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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 5, No. 4 June 17, 1942

Editorial — University and the War


University and the War

To-day we are facing the age-old problem of war in a new setting. The aroma of learning of the ages which may settle on a university may be conducive to thought; is it conducive to action? However that may be, our position in the community cannot justify inaction. Anti-fascist speeches alone will not keep the Japanese away—where trained and spirited defence will. Many students are serving in the armed forces, at home and overseas, but that does not excuse us from taking our part. There are men in the E.P.S. who should be in the Home Guard, there are women who imagine that they are too busy to devote one evening a week to E.P.S. This in a University College which has always prided itself on its advanced views; in a country which may well need to be in a state of preparedness in the near future; at a time when men and women in Europe are fighting together as partisans against Hitler; at a time when the most old and conservative Universities in England are putting into action schemes for real war work for students, we remain without any real activity. We must not gloss over this inertia—we must combat it by every means in our power and recognise that the more strong is our defence, the less likely are we to be attacked. In England women are active in the Home Guard; in at least one part of New Zealand they act as auxiliaries.

We must ask ourselves: Can we honestly say that our actions as well as our words are anti-fascist?