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Salient: Victoria University Students' Newspaper. Vol. 24, No. 9. 1961

Readers Reckon

page 3

Readers Reckon

Airotciv Illogical

Sir,—I wish to express my hearty disgust at the opinions of your correspondent W. P. Airotciv as expressed in "Salient" No. 8. He takes it upon himself to fill the role of a prophet with his blatantly nonsensical observation that "there can never be equality." Quite apart from the fact that he gives No examples to support his assertions, the very basic logic of his argument is at fault. His hypothesis, viewed critically is this:
(1)Complete human rights cannot exist while there is inequality.
(2)At the moment there is inequality in the world.
(3)Therefore, human rights can Never exist.

The fallacy of this argument is obvious. One might as well say that the sky can never be clear because at the moment it is partly cloudy.

Quite apart from this, your correspondent is wrong when he claims that "human rights are nonexistent." To be sure they are incomplete. but to assume that this means they are non-existent is quite ridiculous. Yet this is what W. P. Airotciv does. He points to the state of inequality in the world (an abuse of human rights) and then proceeds to prove, apparently to his own satisfaction, that the fact that these rights are being abused proves their non-existence. I would be intrigued to hear how one can abuse a non-existent quality. The very fact that they are abused proves their existence in an imperfect form whereas your correspondent denies their existence in any state at all.

Other fallacies in his letter are obvious. "To admit that there are human rights would be to construe that man can achieve perfection," he says. Grossly untrue. I would be the last to claim the perfection of man, but I consider that in any country man possesses his rights, pathetically small though they may be. Then again, he says: "There shall always be despair for some." This to me, seems to mean that his idea of human rights would be a series of magic barriers guarding man from any harm. The very idea is disagreeable. Who would wish to spend one's life in an unhealthily lukewarm Utopia without any tempering in the fire of adverse conditions?

The tone of the whole letter is deserving of condemnation.

The attitude of careless resignation, the destructive jibes, the warped cynicism—all are only too typical of that obnoxious class, who, seeing the world imperfect, immediately assume that toil towards a better goal is useless, and sink back into a morass of petulant complaining.

Yours, etc.,

Clive McLeod.

1961 Survey

Sir,—So it's Exec. Elections again. What have Exec, done for us this year?

Orientation; run by a few, a reasonable success but lost its punch through fresher apathy.

Hercus brawl; lot of mud all round. Perhaps they could have done something constructive, changed the time of the presidential elections to the end of the year so the difficulty would not occur?

Little Congress. Something constructive. Lost some of its effect through student apathy.

Booze; they cut down the supply to all and sundry. After the performance at the Grads' Supper they could cut it down still further. It was the direct cause of a slur upon our reputation.

Capping. Activities were of a higher standard and on the whole well done. Procesh was a bit of a flop. The people in it were doing fine. Where were all the rest? That and Extrav. were partly defeated by student apathy and public apathy.

All the constructive things were done by a few on the Exec., the balance were example of Exec, apathy.

The new Executive should start from the word go.

Yours, etc.,


Grad. Supper

Sir,—I must thank Salient for contributing new meanings to the words "orgy" and 'brawl."

I do not know whether a reporter of your excellent newspaper (whose editors consider themselves responsible adults, qualified to lecture to fellow students—who are after all juvenile—and to the faculty members—who are after all out of touch with the needs of the present generation) was . present at the Supper. If he was there he could not have failed to notice the mismanagement of the Executive which, alone, was responsible for making the affair a flop. For example, could the people in the back hear all the sneakers even if there was a pindrop silence? Wasn't there the need for a microphone? Mr Marshall and Dean Campbell commanded the attention of the students because they were audible. How effective, by the way was te Chairmanship of Mr Mitchell?

What is this Graduands' Supper supposed to be anyway? Is it an occasion to make long boring speeches?

Mr Editor, you are out of step if you think the occasion is supposed to be a solemn one and not one of revelry. It was, therefore, very proper for a member of the faculty, who knew something about human zoology, to have disaffiliated himself from the proceedings of the meeting, and to have retired in the back room with those students who wanted to get out of the boredom.

It has been reported that the Common Common Room floor has been pockmarked by the imprint of stiletto heels; that the same room has rings from beer glasses along the window sills; and that at places cigarette stubs have done some damage to the woodwork. So, what? Is the Common Common Room a museum piece, or an art gallery?

