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Salient. Official Newspaper of Victoria University Students Assn. Volume 40 Number 2. Feb 7 1977

Editorial — Break Out!

page 4


Break Out!

A guy walked into the Salient office the other day and told me that he would quite like to work on the paper. Great I thought.

Then he asked me if Salient was going to be 'extreme left' like last year. Now I don't want to rip into this guy, but he reminded me of one of the more forge table aspects of students in general.

There is something definitely cosy about being a student — a condition brought about by being cut off from the real world of the common man or women. Many students experience it in holiday employment in factories and on sites but it is seldom that it is a changing experience.

The reason for this, for the most part, is the fact that most students come from affluent professional or managerial homes. But it is also a fact that this "ignorance" is perpetuated by the lies and distortions that are presented as reality in courses at this university. If we, as students, begin to accept them as fact then we will fall into a moronic view of the world and become pawns in a society which we do not understand fully. The examples of this way of thinking are abundant. They are provided by people who make comments like "it's all Muldoons fault" or "the unions are wrecking the country". If we fall into this way of thinking about society, our potential as initiators of social progress is snuffed out.

And yet every single department in this university is, whether they intend it or not, doing this to students. They actively encourage a distorted view of social reality from "self seeking man" in the Economics Department to "art for arts sake" in the English department.

The 'liberal' departments, such as sociology, are the worst because the lies they weave are much harder to see when they are concealed under a mass of fine academic talk.

But many students are in touch with the real world enough to know that most academics are living a lie. These students have a hard battle in their classes and tutorials, and often have to work twice as hard battling the predominant ideas. Eventually though, they come to reject the old and start to look for the new.

When I took on the editorship of Salient, I wanted to expose as many students as possible to the possibilities in rejecting this sort of university thinking and grasping new points of view. Many, no doubt, will label our efforts this year as leftism and stirring.

Isn't it time we all hopped out of our individual caves instead of depending on them whenever we feel threatened? The abuse to which Salient has been subjected to in past years is indicative of the former approach.

Salient is only part of this process. I encourage you all to become aware of the real world around you and avoid the trappings of an isolated education. This may mean turning up to student or outside meetings, trying to change your courses, criticising the sacred knowledge of an academic or in some other way grabbing a situation instead of it passing you by day after day.

A wise Chinese man once summed it up nicely once when he said:—

"Put politics in command."

Salient is the official newspaper of Victoria University of Wellington Students Association. It is edited by David Murray and printed at Wanganui Newspapers, Drews Ave., Wanganui.