Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 9. 1965.
No Reply: Calling God
Sirs,—I read Miss Hardies letter on MRA in your last issue. I did as I was told: Wrote down "absolute love, unselfishness, honesty and purity," and then asked God how these absolutes applied to me. Nothing happened. Must we really put up with this sort of nonsense at Victoria?
T. H. Beaglehole.
Sirs,—Your issue of June 1 carries on page 6 an approving comment on the Metropolitan Magazine. But I wish you would look at Vol. 2 No. 4 for May, and perhaps publish a further comment, for how can Salient approve of a paper which prints on its front page a cartoon depicting a Kiwi soldier being tugged in two directions: under a noticeboard inscribed "New Zealanders Concerned about Threat of Communism" are two characters, one with the Metropolitan sticking out of his pocket; under another notice-board (both credited to the Automobile Association!) saying "Communist Infiltrated Pressure Groups" two men, one with the People's Voice in his pocket and I think a weapon, the other bearded and reminiscent of Castro.
I wrote to both the Wellington papers protesting against this unasked-for propaganda being put in my letter-box. I believe the word "droppings" was used in one, but the other was irreproachable. Neither of these letters was printed. I feel muzzled, but would revive if H.B.R. would amend your published opinion on the quality of the Metropolitan Magazine.
The comment referred to was written before the May, 1965, issue of Metropolitan was published. The comment did not endorse Metropolitan's political views, which it will be obvious from a study of his editorials H.B.R. does not share. The dropping of "propaganda" in Wellington letter boxes is a tactic of the Left as well as the Right and is hardly reproachable in either case.—Editors.
Sirs,—The Election Supplement printed only the policies of those candidates who were running (or standing, depending on the individual), and not that of those who were elected unopposed. I realise that some of these removed their copy before it was sent to the printer, but there were others, including myself, who felt that our election policies should be presented to the students even though we were not opposed, and who consequently left our copy in, expecting it to be printed.
I realise that there is money at stake, and Salient money, what's more, but I feel that students would have been glad to know whether I was and remain a rabid Fascist, or just a Communist like everyone else; and I have no doubt that they hold similar curiosity about others on Exec.
May I ask you for a revision of your policy on this?
Sirs,—In spite of loud, indig-attack on the Taylor ticket, both at Forum and in the last issue of Salient, I feel that both the executive and the students generally may have benefited from it.
It should have made the students realise how little most of them know about what is going on at executive level, and make them see how necessary it is for them to take a greater interest in executive movements. Increased student interest should greatly benefit the executive and enable them to be more representative of the student body, who elected them, than they have been previously.
I disagree with G.E.J.L., who staled that Mr. McKinlay was not a master of either the art of critical or constructive speaking. If Mr. McKinlay has shocked the students into realising their ignorance of executive matters, and the need for improving communications between the executive and the student body, surely this is criticism to good purpose.
Mr. Shand made the point that, because Mr. McKinlay had attended no executive meetings, belonged to no sub-committees, and was not on the list of those students receiving executive minutes, he was "completely uninformed"—but he takes no account of the fact that minutes of executive meetings are available to all interested students on the executive noticeboard and at the office.
Mr. Shand, who claimed that Mr. McKinlay was ignorant, speaking of matters he had not considered till some hours beforehand, and merely creating a limelight for himself, did not, I feel, do Mr. McKinlay justice. It is hardly likely that an experienced speaker like Mr. McKinlay would make such serious allegations without previous consideration and from a "completely uninformed" position; and it is, hardly fair to Mr. McKinlay's intelligence to suggest he made fictitious statements merely to have the limelight for some 20 minutes when he could have had it for a year or more by using an executive position with the same self-advancement he was attacking.
That Mr. McKinlay refused to be explicit is not surprising; he would have realised that had he substantiated his allegations he would have left himself open to slander actions.
Mr. McKinley's use of Mr. Taylor's past and private lives, however relevant he felt it to be to his attack, was where he over-stepped the mark: in appealing to the salacious instinct in his audience he was in fact undermining their confidence in him, and their willingness to consider his allegations seriously.
Alison J. Service
St. Matthew's Passion
Sirs,—It is perhaps an unfortunate coincidence that every time I have the opportunity to read your paper Salient I am brought to a sudden stop by some snide comment about Roman Catholicism. I refer in this instance to a paragraph on page 2 of your issue for April 27, which carries an insinuation that Roman Catholics are inhibited from following a course in philosophy.
As a Roman Catholic and a student of philosophy, I claim that the insinuation is not true. The column in which the paragraph occurs is aptly labelled "Pettipoint" for the point is petty indeed. It may interest you readers to know that I am a graduate student of the University of Auckland and have included philosophy in my degree and continue to read extensively in that subject for my own interest and betterment.
R. J. Matthews
Sirs,—Mr. Lawrence has thirteen concessions for students—Bravo! It is a pity that students are as yet largely unaware of the marvellous benefits he has bestowed upon us. However, as it is over three months since the I.D. cards were first issued it could reasonably be expected that students would possess these cards by now. The fact that there are still several hundred cards with misplaced photographs does not seem unduly to concern Mr. Lawrence as I.D. Cards Manager.
Observations suggest that Mr. Lawrence's interest in cards is confined to manipulating Hearts and Spades in the Common Room, rather than fulfilling his obligations to students. It must also be noted that Mr. Lawrence at the moment is desperately looking for someone to take over these two positions (I.D. Cards and Concessions Manager).
Is the secretaryship for sale, too?
In fairness, Mr. Lawrence has not been I.D. Cards director— whatever that peculiar position is—but has limited his activities to Secretary VUWSA and Concessions Director and Winter Tournament Committee and the Cards Club and . . .—Editors.