Salient. Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 26, No. 4. Monday, April 8, 1963
Every year this University becomes more and more overburdened with petty bureaucrats who attempt to justify their over-paid positions by indulging in officiousness and red tape.
In the administration of the grounds, the Student Union Building and of the University itself, petty officials, idle for much of the "working" day, use their position of authority in a manner which can at best be described as officiously bureaucratic.
Particularly bad in this respect are the administrative staffs of the grounds and the S.U.B. The position of the managing secretary of the S.U.B. is one that has caused some speculation.
"What does he do around the place?" is one of the most frequently asked questions around the Cafeteria and Common Rooms. The answer is not obvious.
Apparently one of his tasks is to hinder and obstruct students in the use of their own building. Recently a Drama Club producer requested the use of the Little Theatre for a practice. Although this was not a dress rehearsal and would have occasioned no inconvenience to the cleaning staff, and although no one else was using it at any time within twenty-four hours, permission was not granted by the Managing; Secretary.
The reason? The theatre must be booked in advance. A period of six weeks was mentioned at one stage.
What other duties has the Managing Secretary? As far as can be made out, he handles theatre bookings, and is in charge of the administration of the S.U.B. These tasks could be performed adequately by the caretaker. The highly paid position of the Managing Secretary is an unnecessary one.
Grounds and building staff, too are idle and officious. Vast numbers of little men in grey coats are to be found pottering about the University, emptying ashtrays and issuing parking tickets. In previous years their duties, of which cleaning is probably the only Justifiable one, were performed by a staff of perhaps half the size.
Nor are the administrative and office staff of the University itself free from taint. Recently a student, working during the day, attempted to enrol, somewhat tardily, for an extra subject. She was compelled to return to the office three days in succession in order to complete enrolment. On the second occasion, having filled in all the requisite forms, she was ready to pay her fee at thirteen minutes to five. She had to return for this purpose next day, however. "The cash desk closes at quarter to," she was told. The office was full of apparently idle staff at the time.
Other examples of administrative officiousness abound. The uninitiated might imagine that in an institution primarily concerned with higher learning, red tape and bureaucratic methods would be almost absent. If Victoria is a fair example, he would be sadly mistaken—John Murphy.