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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 39, Number 16, July 12, 1976.


page 19


Photo of a family standing around a table

SRC Reporter Defends His Report

Dear Ed.,

Peter Franks seems to have rather missed the point of my comments in my SRC report (Salient No. 13).

First, as to our "unjust and inequitable" education system. I agree with Mr Renwick and Mr Franks that there are injustices and inequalities in the system - no one would seriously claim otherwise. But I cannot see how such generalisations can be relevant in a discussion of student bursaries. Mr Franks seems to think I go along with government policy on bursaries - I don't, and I agree with most of the points he made at the meeting and in his letter concerning the students' case.

However, I dispute the effectiveness of his methods. If students wanted to make their point about bursaries, I don't think the [unclear: answer] was to "jump on the band waggon of protest" at the opening of Parliament. What did that achieve? Very little. Every group was shouting for its own particular cause, the result was confused and meaningless.

Much more effective could be John Blincoe's call for all students to march on Parliament in protest about bursaries. I would fully support such a move, but I was not prepared to go down to Parliament with a hotch-potch of dissatisfied groups, many of which I had no sympathy with at all.

If students at Vic feel strongly about the faults in our education system they should take the time to present a full written report on the matter. This could be ratified by the SRC and presented to the government: much more effective than isolated attacks on the system.

I hope Mr Franks can now see that my criticisms lie mainly in the effectiveness of his approach, and that I am as keen as he is to see the faults ironed out of our education system

Yours sincerely,

Hugh Blank.

P.S. Is it possible that so many people find Harold Hedd amusing? Still, I suppose he really is heavy, isn't he? You know, like a lot of students, really heavy man!

Sexism in Salient

Dear Ed.,

A while ago I wrote an article for 'Salient' on sexist bias in the press. It didn't mention 'Salient' itself, but now that irony makes me furious. Fine for male liberals (though they'd like to identify themselves otherwise) to print an "abstract" article dealing with those evil daily papers "out there"; another issue entirely to examine the appallingly sexist nature of some of "Salient's" own reporting. Example of cock-obsessed, ignorant male burbling: 'The Silent Majority (A Muldoon -knocking column)".

The writer (who sensibly doesn't give HIS name) reveals his adolescent macho preoccupations with nudge, nudge references to "you know what', "a kick in the balls", etc, etc.

Much more disgusting is... "I'd be proud to think my MP had a bit on the side, a mistress being the same as a ministerial car. Performance in the House could be enhanced by a good ride [sic(k)] before arriving for debates." And "Mr Muldoon is married and returns to Tammy, his wife (not his pussy)....." Oh, I know, sweetie, it's all in jest so of course it's Ok. By the way, heard any good nigger jokes lately? Oops! Oh sorry!

Our naive little reporter doesn't realise how similar in political attitude he is to our beloved leader - their anti-woman prejudice is identical!

Marie Buckley.

NZLSA Conference: The Record Put Straight

My Dear John,

I would like to set straight some of the more glaring inaccuracies in Bernard Randalls' account of the 1976 NZ Law Students Conf. as published in the last issue of Salient. But first, one question for your intrepid reporter Mr Randall; how do you expect anyone to believe in your credibility, when you attend only part of one out of half a dozen conference functions yet purport to state the whole Conference was a dismal failure? Most strange indeed.

For the record, the Conference was a very credible success; e.g. over sixty students attended the Friday night Stein, fifty-five staff and students attended the Seminar on Saturday morning (the small number at the Seminar may not be entirely unrelated to the success of the Stein) and a mere 110+ attended the main function on Saturday night. There were seven delagates from Otago Law Faculty, not one Mr Randall claimed. It was regrettable that the Conference was held on the eve of Canterbury Law Students mid year exams, quite an oversight. However I would like to note that the VUW Law Faculty Club undertook an extremely short notice to hold the Conference, which was originally Scheduled for the May holidays at Otago. As one of the organisers of the Conference and a members of the 'reactionary" VUW Law Faculty Club, this letter may appear a case of sour grapes. I hope not. But I do object to Mr Randall using the pages of Salient to grind a personal axe; I strongly suspect that Mr Randall used the medium of obstensibly (mis) reporting the Conference to mount a bitter attack against certain members of the VUW Law Faculty Club.

