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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 10. 23rd May 1973

Leaders divorced from ordinary students

Leaders divorced from ordinary students

4.As student reps are either unaware of anti-student decisions as they are made by secret select committees, or they can't divulge them, the student leaders lose credibility with the mass of students. (WU, UC, VUW) The students leaders have been co-opted to the top of the hierarchy. As the committees don't make major changes which benefit the students, student leaders seem no different from other committee members in the eyes of the ordinary students. Students leaders, who are often elected on a platform of making major reforms, lose their credibility.

Thus, when they are co-opted on to these committees, student leaders lose their contact with ordinary students. As they are a minority on the committee they can't force changes without popular student support. But by being on the committee, and being unable to divulge information, this support is lost. The student leaders can't help raise the awareness of the student to gain that support, as the majority of apolitical students see student politics as being part of the establishment. (UC, OU, VUW, WU)

5.Students are generally apolitical. Their politicised student leaders are lost to them; therefore, the leadership role of student leaders can't be fulfilled as they can't politicise the students. But the politicisation of students can't come from any other direction as the students' minds have been 'colonised'.