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April 14, 1967 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1967-04-14

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FRIDAY, APRIL 14, 1967



FAR16I IA _* *a

,1 .

Partial Text of Draft Commission Report

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I. Introduction
During the last year, the issue
of class ranking for Selective Serv-
ice has become a source of con-
siderable conflict and tension in
many academic communities. It
has become a focal point for per-
sons with strong feelings about
the foreign policy of the United
States. the war in Vietnam, wars
in general, ways of meeting the
nation's military manpower needs,
student deferments, and grading,
as well as those concerned with
the specific issue of the use of
class rank as one criterion for
student deferments.
The University has shared fullyI
in the general tension which this
issue has aroused, as evidenced by
student agitation, a student ref-
erendum, sit-ins, and unprecedent-
ed attendance at faculty meetings.
This tension is not merely the re-
suit of a few agitators, although
it may be true that a few people
with very intense feelings have
been able to mobilize a large num-
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tense. It may also be true that
the intensity of the feelings arous-
ed has obscured some of the sub-
stantive issues involved.
I. The Committee and Its
Because many students were up-
set by the refusal of the University
to regard the results of a student
poll as binding, and in order to
assure a comprehensive review of
the complex issues involved, Pres-
ident Hatcher, on Nov. 28, 1966,
appointed a Committee on Class
Ranking for Selective Service. The
committee included three students,
three faculty members, three deans
and one member of the central
administration. Because the stu-
dents originally named to serve
on the committee declined to serve
on the grounds that the student
representatives should be named
by the students, the final commit-
tee was not constituted until Feb.
3, 1967.
In his letter of appointment,
President Hatcher asked the com-
mittee "to review the subject of
class ranking for Selective Serv-
ice and to make recommendations
as to what policy the University

should follow in subsequent aca-
demic periods." When he met with
the committee at its initial meet-
ing, President Hatcher indicated
that the charge was not meant to
be restrictive and that the com-
mittee was free to explore and
make recommendations about all
areas which it felt were relevant
to the central issue of ranking.
VI. Findingsj
A. Present Selective Service Pol-
icy Regarding Student Deferments
Selective Service regulations
provide for the deferment of reg-
istrants "whose activity in study
is found to be necessary to the
maintenance of the national
health, safety or interest." Fur-
ther, the regulations provide that
the director of Selective Service
"may promulgate criteria, which
shall be advisory only, concern-
ing the replacing of registrants
in Class 2-S." The current cri-
teria provide that an undergrad-
uate student may be deferred if
he attains a score of 70 or more
on the Selective Service College
Qualification Test or achieves a
class standing above a certain
percentage of the male students

in his class, the percentage vary- with regard to the legal rights of
ing with the class level of the students:


I student. There is a further stipula-
tion that the student be enrolledI
full time, that is, that he is pro-
gressing at a rate which will en-
able him to complete his degree!
in the time normally required for
his program of studies.
Graduate and professional stu-
dents are initially eligible for de-
ferment if they score at least 80
on the SSCQT or rank in the
upper quarter of their senior class
as undergraduates. The issue of
class rank is not relevant to their,
continued deferment.
Local boards are essentially au-'
tonomous and are free to require
a registrant to furnish any infor-
mation which they feel is rele-
vant to his case. In other words,
local boards are not required to
defer students who meet either
or both of these criteria nor or-
der the induction of those stu-
dents who do not meet either
of them. It should be emphasized
that there is considerable varia-
tion among local boards in the
kinds of information they re-
quest from persons seeking student
deferments and in the weight
which they give either to SSCQT
scores or to rank in class.
B. The Legal Rights of Selective
Service Boards
The President's Regulations gov-
erning Selective Service provide
that a local board has the author-
ity to subpoena any person to ap-
pear before it and to require such
person to produce any papers or
records which it deems necessary
or to testify, under oath, in re-
gard to any pertinent matter with-
in his knowledge. In an informal
legal opinion, a member of the
University's Law School faculty ex-
pressed the opinion that there is
a good possibility that. a local
board, if it so desired, could ob-
tai a court ruling compelling the
University to calculate and submit
the .class rank of any student.
Whether a local board would
choose to exercise this prerogative,
or simply not extend a student's
deferment, is a matter of conjec-
C. The Legal Rights of Students
The following legal opinion re-
ferred to in the previous section
contains the following statement






