Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 16. 1972
Two Views for the SGM — ob Campbell Tues. 18th July 12—2p.m
Two Views for the SGM
ob Campbell Tues. 18th July 12—2p.m.
Medical Supplies or Cricket Pavilions
$2,000 was voted at last weeks S.G.M. to the Medical Aid Found for North Vietnam, but desperate attempts are under way by the right wing to prevent the funds from leav-ng the Studass coffers. An S.G.M. called for Wednesday 19th July, will consider a motion to prevent any donation being made to the Vietnam Aid Appeal or any of its associate bodies.
The motion is moved by an aging law student Henry Stubbs, who tried all other avenues before deciding that democracy itself might even stop the money. But the real man (?) behind the moves is apprentice-capitalist John Mowbray. Stubbs and a few more of the forces of reaction at first tried to pull off a Supreme Court injunction to stop the flow of funds, but obviously ran up against the proverbial brick wall. Its pretty bad when the law itself seems in league with the commies. Anyway, the situation as is stands at the moment is that the Executive have already signed a post-dated cheque for the $2,000 which they will cancel if the motion at the S.G.M. is supported.
Why Help Patch Up Commies?
But let it not be said that those who want to deny the Vietnamese people any of our good clean money have no constructive alternatives for the money. Patching up children etc. is all very well, but charity begins at home and apparently the sports clubs are just desperate for a pavillion in Kelburn Park. If the $2000 donation goes ahead then plans for this venture could be set back a little.
But it seems as though its not the actual amount which annoys those who have called the S.G.M., but the principle of giving any money to the Vietnamese, why else have they asked that 'no donation' be given? So it looks as though the lines are fairly clearly drawn over attitudes to the war in Vietnam.
Its surprising in a way that good humanitarian New Zea-landers should take that sort of attitude over medical aid really. Even the National Party Government was trumpeting around a few years ago how good it was that our boys at Qui Nhon were patching up ail-comers be they commies or not. And that was when our own troops were shooting at and being shot by Vietnamese.
The money for medical aid will be collected over the next few months in New Zealand and will then be sent to the Medical Aid Fund for North Vietnam and P.R.G. controlled areas of the southern zone, which has its headquarters in London. The money is spent there on medical supplies which are then shipped to the North of Viet nem.
The War's Over, Isn't IT?
The war, as Mr. Franzheim said the other day after being attacked by 70 people who don't believe all the U.S.I.S. tell them, is 'virtually over'. It is of course, even forgetting the appalling costs in human life of continued U.S. bombing (and that shouldnt be hard for the right wing) by no means all over. According to ex-minister of War David Thompson the war this year will cost us $2 million. This figure, given that the estimated total cost of having troop; in Southeast Asia this year is $12,850,000, is almost certainly a gross underestimate.
New Zealand is still involved in the destruction of the Vietnamese nation, and it is costing us an awful lot. No matter how much money we give in the form of medical aid we can never wipe off the shame of our involvement. The D.R.V. and P.R.G. continually assert their solidarity with the people of the western countries, while reiteratint their undying opposition to our governments. Many New Zealanders have now decided that its about time we show ed some tangible solidarity with the people of Vietnam.
Student Funds for Student Purposes
The decision of the S.G.M. of 3 July to send $2,000 to the Vietnam Aid Appeal raises a number of very serious issues. They are issues that demand the attention of all of us, they cannot be ignored any longer by any student at this University.
In 1969 the Association fee was $13. It was raised to $19 in 1970 and last year it was raised to $24. It is a fee moreover that must be paid for by ail of us. It can only be avoided, at the discretion of the Vice Chancellor, on grounds of hardship.
After 7 months the Association is already in the red and this is despite an extra $30,000 on its overall budget of last year. The Association has an annual income from its 6000 students at around $144,000. Of this amount approximately $96,000 goes in to the Union Building and maintenance Trust Funds and a special trust account. A further $6000 goes to Publications Board to run 'Salient', 'Cappicade' and various handbooks. $6000 is not sufficient for these purposes and traditionally further money must be found each year for Publications Board. This year it is expected that the loss may be as high as $1000
This accounts for $17 out of the $24 fee and leaves only $7 or $42,000 for the day to day running of the Association. Out of this sum $11,400 goes in wages and Honoraria, $2,900 in general office expenses, $12,100 in Administration and levies to national student bodies leaving only $17,500 for student activities. Student activities essentially means tournaments and club grants.
In other words out of $144,000 on $17,500 is used for general student activities. It is true that the student does see the rest in terms of Union Buildings and 'Salient'.
The point is that the compulsory levy of $24 is to be used to administrate the Association for the benefit of students. Quite clearly when only $7 is used to run the Association and only $3 used for studen't activities this is not being done. The aims and objects of the Association are well set out in the Constitution. The first summarises them all - "To further the interests of the University and its students" - The remainder talk of fostering intellectual and social life in the university, promoting the health and physical welfare of its members, promoting sport, printing and publishing magazines and newspapers. S.11 summarises them again "To arrange to- hold and conduct plays, concerts, carnivals, processions, dances, festivals, tournaments, conferences, entertainments and other sporting intellectual and social functions or events as Executive may think fit."
We pay $24 every year tor all these activities and only $4 is spent on them.
There is also a provision in the constitution, and rightly so, for the Association "to assist any charity or charitable purpose which in the opinion of Executive it may be .desirable to assist."
The universities have been in the fore front of the cry for 1% Aid We have already donated to charities over $1000 this year. This has come from the $42,000 set aside for Union Administration and student activities. It represents over 2%. Now it has been proposed to send $2000 to a further charity. In one stroke we are asked to donate a further 5% to a single charity.
We are already in the red and cannot afford it. Where is this money to be found. In this years budget $11,000 was set aside for sports and cultural clubs. Only half of this has been paid out. It is now proposed that what is left in this fund will be used for the $2000 grant to the Vietnam Medical Aid Appeal.
From our $24 less than $2 is used for Club grants These are the clubs that in the long run fulfill the aims of the Association. To do this they get less than $2. If the grant goes ahead they will receive only $1.50.
These are the vital issues that concern all of us A further S.G.M. has been called for Wednesday 19th July to consider the motion "That this Association send no money to the Vietnam Medical Aid Appeal."
The issue of sending money to North Vietnam is only at secondary importance. The real question is how is our $24 being spent. Why do student activities see only $3.
This question cannot be discussed properly when only 150 students attend. We must all be there. If you do not attend this Meeting future S.G.M.s will continue to vote away large sums of association money to purposes and organisations that bear no relation to the interests and objects of this Association.