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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 37, Number 25. 25th September 1974

Ward replies

Ward replies

Dear Roger,

Peter J, Tait-Jamieson's letter of the last issue calls for some reply.

The figure of $75 per square foot for the interior rebuilding (not strengthening) of Hunter I quoted I "attained" from the Assistant-Principal, Dr Culliford: I stressed this was only a very rough costing — it is good to see that more concrete costing are to be made. Costs may be "surely irrelevant" in Peter's letter, but they are vital to any serious analysis of the situation. Whatever one's personal aesthetic tastes towards Hunter, the costs of different proposals are of considerable importance, especially since someone (eg Government) is going to be asked to foot a higher bill.

I agree with Peter's comments on the architectural delights of Kirk, Easterfield and the Waikato campus; but would suggest that more is to be gained from pressuring to avoid a repeat performance rather than pretending Hunter has architectural or aesthetic merit. If, as Peter suggests, the identity, character and sanity of this campus are represented by Hunter, it is high time for a restructuring of these values to take some account of the students here.

I am a little mystified what Peter means by the "thinly disguised middle class bureaucratic attitude" I am supposed to have. At the SRC discussion on Hunter I outlined what I saw as the political realities of the situation, and reported what I had learnt as a representative of students. As with any SRC decision, all members of exec are now bound to oppose the demolition of Hunter. I have no intention of shirking this obligation. If this is bureaucratism, could Peter Tait-Jamieson please tell me what correct representation is?

As I have stressed throughout my time on exec, criticism is very welcome as it provides the best way to find out what students are thinking and whether I am representing them properly or not. However, comments such as these are not particularly helpful as they don't present any concrete plan of action. Peter in his first line claims I am "selling out again", implying I have a habit of such actions. If there is anything he can point to, I would be very grateful. If not this becomes a meaningless rhetorical flourish. I entirely agree that I was not elected to sell out students interests, and as far as I can see I have not done so. I suggest Peter Tait-Jamieson reconsider.

Anthony Ward