A final word about the letters of apologies that Mr Mitchell has sent. Dr. Williams has been around student suppers long enough to know what they are supposed to be. I doubt if he was embarrassed by what hapened at the supper. He must have been embarrassed by the letter of apology. He might have even wondered how "respectable" the students are trying to become these days; and he might have sighed at the thought of it.

Yours, etc.,

Ex Graduand.


Human Rights

Sir,—W. P. Airotciv in his (her) letter in Salient 8 denies the existence of human rights.

In effect the writer attacks one of the fundamentals of Democracy and Christianity, ie.: That the Individual is Important.

The idea of his right to choose his own way of life has helped man to achieve some measure of happiness—basically, available to all men—of any race. Power to push men around like pawns on a chessboard does not bring happiness, and it creates fear and hatred.

Now we have not reached perfection—and perhaps never will. But we can strive for improvement, extending the human right of freedom to more and more people.

W. P. Airotciv, since he denies the existence of human rights, must deny himself human rights.

Anyway he has already used his right of free expression in print.

Yours faithfully,

"Sunset 7777."



Sir,—Congratulations. I like the colour on Salient 8.

Yours, etc.,



Disgusted: Your name and address is required before publication can be considered

Not Left

Sir,—Barry McKaig has made two alarming mistakes, viz. when he associates the World Affairs Council and the Social Credit Club with the Left politically. Being closely associated with both these organisations, I categorically deny any association with the Left in either case.

World Affairs Council is strictly apolitical (especially in the last few months) and we take great care to keep it that way. Any statement to the contrary shows a pitiful lack of knowledge of the facts and Mr McKaig is a good example of this. Readers will notice that he did not back his allegation with any facts at all.

Mr McKaig suggests that the newly-formed Social Credit Club is Left; then goes on to try to blacken Scored by associating it with fascists such as Ezra Pound and Mussolini—what a classic non sequiter! I can assure him that the Social Credit Club has never at any time stated that it agreed with these two men or with the anti-Semitism (if there is any) of Major C. H. Douglas. Social Credit's political ideas are essentially Liberal ones and we will resist any attempt to brand us as being Leftist, or Fascist.

Both these clubs are rebelling against the status quo. Readers may do well to remember the words of Carlyle: "Men seldom, in fact never, rebel against anything that doesn't merit rebelling against."

Yours, etc.,

Pacific Centre.

High Heels

Sir,—Possibly I am rather late in writing to support the remarks of Mr "To Hell With High Heels" (Salient No. 4), but I am fully in support of them.

One solution is the oriental custom which has one remove one's walking-wear on entering a building, and donning the equivalent of slippers. Unfortunately it is rather late to suggest this, the Student Association building being already in use, and nearly opened. However, students should see that in future designs for V.U. buildings there will be provision for shoe-to-slipper changing rooms at each entrance, and slipper-to-shoe rooms at each exit.

Other possible solutions would be provision of overshoes; a fashion-lead to high-heels with wide tipped bases; or total prevention as your organisation (the Society for the Prevention of the Wearing of High-Heeled Shoes by Women) advocates.

As prevention seems the only practical solution, I would like to support you by joining your organisation. Please give me particulars of activities, subs., etc. Could the Society plan socials, dances, etc., for fund-raising and furthering its object, restricted to those willing to wear wide heels, whether high or flat?

Yours with sympathv,

J. Stokes.


Spud Spoonfuls

Sir,—Thought I'd try out the new Caf. on the second day it was open, hearing of no cases of food-poisoning on opening day, and found it quite delightful. Clean, shiny, chefs hats and all. The food too was quite nice—the newness of the cutlery alone did not account for the ease with which I subdued the mutton—but I rose as hungry as before I'd partaken. This was solely due to the inadequate amount of potatoe. I admit my fallibility in saying that hunger is dependant primarily on lack of quantity not lack of quality. The quality was there but three or four spoonfuls of spud would have left me quite sated and not quite famished. I would even tolerate a small increase in price for this satisfaction.

Also, what about 7.30 p.m. closing time for those five to seveners ?

[See "Cafeteria" reply—elsewhere in this issue.—Ed.]

Yours faithfully,

Partus Tempus.

Vic. for Ever!

