Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 31 Number 14. June 25, 1968
As the President of Students' Association has made a rather immature attack on immaturity in student elections. I will comment, too.
Mr White appears to think that nobody has a right to discuss the Union extensions, the increase of bursaries or meals in the Caf at elections. To set the records straight, some facts should be made known about Exec's record and the prospects for change in these areas.
• Union Extensions: The first discussion of union extensions I have ever heard at Exec since I was elected occurred last Monday. At that meeting it was decided . . .
(1) To approach local M.P.'s, including at my insistence, one Labour M.P. ? to pressure the Government to give us a date when extensions will be allowed to start;
(2) to consider re-planning extensions to allow for a bookshop, a Salient darkroom and facilities for BNZ and the Post Office if no Government action was forthcoming. I thought the Government would do nothing, Mr White thought the opposite?which may prove something. Anyway, it's very clear for election candidates what the options are ? either being gullible about Government promises, or taking Muldoon's threats to cut education spending seriously; and supporting a plan for the extension made in 1960, or altering it. These choices clearly affect the possibility of a bookshop.
• Bursaries: The options open about these were discussed at the AGM. Should we concentrate on raising academic staff salaries?this preventing New Zealand universities becoming academic slums?and forget our bursary claims; or press on both issues, if we can do both effectively?
Here also?as with union building extensions ? are we putting enough pressure on the Government? If every farmer's son or daughter at Vic wrote home to Dad asking him to raise the issue of bursaries at the next Federated Farmers meeting, wouldn't this be more helpful than what Exec is doing now?
• Meals in the Caf: Tony Long has let the student body down over this by failing to make a good job of his Action Committee. But if there is an effective student majority on Management Committee and this becomes a sub-committee of Stud Ass instead of the University Council, and this is what Stud Ass submissions to the Joint Committee ask for, we will have greater access to the Dining Room accounts. Pressure can still be put on Fritz from both outside and inside Exec, but things are moving here. They could still be hurried up.
Only Alister Taylor, so long out of touch with students, is attacking the Joint Committee. Doug White seems scared to attack him, as I pointed out in last Salient.
I will not be standing for Exec again, so I have no axe to grind. I recommend to intelligent voters that they do not take Mr White's remarks seriously—and I will move a motion of censure against him for his article at the next Exec meeting.