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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 39, Number 21, September 6, 1976.

Victoria Under Attack

Victoria Under Attack

At council, if any rumours came around about a knifing incident, the first things most people did was to check the backs of the Victoria delegates. And it seemed to be a general feeling among most delegations that Victoria delegates were a "pack of fuckwits" or "far too serious". These criticisms were never publicly aired, but instead surfaced in the form of snide comments and jokes, or behind-the-back discussions.

On two separate occasions I approached a table where people were engated in a free-flowing discussion, only to find conversation stop in mid-stream and change to a "have you heard the joke about Victoria SRC...".

Victoria delegations have for many years believed in NZUSA Councils as makers of policy which a majority of the New Zealand university students supported. This can only be done if each campus has a democratic decision-making structure and it faithfully represents those decisions when national policy is being decided.

So, at August Council, the Victoria delegation (and any other Victoria students who were interested) had many long caucus meetings discussing SRC policy and its application to motions put forward by other campuses. The guideline was that if specific SRC policy was on the books then it would be formally moved by Victoria (e.g. the motion dealing with Israel), if general SRC policy was on the books then specific motions could be voted on but not moved or seconded, and if there was no policy or policy was contradictory, or unclear, then Victoria would abstain.

As can be imagined, this sort of process meant that on some motions considerable caucus discussion was necessary. But, although a couple of meetings went on for two or three hours, they were invaluable in unifying the delegation, in understanding precisely what our policy was, and in highlighting areas of policy in which work still and to be done.

To other delegations this process was an anathema. None had a clear body of policy (such as was contained in the much talked about Victoria SRC policy booklet) and most were not interested in examing their policy even if they had some. So, when it came to constituent caucussing most delegates headed for the pub.