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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 5, No. 8. October 6, 1942

American Students and the War

American Students and the War

"The attitude of American students can be well seen in their relation to the Youth Congress and other, general youth bodies," states Bob Gollan, in an article written for "Honi Soit."

Mr. Gollan is a University Medallist in History and was Australian Representative to the World Youth. Conference in Mexico, 1941.

"They believe that men and women in Universities are not distinct from apprentices in factories, but faced by essentially similar problems, and so they have worked together towards a common solution of them."

The American Government has for long recognised that an essential element of democracy is the training of the young men and women of the nation to become politically active citizens.

This principle was given practical form in 1933 when the American Youth Congress was formed largely on the initiative of Mrs. Roosevelt.

By 1940 it had a membership of some 5,000,000 people.

University students and organisations have played an important part in its development.

One two thousand delegate Negro Conference had as its central belief that "the main Negro problem to-day is the defeat of Nazism."

In June of last year a special youth organisation, the United Youth for Defence, was established to co-ordinate the work of young men and women in civilian preparation for war. It had the support of Mrs. Roosevelt and such top line publicity figures as Gene Tunney and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. Its aims were set out in a 10-point programme which amounts to the full participation of youths of all ages, races and creeds in the war against Fascism.

Students Enthusiastic

"Up to December 7 there were three important National Student Organisations—the American Students' Union, the International Student Federation of America. I left America a week after she entered the war, but during that short time some amazing developments had taken place.

"The International Student Service and the National Student Federation had decided to urge on the basis of the ten-point programme of the United Youth for Defence. The American Student Union, according to a report I received from one of its executive members, was agreed in principle on the same course of action;

American students I met were really enthusiastic about war and supremely confident about the outcome. Their unanimous enthusiasm was refreshing on contrast to the pessimism that one so often finds in Australia. But then, of course, they have not yet experienced two and a half years of war.

"They will do their full part in the destruction of the Axis and the restoration of world peace on a more reasonable basis than existed before the war."