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"As much as can be said with
assurance is that it is possible
that a court could be induced
to hold that access by the indi-
vidual student to his class rank
for deferment purposes is a fed-
erally created privilege and that,
accordingly, the student posses-
ses standing to enforce the priv-
ilege against the University in
the courts. This probably is
most likely to be true in cases
in which the University with-
holding the information calcu-
lates male class rank for oth-
er purposes or can do so with-
out undue inconvenience and
where the University's refusal to
the student appears to repre-
sent a protest against federal
public policy as it relates to the
draft or the conduct of our for-
eign affairs ... The conclusion
reached, therefore, is that Judi-
cial compulsion to supply class
rank from a withholding Uni-
versity in a suit brought by a
student is at least in the realm
of possibility."
Whether any student would
choose to institute a legal action
to require the University to pro-
vide his rank in class is also a
question that has not yet arisen.
D. Present University of Michi-
igan Policy and Practice
It is the policy of the Univer-
sity of Michigan to supply to any
agency, at the request of the in-
dividual student concerned, any
information which it can reason-
ably make available.
For those undergraduate stu-
dents who request it, information
concerning their . class ranks is
sent from the Registrar's Office
to the Michigan State Selective
Service Headquarters, from whence
it is distributed to local boards
throughout the country. For all
except seniors, class ranks are
computed for male students, by
class, within each of the schools
and colleges; they are based on
the cumulative average. In the re-
port which goes to a student's
local board, he is classified in the
highest applicable category of the
Upper one-fourth, upper half,
upper two-thirds, upper three-
fourths, or, lowest fourth of his
For seniors seeking deferments
for graduate study, the same cate-
gories are used, but the rank! is
based on the work of the senior
year only.'
VII. Recommendations Regard-
ing University Practice for Spring;
The committee felt that it was
necessary to make one recommen-
dation for practice this spring
and a separate one for University
policy in subsequent years. It did
so for two reasons:
1. Conditions this spring are
quite different from those which

will prevail in the future. Students
currently enrolled have based their
expectations upon the existing
policy announced last fall. They
do not have the opportunity now
to take the steps which they can
take in future years in response
to any change in University pol-
icy-that is, to enroll in another
institution or to make arrange-
ments to take the Selective Serv-
ice College Qualification Test.
They have completed the year at
the University of Michigan and
the SSCQT will not be given again
before their deferments are re-
viewed by local boards.
2. Even if it were possible to
make a single recommendation
covering both present and future
policy and practice, it appeared
unlikely that agreement could be
reached on such a recommenda-
tion before the end of the Winter
Term. Since the process of compil-
ijg class ranks is presently sched-
uled to begin soon after that date,
the committee was confronted with
the choice of submitting a recom-
mendation too late to have any
effect on that process or of sub-
mitting two separate recommen-
dations. It chose the latter alter-
For the -immediate future, i.e.,
the spring of 1967, the commit-
tee is unanimous in its opinion
that the only defensible recom-
mendation is that the University
compile male class ranks by class
and by college. It further recom-
mends, however, that each student
be given the privilege of request-
ing that the certified copy of his
rank be sent directly to him raht-
er than to the Selective Service
System, thus providing him with
the opportunity of deciding
whether or not to submit it to
his board.
VIII. Considerations in Arriving
at Future University Policy Re-
garding the Reporting of Infor-
mation About Scholastic Status
There are three clear issues
about which decisions must be
1. Shall the University, at the
request of its students, under any
conditions and in any manner
make any information about the
academic performance of its stu-
dents available for use by their
Selective Service Boards?
2. If so, how much and what
kinds of information, shall be
made available?
3. If any information about stu-
dents is to be transmitted to local
boards, what channel of commu-
nication shallbe used?
Any eventual recommendations
regarding future University poli-
cy must involve some combina-
tion of the specific alternatives to
questions 2 and 3 above. The com-
mittee expects to continue meet-
ing until it can arrive at what it
believes to represent the most de-
fensible future University policy.

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