Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 13, No. 10. June 1st, 1950
These proposals were unanimously endorsed by the 1948 annual meetings of Auckland and Victoria Students' Associations. Successful meetings were held to discuss them by the Socialist and Labour Clubs of the four colleges. Our Socialist Club sponsored the all-time most successful staff-student meeting, when Dr. Beaglehole and Mr. Bertram, among others, contributed their views on the scheme, mainly sympathetic. Letters of support came from Sir Thomas Hunter, Professor Richardson, Mr. Braybrooke. The net result of all the discussion was some disagreement about such things as the means test, the age limit and the proportional allotment to faculties, but the principle met with general approval.
NZUSA August Conference the same year adopted the proposals in principle and set up a subcommittee to investigate the situation further before presenting them to the Government. But the sub-committee never met.
It took a resolution from Congress 1950 to revive the scheme, and last NZUSA Annual Conference referred it 'back to N.Z.S.L.F. for final research towards drawing up a complete scheme for presentation to the authorities. S.L.F. has set up a Bursaries Committee: C. Bollinger (convenor), D. Cohen, R. J. Smith, Mrs E. Garrett and two representatives of the V.U.C.S.A. Exec.
This committee is now faced with the additional increases in living costs. Massey College students estimated at the beginning of the year that the average degree student had to spend £154 14s in a college year (on college fees, books, board, etc.). yet could derive an income of only £86 from the best bursary. A similar position obtained in all other colleges. But it is now far worse. Mr. Holland's (mythical) 4% increase in the cost of living has affected Weir House board to the extent of 50% £2 tor £3 per week.—"Evening Post," 26.5.50. Y.M.C.A. board has risen from £2 16s 3d to £2 19s for a single room. Railway fares, the cost of meals, clothes, books, all affect students. In fact, as has been pointed out, the wage increases following on the price rises will naturally be put down by the manufacturers as "increased costs," and be made the excuse for further price increases in all commodities. Thus our economic system works.
Quite apart, then, from the standing need for more adequate bursaries to increase the proportion of fulltime students, there is an immediate and urgent need for a larger allowance to meet the sudden bump-up in the dally draw on our pockets. The wage-earners need it. The students need It.
(P.S. Moreover we will find that in 1951, £105,000 will not build so much Student Union Building as it would have in 1950.)