Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 13, No. 1. March 02, 1950

Our Part-And Yours

page 2

Our Part-And Yours

We enter our 12th year of publication with a return to our original format—weekly issue, four pages. The reasons for this return are many, but we think its main justification is that we can give you a far more topical and rapid coverage of events in the college and out, in a weekly. Too often in the past, excellent reports and reviews have lost their point because the thing discussed was forgotten by the time it was noted in print. This will be a major gain, and we hope that it will be reflected in an increased circulation, an Increased interest in the opinions which you and we air in these columns.

For the staff, it means a great deal more work and organisation; most of us are part-timers, and you will appreciate what it means to cut down even more on the slender allowance of spare time available. We ask in return only that you support it, How? First, by buying it. "Salient" could be almost self supporting, with an increase in circulation; if you prefer to read it over someone's shoulder rather than buying your own, you pay in the end anyway. Next, and just as important, we want it regarded as an opportunity to get your views aired. That is its chief raison d'etre. Our staff are volunteers (only the editor is appointed) and they do the job simply because they believe that it matters whether a college has some outlet for its opinions—and think that students ought to have opinions worth expressing.

"Salient" is "an organ of student opinion" but it can't function if you don't say What you think in writing. The staff can't possibly write it all themselves, and it would be a bad thing if they did; the effect of the paper depends largely on the number of people in the college who are articulate enough to use it. If those people don't all think alike, or don't think as we do, then so much the better. A university should be a place where friction whets the edge of thought, not where disagreement dulls it. We hope, too, that another result of the weekly issue will be to establish "Salient" as an institution for expression in VUC: a fortnightly, however well done, amid the million claims on a students attention, tends to be regarded as a sporadic event, appearing from Lord knows where, and Heaven knows how.

We can promise to see that important events in the college and outside, are reported; we can't and won't promise that every such activity will get' attention—it is up to clubs to publicise themselves. We can see that articles about things you will be (or should be) interested in, are published: but if you don't find here mention of something you are interested in, blame yourself, not us. We can see that everyone gets a fair chance to give their views on controversial questions, but again, if you fail to find your viewpoint represented here, come out and say so—muttering darkly to your friends in the Commonroom is a footling pastime.

This is not to say that "Salient" is going to pretend to be a mere sounding board for opinion. It is not. A student paper should try to lead, as well as reflect, opinion. On almost all the topics which we touch of our, own wish, our attitude will be one which, we can only describe as "considered criticism." That doesn't mean dogmatic doubt; it does mean that we are going to refuse to accept the general attitude, the prevalent and revered beliefs, simply because they are general and prevalent and revered. Attitudes should be accepted only after questioning, and we hope that this college is an apt place for making such assessments. This outlook of ours will be as consistent as we can make it—in sport as in university affairs, in the arts (which we hope to scan and review as widely as we can, believing that you ought to have opinions there) as in politics and world affairs (on which again you should have opinions to express). We are not departing from the ideas which "Salient" has carried out since its inception, in expressing our policy in this way. The job of being only a gadfly would be tedious hut if the gadfly's job is vacant—as it seems to be in our society, except for a few hopeful stirrings here and there—then we will try to apply the sting occasionally where we feel it is most needed.

So, while we have no intention of rushing into criticism for its own sake—both the rushing and the dogmatic criticising being appalling to think about we like even less the idea of conformity for its own sake. Rushing into anything is irresponsible; never accepting any values is worse; but an endless [unclear: fe] of passive acceptance should have no place whatever in this college. It won's if we can help it.