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September 16, 2013 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Life and Death Situation at Victoria

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences opened their doors to the public with an open day, which celebrated the breadth and depth of the teaching in the faculty via exploration of the theme of births, deaths and marriages.

‘The Big Day In’, held on Saturday 7 September at Kelburn campus, was a free event consisting of public lectures on a variety of topics loosely based around the day’s theme. The day culminated with a ‘Town versus Gown’ quiz, which saw the ‘Town’ team led by Mayor Celia Wade-Brown take on University lecturers and VUWSA President Rory McCourt in a light-hearted test of their knowledge of the theme of the day.

“The value of a day like this is that the University and its tremendous knowledge base is made available to a wider audience, both in the University and beyond,” said Victoria University Chancellor Ian McKinnon.

“The number of people who turned out for the event is testimony to the fact Wellingtonians like to learn, and appreciate lectures in different areas.”

Lecture topics included the birth and rebirth of direct democracy, the marriages of East and West in art, and the rituals of death, dying, and an afterlife. Issues such as the tension between wanting more democracy and the state’s inherent distrust in the people, and whether society’s obsession with fictional serial killers indicates the desire to not think about violence as rational and everyday, were put forward to an engaged audience.

While students were few and far between, some students Salient spoke to said it was good that the audience asked really in-depth questions and that the food provided at lunchtime was “great”.

Salient also spoke to Deputy Dean of the Faculty Professor Peter Whiteford and VUWSA President Rory McCourt, both of whom expressed pleasure at how the day had gone.

“BAs and the Faculty of Humanities often get a hard time. The day has shown the quality of the teaching and learning in the faculty and the difference the liberal arts can make in the world,” said McCourt.

McCourt was wearing a dinosaur onesie throughout the day, and Salient has thus far been unable to confirm why. More information will be reported as it comes to light.


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