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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 25. 3rd October 1973

Bowen Hall

Bowen Hall

In two months time, Bowen Hall will be no more than a pile of rubble, having obeyed the call, as indeed we all most inevitably, of Wellington's motorway. It has been used for the last two years as a place of residence and various other assorted activities for 40-odd students. Run more or less by the students themselves it has combined the colourful range of characters found in a student hostel with the freedom of a flat. Bowen's mixed sexual nature has proved the adage that if you treat people like children they will behave like children whereas if you treat them like adults they will still behave like children but will do so in an adult manner.

Bowen encompasses a great range of social, political and racial opinion. Jew and Arab have come to some degree of understanding (built on sand though it be); European and Asian have come to similar agreement (i.e. most of the Asians have felt obliged to leave). Catholics and Jesus Freaks have learned to coexist to the extent of now being separated only by the crucifix. There has even been room for the legendary A. Rimbaud with his flippant fripperies. Bowen's social range is from the middle class, to the middle class, teaching us that in general the middle class have simple and narrow aims in life and that nature has adequately Tilted them with simple and narrow' minds for the job.

There have been the inevitable paradoxes. The greatest wealth being concentrated in the hands of the fervant Marxists, the greatest poverty being dispensed to the Jews.

It Would be wrong however to imagine that Bowen has been an institution of factionalist discord, residents existing with one hand on a gun, the other on their particular holy book. There has developed a strong collective consciousness, adequately expressed by its social gatherings. Perhaps the social highlights have been the annual raids on Weir House and Weir's retaliatory raid.

Other events have been the loud but otherwise welcome visitations from the constabulary in pursuit of night painters or linguistically basic farmers, and occasional visits from tight-lipped axe-weilding firemen.

It is difficult even now to believe that this dream-like reality will soon be mere dream-like rememberance. Soon the bulldozers will be at the door, levelling us till we form an inconsequental, but nevertheless immaculate part of the motorway complex. What has become a way of life for over 40 students will soon be for them an intangible flow of memories for a short but sweet part of their student lives.

—N Gledhill