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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 8. 1965.

Student Action and WUS

Student Action and WUS

Are students interested in anything else but their own pockets? Over 1500 students demonstrated to protest to Government about inadequate fees and bursaries.

Would 1500 (or even 15?) turn out to help someone else besides themselves? And how many students are aware that in some areas of the world 80 per cent of the student population suffers from diseases such as Tb, dysentery, malaria, or pleurisy, all partly induced by malnutrition? How many even care?

Apparently though, somebody doesn't think we students are beyond hope. A campaign to increase student interest in overseas problems is being planned for Victoria by the World University Service (WUS). The local WUS committee has noted the vigour with which Vic students have protested against their own conditions. It hopes to help channel some of this vigour into helping improve the far worse conditions of students overseas.

The average student may be pardoned for asking exactly what WUS is, and if he is indeed a WUS member as the blurb sheet tells him. Well, the World University Service is a voluntary association of university people—students, staff and administrators. Its aim is to help students of all nations and creeds. Born in the ashes of World War I as a relief service, WUS now operates in 60 countries. It channels effort and funds into fields such as student health, hostels, scholarships, co-operative projects, and the provision of books and equipment in underdeveloped areas. Prominent amongst its activities has been the provision of help for student refugees from many strife torn lands. Refugees from Algeria, Angola. China, Hungary, North Korea, Mozambique. South Africa and North Vietnam have been aided. So have student victims of racial discrimination and natural disasters. Globally, WUS now has an annual budget of £830.000.

WUS has long been active in New Zealand Universities. Under its earlier name of the International Student Service it was first fostered at Canterbury University. Led by Sir James Right and Dr. H. D. Broadhead, it was responsible for transmitting thousands of pounds for student relief. Following the 1950 International Assembly its name in New Zealand was changed to WUS, and in 1953 its National Committee was moved to Otago.

Currently WUS in New Zealand has Dr. P. J. Llewellyn as its President and Professor" H. N. Parton as its national chairman. Amongst the many organisations which support it are the New Zealand University Students' Association, the Student Christian Movement, the Evangelical Unions, the Catholic Students' Guild, and the New Zealand University Teachers' Association. It is represented at Vic by a committee of students, chaired by Andrew Hornblow, who hope to persuade Vic students to prove that they are prepared to do something for students overseas. In the last few years WUS in New Zealand has raised an average of £800 for distribution overseas. Vic students should be able to help increase this total to one more in keeping with the means of a prosperous country such as New Zealand.