Sir,—The mayor has proposed that the name of our university be changed from Victoria U. of W. to U. of W. The reason given was to "forge a stronger link between the university and Wellington and evoke in citizens a greater pride in their association with the university." Is the mere dropping of the name "Victoria" really going to achieve this? Or are there other and more valid reasons yet to be explained?

So what, we're Victorians in an Elizabethan world. Why take away what little individuality, what small entity we have?

The universities of New Zealand will soon be antonomous—do we, just because the others are nameless, have to become another geographical anonymity—like U. of Auckland, U. of Otagi—just to conform.

This move to erase the fair name of "Victoria" comes from outside the university—is Vic. itself to have no say? Why this "hideous conspiracy" to deny us our name?

No one would benefit from a change. It would be a definite loss to the university. As far as practicability and general usage is concerned "Victoria" is greatly superior to "Wellington University"—who can imagine yelling "Wellington" in preference to "Vic." at tournament? And lastly, there is the absurd fact that Vic. is ours and we are quite inexplicably attached to the name.


[See page 1.—Ed.]

Group Complex

Sir,—Let's join J. Markham, and have a devilish time. Let's be extremists. Let's show our maturity. 25 per cent, is not enough, we might get a minority group complex.

Religion adds to the spiritual life; but sex does something big to the world; it adds life to it.

Let's damn religion with drink; let the justice and social welfare departments (not to mention the morgue) mop up.

Let's blaspheme and hurt a few more people's feelings, after all people just love having their feelings hurt. "Well," you may ask, "what sort of worship do us 25 per percent, have?" We worship every sabbath day at the "Athletic Park Cathedral."

The moral is simple. Let's all kick up hell—wreck our home life: wreck the chances of our " kids, increase the divorce rate, increase vandalism. Let's be tough above the ears, be individualistic and impose upon others.

G. J. Davidson.


Sir,—I must register a stern protest at your cavalier omission of half the argument of my letter (in the hideous socialist conspiracy. You did not even proffer the courtesy of an "(Abridged)" postscript. I am compelled to suspect fifth column activity on behalf of the City Council.

I protest that the move to change the name of this college is a conditioned response to the prevailing philosophy of uniformity, conformity, "let's-be-all-the-sameness," or "you-think-you're-good-because-you're-different-ness." If we give way now, before we know where we are they will have foisted the City arms and motto on us. and made the university council a select committee of the Wellington corporation!

This is quite intolerable! Rage consumes me!! Victorians! Art Thou the Same as the City that Grovels Beneath Thee !!!

I am, etc.,

Harold Hin.

page 4

Editor A Capitalist Puppet

Sir,—You are not a Communist as stated by "Auremmagis Rire Desideranda" in the last issue of Salient. The Party would never have you.

I say that you are the mercenary puppet of a subversive Capitalist plot, trying to coax the last zacks from the shrunken purses of starving students, by printing sensationalist "Daily Mirror" type articles.

Small things like correct facts do not matter of course, as long as the little silver coins keep rolling in.

But not to worry. When the Day of the Revolution comes, rest assured that you and your "investigators" will be at the head of the firing squad waiting list.

Yours, etc.,

John Parkyn.

The Cause?

Sir,—The graduands' dinner was certainly a deplorable affair; but to judge by your front page the worst aspects of it are only now emerging; moralizing, pontification, pointing of fingers, and hounding of culprits. In all this busyness, the more difficult search for causes is likely to be forgotten.

The dinner this year differed from its predecessors principally in the fact that most of those participating reverted to their own conversation whilst they were being addressed by the speakers. This was not surprising. I was in the front rank of the audience, and there was literally nothing between me and the table at which the speakers sat. Yet even before the hullabaloo started, I was hard put to hear what the speakers were saying. The reason was not far to seek: the room where the dinner was held has a sound-absorbent ceiling. To expect the speakers' voices to carry, in a room designed to preclude this, seems unwise.

Furthermore, the speeches would have been listened to more attentively, even under these adverse conditions, if they had come earlier and been briefer. Proceedings began at 8 p.m.; the speech-making at about 9.40, and it was nearly 11 before it dragged to a close.

The remedy follows from the diagnosis. Install a loudspeaker system, begin the speeches at, say, 8.30 p.m., make sure they end at 9 p.m., and everybody, including the speakers, will have a much better time.

