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The Spike: or, Victoria University College Review, June 1929

Care Of Students

page 43

Care Of Students

The Editor, "Spike."

Sir.—Thinking students of Victoria College as a result of the recent earthquake are wondering what steps the Council is taking in order to safeguard the many promising young lives entrusted to its care, from the danger resulting from further shocks. When it is considered that the whole future of our country is housed in a three and four-storeyed brick building without fire escapes, automatic lifts or even parachutes, it is seen that the Government is not cognizant of its responsibilities.

It has been suggested that poles, similar to those in use at local Fire Stations should be installed at intervals throughout the buildings. (It is doubtful whether the installation of one in the library would show sufficient return. Most of the habitues look as though they would really prefer to remain there and die rather than to stir from their seats for a moment). However, at the first warning of the approach of a 'quake all those who wish, may run to the nearest pole and slide to the ground floor where an escalator—somewhat swifter than that to which they have been accustomed, will deposit them safely on the tennis court or among the waving cabbage trees without. [Without what?—Editor.]

It is recognized that the pole is not proof against feminism. It is practically a certainty that some of the more emotional of the zoological women students will take their crayfish and wetas with them, and in their efforts to grip the pole with their teeth alone, will fall off somewhere on the journey. But misadventure is only to be expected. They would be V.U.C.'s contribution to the martyrdom of science.

Then there are the philosophers of floor "C" who, in their excitement, may attempt the journey headfirst. Certain rules prohibiting this will be included in the Pole Regulations. The most stringent of these will be the "One Way Traffic" rule. Some highly strung lady on successfully covering half the distance might suddenly become panicky and make frenzied efforts to climb to the top again. If she persisted, debates may take place halfway down the pole. All this would tend to delay matters and delay is what we are striving to avoid. We might even go to the extent of greasing the pole to hasten descent—but it is to be feared that most of the women students in their dislike for dripping and second-rate butter, would most probably go on the roof to hide from the Officials.

The pole system is only one of many that have been mooted. The engineering faculty is hoping to bring out a patent shute in the near future. Each student, on entering V.U.C. will be fitted out with an asbestos mat which he will be obliged to carry with him on all occasions. When the alarm sounds, instead of stampeding down the bannisters, rolling down the spiral or jumping out of windows, everyone will calmly unstrap his mat, place it on a nearby shute and slide to safety.

In the meanwhile, if anyone else is suddenly seized with a bright idea, will he please connect with official circles immediately. The matter is one page 44 that requires instant attention. Already many prospective students for 1930 have decided with the V.U.C. structure in mind, to do what politicians have always begged them to do—to go on the land.

Since writing this, I find that it has been decided to order an airship similar to the Graf Zepplin for the express convenience of V.U.C. students. When the next 'quake comes, the whole student body will muster on the roof and embark in "Victoria." until conditions regain normality. For further particulars, apply to the Registrar.—XYZ.