The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Student Survey – Vietnam: right or wrong?

Survey conducted by Reflector Staff

Of apparent concern to the nation are the opinions of the country’s college students over the crisis in Viet Nam.


Each and every day the news media tell their listeners and readers of the latest developments in student protest – both pro and con Viet Nam. Polls are being conducted, statistics compiled and hypotheses and conclusions presented.


From available information, it would appear that college students DO support this country’s policy and that the draft card burners and anti-war marchers who triggered the current furor do, in fact, represent the vocal minority.


In a recent poll conducted by Playboy magazine, for example, a nationwide survey of 200 campuses revealed that 82 percent of those included in the sample group agreed that the United States has an obligation to provide active military assistance to South Viet Nam. As a matter of fact, 56 percent thought that we are unable to effect a negotiated settlement before the end of 1965, we should push the war into North Viet Nam. Sixty-seven percent of those polled favored the bombing of military installations and supply depots in populous areas of the North, such as Hanoi.


The Playboy College Opinion Survey went on to say that there were very few differences in uniformity of opinion on a regional basis. It did point out, however, that while 62 percent of all student respondents favored the bombing of military installations, only 49 percent of the students on Southern campuses concurred.


The Reflector became interested in seeing how closely Mississippi State University opinion paralleled the results on the national level. Using a random group and the same questions employed by Playboy, the staff of The Reflector conducted a campus-wide opinion poll of MSU students.


The complete and comparative results of the two surveys are shown in the blocked section appearing on this page. Seemingly the attitudes of State students fairly well coincide with national thinking, with MSU’ers tending to be slightly more “liberal,” or at least moderate, in their outlook on the present war effort.


Local opinion seems to reflect the attitude: “Well, I’m not quite as sure of our right to be in Viet Nam in the first place, but if we’re going to be there let’s put out our bloody best even if it entails pushing the war into North Viet Nam.” This summation is shown by the comparative figures in questions 1 and 2 of the poll.


The only point showing absolute concurrence in the two surveys is in attitudes expressed regarding the avoidance of bombing North Vietnamese military installations. Sixty-seven percent of both groups (national and MSU) said that we should NOT avoid bombing in the populated areas of the North.


Another phase of student opinion that interested The Reflector was student reaction to the forthcoming blood drive in support of American fighting forces in Southeast Asia. Another poll was conducted with the following results:


Apparently the Coordinating Committee has been fairly successful in publicizing the bleedin” set for Dec. 10. As of Thursday, Nov. 18, 80.1 percent of those questioned had previous knowledge of this campus effort.


Students were then asked whether they had been influenced by either President Colvard’s dismissal of Friday classes for blood donors, or the ROTC department’s edict on excuse from drill for their members participating in the project. Thirty five and nine tenths percent indicated that they had been influenced. Many of these students, however, told poll-takers that they would have donated even if the “bribe” (as one male student called it) had not been offered.


EDITOR’S NOTE: With regard to the two polls conducted by The Reflector, it must be pointed out that because of an overworked and undermanned staff as well as a time limitation, the surveys were not conducted with the usual scientific disciplines adhered to by professional pollsters. We do feel, however, that even though the results may or may not be completely accurate, they give a good cross sectional view of current student thought.

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Student Survey – Vietnam: right or wrong?