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The Spike [or Victoria University College Review 1961]



Arriving at a workable system of management for the buildings was an interesting problem. The original proposal, made by the Professorial Board in 1957, of a warden to control the buildings and facilities met with violent opposition from the Association. Various alternative possibilities centering round control by a committee were then considered. The Council would be legally the owner of the buildings, but at the same time the students had provided the initiative over the years, as well as a large proportion of the cost. It was therefore necessary to find a management solution which recognized the responsibilities of Council, and also gave effect to the principle that the Union is primarily for the student body. In 1959 the Council therefore set up a Student Union Buildings Management Committee, having a majority of student members.

Although the Management Committee has been in existence for just over six months, it has had to consider a great quantity of work. Questions of furnishing, equipping, and fitting the buildings; financial matters of depreciation, maintenance, salaries, revenue producing aspects, and the relative contributory rates of the Association and Council; the calling for, interviewing, and appointing of full-time employees have all occupied much time. To co-ordinate and develop committee affairs page 8 within the Union, they have provided for the appointment of a full-time executive officer called the Managing Secretary.

This officer will have threefold duties. He will be of at least lecturer status and expected to do some teaching in one of the departments. In liaison with the Association he will develop such services for students as board and lodgings, employment, health, and general counselling. And finally he will supervize the work of the full-time employees within the buildings, as well as acting as Secretary to the committee.

In addition to the duties delegated to the Secretary, other duties have been given to the Association Executive and sub-committees. Despite the volume of work involved, serving on these sub-committees has been really interesting. Never again, I suppose, will students have the chance of talking in terms of tens of thousands of pounds, and deciding on many more thousands of pounds worth of tables, chairs, cutlery, crockery, sofas, divans and the like.