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May 14, 2007 | by  | in Features |
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Confession Box

Since the dawn of history, mankind has had an innate urge to confess their deepest and darkest secrets. During caveman times, the method was simple; one caveman would confess “ugh” to another, which was either accepted or rejected with a whack over the head via a club. Confessions eventually evolved from the oral to the written, with the development of wax and papyrus, hieroglyphics and clay tablets. Now in 2007 Salient is introducing a new method for mankind to rid them selves of guilt – web cam.

The idea is simple: come up to the Salient office, sit in front of our highly developed Apple iMac and tell the world what dastardly deeds you have been up to. To get the ball rolling we selected four occupations that deal with confessions in one way or another to provide us with one of their own. We asked Student President Geoff Hayward, US President George W. Bush, Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast, and Catholic priest Father Kevin Conners.

President Geoff Hayward – Victoria University of Wellington Students Association

As VUWSA President Hayward has to present an image of approachability for students to address issues in regards to their studies and experience at Victoria University. Traditionally the door to the President’s office has been open for any student who wants to discuss in confidence any grievences to do with lectures, tutorials and student services.

In regards to confessions and how it relates to being VUWSA President Hayward had this to say. “Sometimes it’s really hard to confide to another person about the trials and tribulations of being a President. There’s very few people who know what it’s like to be a student President so maybe it’s just a little quiet place to take some time out”.

President George W. Bush – The United Snakes of America

A president has to be squeaky clean, just like the honest Richard Nixon demonstrated during his second term. When the heat is put on a president he is expected to confess any wrong doing while in office. The 42nd president, the morally upstanding Bill Clinton, presented great courage and political fortitude with his conditional confession regarding his cigar habit.

The popular Commander in Chief (the ‘Commander Guy’) currently sitting in the Oval Office George W. Bush kindly donated some time from his busy schedule to e-mail us a confession about what really goes down in Washington.

There are three ways to make a confession: you can come to the Salient office and sit in front of our special Confession Box, you can post it on www.youtube.com and email us the link or do it at home and email it to editor@salient.org.nz.

Father Kevin Conners – Victoria University Catholic Chaplain

Traditionally confessions were mediated in a box by a priest who acted the personal mediator between God and man as penitence was delivered. While usually on the receiving end of confessions Conners provided us with a revealing insight into the relationship between confessers and priests. Turning the tradition of confession on its head, the priest accounted for an evening of drunken revellery as a 17 year old.

Mayor Kerry Prendergast – Wellington City Council

The public office of Mayor involves overseeing hundreds of private documents each year, the ability to be responsible and professional is essential to the role of Mayor. Issues of confidentiality regularly come to the attention of the Mayor as the council tenders for contracts to deliver public services to the greater city. In an exclusive coup for Salient during an election year Prendergast reveals how she curried favour with Victoria University to gain a university carpark while she was studying part time for an MBA.

Prendergast used her influence to bypass the official application process for gaining a university carpark permit. On our webcam footage Prendergast says “I guess I used my position as Mayor to ring up the hierarchy at the university and ask them if it was possible for me to have a carpark under Rutherford House for that particular lecture on a Wednesday afternoon at Rutherford House and they said yes”.

Digital Media Design lecturer Morgan Barnard was asked for his comments on Salient’s Confession Box. “While many media outlets struggle with how to come to terms with user generated content, Salient is taking the right steps to create a new media platform for user generated content on their site.”

All confessions can be viewed at http://www.salient.org.nz/columns/confessional/. The confession of the week, as judged by the editor, will receeve a ten dollar book voucher.

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