Yours, etc.,

Leslie H. Palmier.

On Charity

Sir,—It shows a disappointing lack of consideration towards music students, or more bluntly, ignorance in administration, that when money is urgently needed to furnish the S.U. building, Exec, persists in raising funds for charity. At the moment the Little Theatre lacks a concert grand piano—the Brinsmead in the Common Common Room is quite inadequate—and the theatre will not function as a Little Theatre to the city nor attract visiting musicians until it has one. A good grand piano will cost around £2000. Yet by some inherent charity-complex Exec. curries favour with the public and the papers by irrational fund-raising for an arbitrarily-selected cause in which it has no interest nor intends to have interest.

Charity begins at home. The money raised (how much?) should have been earned for and put towards the completion of our theatre furnishings.

Yours, etc.,

R. J. Maconie.


Once upon a time there was a very small boy who owned a wooden fire-engine, painted blue. That it was blue in no way disturbed the lad. and he went happily about extinguishing his imaginary conflagrations. Then one day, there came into the world of this small chap, a neighbouring fellow who also owned a blue fire-engine. To see, in the hands of another, such an exotic fire-engine, gave our small champion fears and doubts as to the propriety of owning an engine painted blue. With time his dubiosity increased, until it reached the point where he went furtively aside to appear later with his fire-engine painted red.

And so I was interested to see that so shortly after Extravaganza, the Listener radically changed its form of publication. Well done, Fair Laddie.


Moral Re-armament

Sir,—I read your article, "Shall We Sleep," in Salient with great interest. I would like to say that I wholeheartedly agree with what Meha wrote.

I have just returned from the United States where I worked for almost four years with Moral Re-Armament.

Yes, we are asleep in this country. The idea of "peaceful coexistence" is being swallowed. I think of the visit of the Leningrad Ballet in July. It comes not merely to entertain, but to put us further to sleep.

I also agree that our generation needs to wake. The Communists have an ideology, but we don't. I believe our future depends on us finding and living out a better ideology.

From my own experience, and the experience of youth leaders from nations whom I worked with in America, I'm convinced that Moral Re-Armament is the next step for our generation.

Yours sincerely.

Richard Caughey.

Vic. Sick

Sir,—Is Victoria University lagging behind in the Space-race?

The recent announcement from Christchurch that within about two years Canterbury University would be in a position to conduct space probes gives good ground for concern.

Even the most apathetic student may now be asking himself whether all is well within the University.

Perhaps our new president could make a statement.



Sir,—If W. P. Airoticiv would like to meet me on the ramp leading from C3, I will show him a new venue and method of murder at Victoria, but the story would need to be written subsequently by someone else.

[Thank vou. I will pass on the message.—Editor.]

Yours, etc.,


Jazz and Extrav,

For all the fairness that is obvious in Mr Latham Stubbs's letter to the Editor in the last issue of Salient, I must admit it is mainly fairness to himself. I am referring solely to the paragraph relating to the Jazz Society. I am sorry to say he has presented a rosy picture that has little relation to the facts. He states that "Extrav. committee went out of its way to make (the room) available for the Jazz Club on Sunday afternoons, and at no time did Extrav. interfere with their activities as a result." Apart from the faulty argument inherent to that last sentence, this was not quite what happened. Extrav. kindly granted us use of the room while they had tea—almost an hour's playing time. We even tried it once.

However, I might add that Extrav. was not "riding roughshod over the interests of other students," as they might have done in other cases; they were merely keeping a tight hold on what was theirs anyway.

The real culprit was the blind feeble-mindedness of Executive. In return to our request for alternative facilities, namely a piano and a room to play it in, they replied: "They do not see their way clear to make a special grant (for a piano) in view of the overall student activities" and "The facilities required will be available again in early May," that is, when Extrav. opened at the Opera House. In other words Executive, that has the interests of affiliated societies so dear to its heart, said, "We can't be bothered doing anything, wait until the facilities you want are re-available." It is significant that Mr Hercus was the only dissenter.

I take the trouble to mention this to be helpful to the present, and incoming, Executive, and also to put the Extrav. controversy in its proper light. After all, Extrav., like the Jazz Society, has to rehearse for their show, too.

R. T. Murphy, President Jazz Society.