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SMAD. An Organ of Student Opinion. 1937. Volume 8. Number 15.

A Challenge

A Challenge

Dear "Smad,"—

As a student I have this year deplored the quality of your paper, and as a member of the Debating Society Committee I have been astonished, and (I think justifiably) annoyed at your paper's attitude towards the Debating Society.

I should like to make it clear from the start, however, that I am not writing this in any official capacity, and the Debating Society Committee are in no way responsible for any statements herein.

The Debating Society has not run one function this year which has not been adversely criticised by "Smad," and I am at a loss to understand why this campaign of hate has been directed against the Society. You will, no doubt, offer the excuse that these criticisms were justified, but such destructive. and, in some cases, malicious, criticism was not merited.

It appears to me that in an endeavour to keep "Smad" in the public eye (which is quite a commendable object in itself) you have descended to the standard of the "yellow press," and have made the Debating Society's activities the butt of many of your ill-timed witticisms and criticisms.

If your contributors are not of high enough merit to draw the student public's attention by good writing, then it is manifestly unfair to attract notice by being sarcastic and cynical at the expense of another College organisation. The Debating Society is, I submit, doing as much as any organisation in the College, including your paper, to keep the cultural and social life of this College at a high standard, and your unwarranted attacks on its efforts are most irritating and discouraging. Friendly criticism, obstructive, and without animosity, can be a very useful thing, and any club in the College would welcome it, but the bitter attacks of members of your staff are found hard to bear by those who are at least doing their best, however poor, to further College activities.

It is too late in the year to begin a discussion, which might well become prolonged, but I feel that it is necessary to make some reply to your attacks. For myself, at least, I can say that if any of your staff who have criticised the Debating Society this year are of the opinion that they are capable of setting up a better programme than this year's, then they are welcome to take my position as a step towards the furtherance of their ambitions in this direction. This year's committee fully believed that it had as good a set of subjects as those of any previous year, and I challenge "Smad" to produce a syllabus which will bring nothing but praise and will draw good attendances for every meeting. As I have said above, if any of "Smad's" reporting staff consider that he can produce such a set of subjects, then the Debating Society Committee will be the first to acknowledge hit genius.

Yours faithfully,

R. C. E. Scott.