Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University, Wellington. Vol. 22, No. 6. Wednesday, June 24, 1959
War or Peace ?
War or Peace ?
Sir,—For some time now there has been a kind of cold war between a certain member of the university staff and students who own motorcycles. This situation has arisen largely through the failure of the House Committee to do anything constructive about requests and complaints from motorcyclists.
However, be that as it may, the latest episode in the battle is as follows:
student turns in at the staff car entrance and cuts motor as soon as he is on level ground so that his momentum will carry him round the side of the building to a parking place; just at the last moment he sees a length of white string (tied 5ft up on the wall but with a two-foot sag in the middle) stretched in front of him at a convenient height to cut across his face;
brakes are jammed with irate student wondering who the infantile practical joker can be; piece of cardboard is then seen to one side flapping in the wind with "Motor Cycles Stop Your Engine, Offenders Will be prosecuted" scrawled thereon; as engine is stopped anyway student laughs and pushes machine on thereby severing cotton and removing an unauthorised hazard.
Immediately staff member dashes from hiding place and demands all personal statistics etc.
"No doubt the student will be summarily dealt with according to the medieval laws of Tibet, but the whole thing reminds me of the A. A. Milne story about Pooh Bear and "Trespassers will."
No doubt the staff member concerned has been plagued in the past by noisy motorists but he alone has reacted consistently in this manner and his is not the only study in the vicinity.
If the university chooses to relegate motorcyclists to a parking place very close to lecture rooms and studies, then staff members will have to put up with a certain amount of noise. Let us be reasonable on both sides.
Threats and playing at "By Order, Town Clerk" will only aggravate the situation.