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Why You Should Read and Contribute to Salient…

Emily Braunstein



You made it!
Here you are, at Vic. And who are you? Well, maybe you’re a bright young thing, fresh out of NCEA with a career goal, a study plan and room in a hostel. Maybe you’re a retired grandparent who went to work at 16, here to fulfill a life-long goal. Maybe you just got back from overseas and are standing in the quad blinking in the harsh Wellington wind, trying to figure out where all your friends have scattered to and just how New Zealand got so damned small. You’re motivated; you’re disillusioned. You’re organised, specialised, compromised. You might have savings. You might have debt. You might have three kids, a dog and a stainless steel fridge. You might have a hangover.
It’s important to think about who you are. It’s important to identify what you are; the options are myriad, and if you hesitate, someone else will decide for you. And just think about it! At Vic you could be part of any one of six faculties or one of over 30 schools. You could be a member of one (or more) of 100 clubs. The number of campuses you could be associated with seems to increase by the month. You could condemn VUWSA, or stand as a candidate. You could do yoga. Become a stoner. Be the type of student who works all night and gets straight As or the type who parties all night and gets straight Qs. And just doing any of these things carries an instant method for identification, so watch out – two minutes in the Octagon could mark you as a card game geek faster than two minutes in a panel van could make you a single mother.
Here at Salient, there’s only one thing we want to identify you as: A Vic Student. We don’t care what you study, but we care about why. We don’t endorse a political opinion, but we want to hear you justify yours. We wanna know what you love and what you hate, what moves you and what pisses you off. And we want to move you, and piss you off… and then we want to hear about that.
Salient is your communal place – it’s kind of like the community centre in your hometown, but with swearing and shit. From your disparate campuses, your varied fields, from your warring hostels and your diverse hangouts, this is the place where you can all come. You get to hang up the wallpaper, you get to tear it down again. You get to fight in the middle and pash in the corners. You get to organise the social functions – or sneer at the people who do. This is your place. Use it.
You know how everyone keeps telling you that these are the best years of your life? Well, you know why that is? Because you’re almost free from responsibility, sure; because you can do what you want and (to an extent) damn the consequences, absolutely. But there’s more, too. It’s because your university years should be the ones when you’re exposed to a greater mix of people than ever before, or ever again. I’m talking race, I’m talking religion; I’m talking political views and musical tastes and mathematical obsessions. It’s from that interaction that the richness of your university experience comes and if your campus can’t provide a place for that to happen then, damnit, we will. That’s why at Salient we run low on censorship, and high on variety. Or we try to, anyway. And we can – with your help. Just like your community hall, if you want to hang out in the pages of Salient, you need to take care of them – or you won’t have anywhere to hang out at all.
Read Salient. It’s yours. It’s you.