power and influence by interferring in every aspect of students' lives. Overseas students are usually forced to meet the 'experts' of the Counselling Service when problems with student permits arise, even if the students have no intention of consulting or seeking advice. Why is the Student Counselling Service allowed to decide on various important issues of the student future? What is the actual power of the Student Counselling Service in relation to the University authorities?

It is believed that the activities of the Student Counselling Service also present a threat to the academic staff whose teaching work and relations with students are likely to be checked. The 'experts' of the Counselling Service seem to know too much about the petty stories of the academic staff who may be unaware of prejudice against them collected by the experts from students under the pretext of counselling.

One of the aims of the Student Counselling Service is to divert the rebellious tendency of the students against the Establishment; to defend the reactionary policy of the Government such as the racist immigration regulations; to calm down or to check the anger and spark of student unrest. The Student Counselling Service should be under the control of the VUWSA which supervises the welfare of the students. The Student Counselling Service functions as a tool of the establishment and should be seriously investigated and questioned.

Yours sincerely, A Group of Rebels