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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 39, Number 24, September 27, 1976.

Pols 100 Level Letter

Pols 100 Level Letter

Dear John,

As a first year POLS SCI student, I have become acutely aware of the problems and hassles that Neil Gray has written about. I intend to comment briefly on the two POLS courses I have taken this year.

POLS 111 - This course was titled an "Introduction to Politics", but what do we get - a scratch-the-surface, institutional look at New Zealand government. I appreciate the difficulties that may have arisen through the death of one of the course lecturers, but the content seemed to me to be banal, uninteresting and about as far divorced from my own ideas of what an "Introduction to Politics" should be as I can imagine.

Peter McKinlay, writing about the sociology, makes a very valid point when he mentions that the social sciences including POLS SCI - 'deals in the very stuff of human existence'. After taking this course, I can honestly say that I am not any more aware of my existence than previously. What is clear, however, is that I recognise how isolated and powerless I am in relation to those institutions of which I am supposed to be a part (the New Zealand government).

POLS 112 - An "Introduction to Political Theory" must be the most difficult to teach in the whole department, and to some extent I sympathise with the lecturers. However, the structure, content, and workload of this stage one half unit is mystifying and oppressing the students, so I wonder how hard the lecturers are really trying.

How can any student get any sort of understanding of Political theory with such superficial coverage? I cannot take time off for detailed individual study of Marx or any other theorist because I have to prepare for a test or write a mini-essay on another theorist.

I was most irate when Dr Levine proposed another piece of work on top of all our stuff so far. This sort of treatment displays insincerity on the part of the lecturers.

Political Science has the potential of being an exciting field, but from what I have seen in these courses, POLS SCI at Victoria University has missed the bus!

Yours in all seriousness,