Thirteen thousand dollars granted by the Rockefeller Foundation has been the most recent recognition of the success and value of the Student Council's Salzburg Seminar. Plaudits, orchids, and what you will, have been heaped aplenty since the last echoes of many languages ceased to reverberate through the great halls of Leopoldskron Castle. Salzburg was indeed a unique experiment, but the experimental period is over, and with sufficient funds to continue the project at least through 1950, now is the time for long range planning.
Out of the "intellectual Vacuum" that was Europe at the war's end, has arisen gradually an ineatiable demand for knowledge and more knowledge to fill that vacuum. Students have helped rebuild universities with their bare hands. Many have been turned away from colleges for lack of space. Often there is only enough paper for one students to take notes for an entire class. Few books are available and, whenever a magazine is able to increase its publication, all issues are soon hungrily devoured.
The craving for intellectual exchange throughout the Continent today is pointed up by the fifty-thousand letters received in reply to a "Voice of America" broadcast suggesting exchange of letters with persons in this country.
Into this setting the Salzburg Seminar rose like an oasis in a desert. That it was more than a mirage is evidenced by its emulators who plans projects this year. Washington University NSA will sponsor one in Copenhagen, while a University of Chicago group plans to do the same in Germany. Other colleges throughout the nation have been stimulated to attempt similar projects, as has the Canadian International Student Service.
Soon the question will arise as to whether the administration of Salzburg should remain in the constantly changing hands of the Student Council after 1950. Whether Salzburg continues as a Council project or is transferred to some other agency, two factors should be considered in making the decision. It is essential that Salzburg remain close enough to the student body and faculty to insure continued active interest, and the academic freedom so basic in making the original Salzburg Seminar successful must be preserved free of any political entanglements.