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SMAD. An Organ of Student Opinion. 1933. Volume 4. Number 3.

Charlie Tells us How

Charlie Tells us How.

Dear "Smad,"—

To the minds of a large number of students the standard of "Smad" has fallen. Its sales are dropping, as its contents are such that only occasionally is any lively interest aroused. The two issues of "Student" created much more interest, thought and discussion than did any of this or last year's issues of "smad." This is because "Student" is getting down to things which are of daily interest and are vital to our welfare.

What is wrong with "Smad," and why does it not compare favourably with the publications of other Colleges?

An analysis of the last two issues of "Smad" will make this obvious.

The first issue comprised 40 per cent. of serious matter, 35 per cent. sport, and 25 per cent. of "full-ups."

The second issue consisted of 35 per cent. of serious matter, 50 per cent. sport, and l5 per cent. fill-ups."

From this it seems that serious matters concerning us all are given comparatively little space, whereas our god sport has a very big say, and fill-ups, for that is what the rest actually is, accounts for the remainder.

In last year's May issue a correspondent. "Advance," appealed to you "to give some lead to public opinion on questions of social, political, and domestic importance" .... and asked it some "our graduates, our wits and reformers would give a lead on such questions as are busying the minds of the thinkers of our day."

I do not suggest that sport should be entirely eliminated, but I do say that it should be considerably curtailed.

Serious discussion, written in an interesting manner on matters of domestic, local and international importance to students is what we want.

It is little wonder that outside newspapers and the general public regard the ideas emanating from "Student" as the opinions of a large majority of our students when "the organ of official opinion" contains little besides sport and fill-ups.

Even the Executive letter is missing these days. Surely they are doing something worthy of recording. For instance, what part did they take in the Conference to consider the protection of blazer and "blue" designs?

It may he said that students will not write for "Smad." Other editors have induced the literary inclined students to write, so why not you, Mr. Editor?

Your journal is the organ of student opinion, but all the same there is no reason for not publishing articles of the type that have appeared in "Student." If they had appeared in "Smad" and had been answered by prominent members of the page 9 opposing viewpoint, then the whole manter would have been seen by the newspapers and general public in the propoer perspective.

It is a noteworthy but regretable fact that Victoria has for several years lagged behind the other Colleges in literacy and contemporary matters. Of the four official journals "Smad" was the last to appear. Of the "milli-paci" journals "Student" was the last to be published. Both critic and Canta have abandoned the monthly publication of a bound magazine and are issuing a fortnightly newspaper. I suggest to "Smad" that they, too. follow suit, as a fortnightly paper has the advantage of allowing discussions on a topic to take place before the enthusiasm wanes or the matter becomes state. I know that such a change, which is not a radical one, would require an alteration to the Constitution, but there is still time to arrange it at the Annual General Meeting.

"Smad" at present expresses merely the froth of student life at Victoria. Some think thai "Student" indicates the presence of dirty water underneath. Let "Smad" in future express exactly what does exist there.

I am, etc.,

C. S. Plank.

(We thank the above writer for his "constructive criticism," but suggest that he might have taken some interest previously…All contributions of sufficient literary standard are welcomed, but "Smad" does not intend to become the stamping ground of the evangalists, no matter to which sect they belong. We intend to continue our policy of fostering the College sports Clubs, and in so doing hope that we may to some extent help them to further successes. "Smad," too, hopes to relieve in this way "Spike" of some of the burden of Club notes. This was one of the reasons why "Smad" was brought into existence. Finally, we would add that the question of changing the format of "Smad" to that of a newspaper was considered over a month ago by the committee and was not adopted owing to financial reasons.— Ed.).