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Salient. Victoria University Students' Newspaper. Volume 39, Number 25. October 4, 1976

Political Science Lecturer Replies to Comment

Political Science Lecturer Replies to Comment

Dear Sir,

May I take this opportunity to respond very briefly to some recent comment in your columns. A recent letter was most misleading in its comment on the work required for POLS 112. It would be erroneous to suggest that I "proposed another piece of work". Rather, students were informed on the first day of the course, in July, that an essay would be required for the section of the course for which I am responsible. It would have been "insincerity" on my part to have abandoned the requirement of a piece of work which I consider to be vital to the attainment of the course objectives.

More general recent comment on the Political Science department has contained numerous misinterpretations and exaggerations, but I will correct only one which was directly attributed to me.

What I observed on one occasion was that after nearly five years at Victoria, I had yet to see in Salient a single reference to anything positive, useful or in any way enjoyable about university experience. It occurred to me that perhaps once a decade might not be too frequent for some comment to appear on an aspect of university experience which students found gratifying. Such an observation on my part does not suggest that there is no room for criticism or improvement.

It does seem helpful, however, in establishing credibility and a sense of balance, for laudable features of university experience to be stressed on occasion. Moreover, this might permit us to identify more clearly the direction towards which we preferred the university as a whole to be heading, as well as to suggest those qualities of university experience which we would seek to see emulated more widely.

A failure to indicate some sense of satisfaction might give the impression that the university presents entirely a vista of unrelieved tedium and despiar, and may observations of and conservations with students suggest that such a portrait would be unnecessarily bleak and unconvincingly undifferentiated.

S.I. Levine,

Lecturer, School of Political Science and Public Administration.