Yours fraternally,

Michael Stephens,

VUWLFC Committee member.

Explanation of Women's Choice $50 Grant

Dear Editor,

In reply to S Romijn's letter in Salient 5 July, 1976 I would like to clear up a few erroneous points made regarding the donation of $50 to the Women's Choice Club.

If he had looked carefully at the breakdown of $30.50 students' association fee he would have seen that a total of $600 is allotted to donations and $5000 to Cultural Affairs (which includes clubs - one of which is the Women's Choice Club).

The motion as Passed at S.R.C. that it be recommended that $50 be Donated to the club in support of the Abortion Rally at the opening of Parliament. This was a specific donation for this purpose alone, not for the Women's Choice Club to spend on anything needed for the running of the club (This is what grants from Cultural Affairs funds are for - therefore, if you belong to the motorcycle, car or any other similar club you are getting your money's worth, i.e the fraction of your Stud. Ass. fee that went to Cultural Affairs). Don't complain if you haven't joined a club or aren't using the facilities you are paying for.

The $50 has been passed directly to the Abortion Rally Committee to help pay expenses for organising and advertising the successful rally. The rally is the beginning of a campaign to change the abortion laws which are seriously affecting the lives of women with unwanted pregnancies and therefore, is directly involved in offering social aid to women. Thus, as the Women's Choice Club was involved with the rally, and as female students can just as easily become pregnant as any other woman, the issue involves both the club and a large proportion of this university. Not forgetting also that Abortion Law Repeal is a policy of the Students' Association.

The worthless dart paper mentioned attracted more than 600 women to march on Parliament and gained us coverage in all forms of the media was our intention.

I have not seen any complaints about other meetings and marches on that day that cost the country/tax payer countless thousands/or millions of dollars in work hours lost. But then I guess this doesn't worry you as you use the tax-payers money to live off too.

Just because this $50 donation does not benefit you directly is no reason to have it rejected. If your girlfriend needed an abortion would you still think it was money wasted if it had helped make this or the easy obtaining of contraceptives possible?


Sue Aitchison-Windeler,

Women's Choice Club.

Record Reviewer Replies to Criticism

Dear John,

I was delighted to read a letter from Oolra Crum in last week's Salient denigrating my review at the Rolling Stones' album "Black 'n' Blue". It clearly showed that rugged, creative writing in indeed in healthy form even though this was at the expense of any credibility and substance. This disappointed me as I had hoped for a more deftly argued critique but there you go.

Personally, I prefer invective to be more delicately phrased, a rhyme scheme with a lyrical dash to it, a subtle use of Shakespearian asides, or a dazzling display at Lester Bangs' type wit would have given the letter that added bounce and made a substantial difference.

It is difficult to say anything constructive about Crum's letter other than it was rather a silly billy effort and factually incorrect; opiniated drivel no less. I would, however, take pains to point out that Salient has ample provision for printing criticisms of reviews on its music page, so take the break big Fella, and write something along better lines.

Kind regards,

Phill Hay

Analysis of Harold Hedd

Dear Editor,

After reading all the letters supporting the Harold Hedd cartoons I thought I'd write and add to the crap.

I think Harold Hedd is mildly amusing, as are the other cartoons you print, and I am not offended by sex/dope/violence, but I don't like the degrading way the female sex is depicted submissive only ever seen being crewed by our hero Harold. It doesn't look much like a two - way operation to me. I would love to do my own version of this cartoon but unfortunately my artistic abilities are not quite up to standard.


Ms Woman Power.

ps I bet you wrote all those letters in last week's Salient yourself.

