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Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 31, Number 21. September 10, 1968

Doug White at Rotary function

Doug White at Rotary function

The President of the Students' Association, Doug White, and the President-elect, Gerard Curry, spoke at a Rotary luncheon on Monday last week.

Gerard was reported at some length in both the Dominion and the Evening Post.

Doug was not reported. He spoke of some of the factors which produce and affect the opinions and ideas of students.

Gerard Curry concentrated on what he thought students were actually thinking about.

Douglas said that today a university and its members were very much part of the community.

"Student opinions and student ideas are not made in isolation. They arise from our surroundings: the university and society.

"Whether it be the idea of installing contraceptive vending machines to publicise the illegitimacy problem or opposition to the war in Vietnam, students are affected by what goes on around us," he said.

"It is trite to say that students are in the news. This year our T.V. screens have been full of demonstrations — from Berlin-Paris-London-New York-Tokyo and Cape Town."

"Sometimes demonstrations have erupted into violence marked by police brutality— Paris and Berlin. Sometimes the news media distorts the story out of all proportion in its eagerness to jump on the bandwagon of overseas sensationalism. as with the demonstration in Wellington at the time of the opening of Parliament."

"The single most important fact which has produced tension and strain al many overseas universities is growth in the student roll:

1950 1964 1968
U.S.A. 2½mill. 5 mill. 7 mill.
France 140,000 450,000
Czechoslovakia 44,000 142,000

"Internal university problems undoubtedly stem from this extraordinary growth in the student population.

"Demonstrations such as the one at Columbia University, New York, earlier this year occur because students are not satisfied with the authoritarian approach of university administrators.

"Outside the universities, external issues cause demonstrations. The violent anti-Vietnam march on the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square, London, earlier this year included students and was just one of the many expressions of opposition to the Vietnam war in recent years.

"In the United Slates itself many students first experienced the failure of their society when they joined the civil rights struggles of the early 1960's. Since then many have turned to the Vietnam war against which, for moral reasons or otherwise, many are prepared to actively express their disapproval."

"It is only possible to speculate on the influence student demonstrations have on one another around the world. There is certainly not evidence to suggest an international conspiracy.

"Students in New Zealand can see that our society are affected by some of the factors observed overseas."