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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 11, No. 6. June 3rd, 1948

Editorial Comment

page 2

Editorial Comment

V.U.C. students must be a selfish lot. As a result of their selfishness, a number of European and Chinese students will die in the next year. This is not idle supposition. A substantial amount of the funds raised in New Zealand for I.S.S. are used for the maintenance of sanatoria. Deaths occur in sanatoria and when there is less food there are more deaths. This year the I.S.S. Committee arranged the work days so that there was as little as possible conflict with other activities. Summer sports were nearly over and winter sports had not begun; Extrav rehearsals had not yet started and exams were still months away. In spite of this, only about 60 students, out of a College of 2300, were prepared to take part in the work for Student Relief.

There is no possibility that any student did not know that the work days were being held, because there was a booth in the hall for nearly a fortnight. Plenty of people looked at the posters, but very few signed up for jobs. The work of the I.S.S. Committee was not made any easier by the refusal of the Professorial Board to allow members of the committee to make direct appeals in lecture rooms before lectures—they were not even asked to give up lecture time.

Even students to whom the fate of their fellows overseas is of no importance have lost something. Over 100 people who asked for students to work for them had to be refused. This will help neither the Building Fund nor the general attitude of the public to V.U.C.

The Dominion target for I.S.S. this year is £3000. V.U.C. has so far raised £84 towards its share of this sum, of which £64 came from the work days. £9/10/- from the Isobel Baillie recital. £5/10/- from the tea dance and £5 from donations. There is still time to redeem the situation. Campaigns will be organized this term and next, and their success requires the support of every student not just 60.

An Illusion

Many students complain that Student Relief sends funds overseas when it is required in this country. Actually there are very few desperate cases in Now Zealand, but when there are cases they are assisted by I.S.S. At the moment there is one student in Christchurch who is being assisted by I.S.S.

How la the Money Spent?

Of the Swiss Fr. 42,566 (about 11d. N.Z.) made aavilable by the N.Z. I.S.S. Committee in the financial year ending September, 1947, half were used in China according to the wishes of the donors. The funds sent to China were divided between the National Student Relief Committee in Shanghai, and the I.S.S. Committee in Nanking, and were used in these two organizations' general programme of student relief, including student centres, nutrition projects, international scholarships, etc. Full information concerning the Chinese Committee's programme can be found in the W.S.R. Annual Report on "The Road to Recovery." The funds used in Europe were divided as follows:—
Student Rest Centre. Combloux, France. Swiss Fr. 9000
Student Rest Centre, Moni Pendeli, Greece 3000
Polish TB Students, at Leysin, Switzerland 4000
Refugee Students in France 5000

The Combloux Rest Centre is one of W.S.R.'s oldest and most successful projects. It is subsidised by the French Social Insurance Scheme but requires Fr. 3000 a month to maintain a supply of nourishing food.

The Moni Pendeli Rest Centre is a similar one which caters for rundown students. The W.S.R. contribution is 1200 Fr. a month. The other two items of expenditure need no explanation.

Other Activities

I.S.S. is not concerned only with relief. Its other activities include the exchange of information, and the facilitation of student travel and exchange. We include some items of information which we have received recently. They are reprinted from the N.Z. I.S.S. Bulletin which we receive regularly from Dominion headquarters in Christchurch.

Greece. Greek students amongst those exiled by the Greek Government to the bleak island of Ikaria, have been brought under the care of W.S.R., which is undertaking to bring them clothes and medical aid as many of them are suffering from tuberculosis.

Holland. At the revival of the annual intervarsity sports for Dutch women students, the prewar car race was eliminated, owing to the shortage of cars and petrol, and a hitchhiking race was substituted.

Poland. Before the war, there were 27 Polish universities. There are now 36. With a decrease in the Polish population of 10 million, the increase in the proportionate number of students following university courses is more than doubled.

Moreover, there has been a change in the social origin of the students. The gates of higher education are now open to the children of workers and peasants. The admission courses, preliminary courses, and proper selection of the newly entering students assures the accessibility of the institutions of higher education of students from humble social origins which was impossible ten years ago.—A. McLeod.