Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Spike: or, Victoria University College Review, September, 1922

Something New in International Relationships

page 35

Something New in International Relationships.

Five months ago at Genoa, a number of harrassed diplomats from many war-worn nations sought to find an economic way out of the old world's "tangled thicket of hates"—and sought in vain. About the same time eighty-three men and women students, absurdly young—most of them undergraduates—were met together in Turnov, Czechoslovakia. They represented thirty countries, and seventy universities, speaking twenty-one languages, embracing all faculties and confessing seven different faiths.

Victoria College was represented there by Mr. N. Robertson, a V.U.C. undergraduate who left in the N.Z.E.F. in 1917, and has since studied Engineering at Birmingham. The New Zealand delegate found himself amid all the ingredients of an international explosion. The problems of Fiume, Teschen, Upper Silesia, Poland, and the Ukraine, were represented by students for the most part of strong national convictions and with little pacifism in their makeup.

Yet they did not strive nor cry, and when any man heard their voice in the street, it is probable that they were stunting for the edification of the City Fathers, or putting through a tabloid athletic meet under the joint solicitations of an American "physical jerkist"and a Cambridge "Blue," the two teams, "green" and "blue" being formed without respect to any race other than athletic.

In intervals of amiable revelry, they managed to put through some solid discussions and findings. The report to hand states, among many things:—

"The Receiving Lands gave many a lead to the giving on questions of self-help and money-raising; the whole European Student Relief was conceived of as the Sharing of a Common Task; and every country present, even those in most desperate need, pledged itself to a big united effort to help the students of Russia.

"Unanimous opinion that it was imperative that European Student Relief should press on its work (a) for Russia, (b) for Refugee Students, (c) for the firm establishment of self-help schemes in Central Europe.

"After seeing the work at first hand, and meeting and making friends with many of the students who have been helped thereby. I cannot say strongly enough that the work is worth while. The most apathetic and antagonistic could not see with their own eyes the need, and the work being done to relieve it, and hear with their own ears the gratitude expressed for that help, however slight it might have been, without being deeply moved."

This activity of Victoria College is one that very few of the public can find fault with. From our Capping Processions, our Undergrad Suppers, our Inter-'Varsity Debates, they may glean an indifferent conception of what we stand for, and whether our motto means anything. But service with a dash of sacrifice in it makes its appeal to student and labourer, reformer and democrat, believer page 36 and infidel, and it opens doors and makes reconciliations that the world is brokenly waiting for.

One might hazard as an up-to-date paraphrase of "Sapientia Magis Auro Desideranda," "True University Spirit avails where material consideration fails, and to it is sacrifice more fittingly paid." The university that can ring true to such a challenge need not fear for its standing in the eyes of thinking men. The universities have this year gathered some £1,600 for this purpose with some outside assistance. It is probable that this does not fully represent the victory of the spiritual over the material that waits, to be claimed.

G. S. T.