Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 3. 1965.
Exec Lacks Harmony — Students Lack Library
Exec Lacks Harmony
Students Lack Library
An inquiry into Executive's takeover of the Student Association reading room has revealed an alarming lack of administrative co-ordination Out of a tangled web of vague often conflicting stories two facts have emerged. Firstly, the conversion of the Student Association reading room into an Executive room is justified. Secondly, the facts of the case seem known to only the upper ranks of the Executive hierarchy. The ordinary student is in complete ignorance of the reasons for the change.
House Committee Chairman Nick Bullock expressed both surprise and annoyance at the change, which was made without his knowledge. He could see reasons for the extension of Executive facilities but was not in favour of exclusive or permanent use of the reading room as an Executive room.
Student Association Secretary Alister Taylor explained the change as part of a general move towards combating inexpert student administration arising from a lack of continuity and efficiency. The thirteen members of Executive plus co-opted and incidental members produced a clutterance in the main office and interfered with office efficiency. There was an obvious need for separate office facilities for Executive members. Taylor had favoured the conversion of the toilet block adjacent to the main office. This suggestion was vetoed by Director of Student Welfare, Ian Boyd.
However when questioned Mr. Boyd disclaimed any guiding hand he may have wielded. He stated that he merely put into effect a recommendation made to him by Executive. He also stressed the temporary nature of the change, a point also emphasized by Taylor.
Boyd's part in the whole affair became further complicated when Association President, Tom Robins was questioned. Robins put the whole matter into perspective, and revealed that the change was primarily a result of consultation between Boyd and himself. Robins pointed out the need for extension arising from an increased roll of 500 this year.
He further added that greatly increased facilities for studying coupled with extended hours provided by the new library block would remove the need which the Student Association reading room had hitherto fulfilled.
Furthermore, the SUB is not intended for serious study, and study in such buildings is never seen in universities overseas By converting the reading room into an Executive meeting room the Association was also saving the expenditure that conversion of the toilet block would incur.
The justification for this move appears obvious, but one would question the methods by which it was brought about. Even taking into account the absence of many Executive members over the holiday period there appears to be an alarming lack of co-ordination within Executive. Such a move would surely come within the domain of the House Committee Chairman, yet Bullock seemed in partial ignorance of many of the details and implications of the move.
Furthermore, while Taylor, stressed the temporary nature of the change, Robins made it clear that the change was to be permanent unless found unsatisfactory by the Executive alone. Boyd's position in the whole affair seems uncertain, and Executive has obviously made no attempt to publicise and explain the reasons for the change to the general body of students.
The move appears justified, but the procedure both before and since the change leaves much to be desired.—Rod Edmond.