If you knew how much work it takes to publish a 32-page Salient, you wouldn't make that Last comment. But thanks for your comments on Harold Hedd. It's very easy to label something as sexist - it's much more difficult to explain why it is so. - Ed

Back Up Jack

Dear Salient,

I was surprised and dismayed to read DSFC's criticism of Jack Shallcrass in Salient's 5 July issue. They obviously have not thought of why they are at university or for that matter why they are taking Education.

The lecturer is not there to give you all the answers in the typical teacher-blackboard pupil style of the majority of secondary school teachers but to make you think - something DSFC find unacceptable.

Jack Shallcrass has, in my opinion, one of the best lecturing styles I've come across while being at Vic - it's easy to listen to and even if you don't agree with what he says it makes you react.

If you want to pass your exams I suggest you listen to what he says and think about it instead of relying as usual on the lecturer to pass all your exams for you - you could even try making an effort by reading a few books on the subjects involved.

With your views DSFC you should at least be completely satisfied with the way in which the lecturer conducts the Educ 112 course - a classic case of non-education. The subject may have some relevance - that's if you can stay awake long enough to find out what it's all about.

Before you take education any further with your limited perception, and as potential teachers of the future (which you may be hoping to be unless you're taking Education as an 'easy' subject) you should give it away now before your conservatism ruins any chances of a radical change in NZ's education system.

NZ needs teachers who can see the limitations of an exam-oriented system.

If your only consideration is to pass exams stick to English or German which you can get out of a book or out of your lecturer and go overseas as an interpreter.

New Zealand doesn't need you - there's enough here to save with the increasing greed for 'progress' and nuclear power - without us having to save our children's minds from apathy.

Yours truthfully

Big Raver and Furry Freak Brothers' Fan.

To Think or To Pass Exams?

Dear Sir,

It's people like DSFC (Salient 5/6) who wrote about Educ 111 and Jack Shallcrass, who make me realise I'm not the only thick guy around.

The first sentence accuses Shallcrass of lecturing on "irrelevant material". I do not find discussion of the relationship between the individual and common good in education with comparitive reference to the Soviet and American systems, irrelevant. This line about "better results" is laughable. In case DSFC et al didn't know, it's pretty difficult to fail Educ 111, but this statement has a much broader pertinance for the University as a whole: are you here to pass exams like DSFC, or do you actually want to broaden your mind. DSFC is probably scared stiff of (or maybe bored by) the questions Shallcrass is getting at - why are there virtually no Maoris at our University? what to do about increasing elitism in our system? etc. Irrelevant???

Shallcrass discussed Kohlberg's notion of pre-conventional thinkers (children), conventional thinkers (those who do the "acceptable" things and don't question them) and post-conventional thinkers (who perceive that some existing forms need change and work towards this). I think DSFC missed the point.

Yours sincerely,

John Claasen.

Students Suffer From Anomalies

Dear John,

I really had to laugh when I read Felicity Sryth and co's letter on "lucrative lazy students". They may be okay but while they're playing their steroes and riding round on their motorbikes perhaps they could spare a thought for:
a)PhD students who don't get any bursary.
b)Those students living away from home and receiving only the abated rate of $13.00 a week.
c)Those 6th form students who are [unclear: not] "entitled" to a bursary because their 6th form Certificate marks were not high enough.
d)Those students "unfortunate enough" to suffer under one of the many anomalies in the present scheme, e.g. if you happen to be in the unenviable position of being an orphan then your home is classified as wherever you live, regardless of whether or not your legal guardian lives in a university city thus the orphaned student is doubly penalized by receiving only the abated rate.
e)Those students ineligible to apply for a hardship Bursary because they are not presnetly eligible for a standard(?) Tertiary Bursary. (What insane logic as their ineligibility for a Standard Tertiary Bursary is often the reason for the application for a Hardship Bursary.
f)The many students who receive no bursary because of bureaucratic ineligibility.

We're not asking Muldoon for an indiscriminate price increase but an increase lied to a realistic student price index. We feel that unless bursaries are maintained at levels where everyone can support themselves at University, regardless of their economic position then education becomes merely the domain of the wealthy,


Lindy Cassidy.