Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 30, No. 12. 1967.
Sirs,—Your leader of August 8 has prompted me to question the feeling of the mass of VUW students and staff toward the Vietnam conflict. I believe that at present none can objectively say the majority (large or small) of the student body are either for or against American involvement; whether they are pacifists, or merely indifferent toward the whole business.
It may be said that Salient Is a reliable barometer of student feeling. Is it? Our paper reports that numbers in the recent M. Taylor-Clifford march "have been hailed as increased anti-New Zealand participation feeling on campus" (quoted leader). But is there anybody on campus who is in a position to make such a "hailing"?
Again: a number of sheets were distributed in the cafe and elsewhere, in the period immediately preceding the American envoys visit. These implied that there would be protesters marching "on behalf" of the university.
What can we do about this? I suggest a referendum whereby every person on campus would have an opportunity to register his or her opinion.
Certain difficulties in pro-cedure would immediately arise, notable among them being the methods of organisation, and thereby the validity of the results. But there will always be sceptics, no matter the issue. An effici-ently organised referendum would be accepted by most of VUW as a realistic assess-ment of student feeling.
Like many students, I can see a danger of truth being clouded by perhaps unfounded speculation and appeal to emotion.
H. F. KING