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August 30, 1966 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1966-08-30

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Battered and tossed around the
last few months, the nation's Se-
lective Service System still has
some strong supporters who argue
things are best the way they are
Chief among them is Gen. Lew-
is B. Hershey, director of the Se-
lective Service. He feels that hav-
ing local boards decide on criteria
for selecting men is best, because

"they are most familiar", with the
situation in their area.
It has been charged that local
board members are simply minor
clerks who with little guidance de-
termine the fates of millions of
Americans. Hershey sees these
people as dedicated, hardworking
Americans doing a thankless job.
Hershey is very much in favor
of the Selective Service student
deferment policy. If someone is at
the bottom of his class, says Her-
shey, he is wasting his time and
should be serving his country by
going into the armed forces.
Support for present Selective
Service policy was given by a De-
fense Department study which re-
commended that present defer-
ment policies be kept, but that 19
to 20-year-olds be taken first.
The report indicated it would be
economically prohibitive to "buy"
a volunteer armed forces with
higher pay, and concluded a draft,
preferably similar to the present
one, is the best solution to man-
power needs.
Selective Service also received
support from the American Coun-
cil on Education, whose directors
passed a resolution supporting
procedures involving classification
and induction of students.
Both total deferment and no de-
ferment were termed unrealistic
by the board, which supported use
of class rank and special tests as
"the best procedure so far devised
for meeting the nation's man-
power for both the civilian and
nilitary needs of the nation."

Second only to Viet Nam pro-
tests, the protests and reactions
against student deferments and
the methods of determining them
have caused quite a stir around
the nation.
These protests, both the physi-
cal "sit-ins" to prevent universi-
ties from sending grades to draft
boards and the vocal protests
from administrators of universi-
ties and from congressmen and
public leaders have led to calls for
review and changes in the Selec-

tive Service System.
In the four months since most
of the University went on vaca-
tion, these protests have escalated
all over the country. Some of the
major protests were:
f Chicago. Hundreds of Uni-
versity of Chicago students occu-
pied administration buildings for
over three days to protest the uni-
versity's policy of supplying grades
to draft boards. Some of the stu-
dents demands were that the uni-
versity: "suspend its decision to
rank students in order to give
those involved an opportunity for

discussion" on the policy and "or-
ganize a means by which such
debate can be facilitated and pro-
vide a means by which the power
to make the decisions can be turn-
ed over to the people whom it
reallynconcerns-the faculty and
" New York. City college stu-
dents sat in at their schools' ad-
ministration building. About 300
students participated, and asked
that the decision of a joint fac-
ulty-student committee be binding
on whether City College should
compile class rankings or not.

* Madison, Wis. Students occu-
pied the administration buildings
of the University of Wisconsin as
other student leaders voted to or-
der the university to stop making
grades available to Selective Serv-
ice boards.
* Chicago. Roosevelt Univer-
sity students staged a sit-in at
the administrative offices of the
school. They protested university
policy of complying with the Se-
lective Service. Twenty-five stu-
dents were arrested when they re-
fused to leave the building.
* San Francisco. The admin-
istration of San Francisco State
College announced that it would
cancel all its contracts to admin-
ister the Selective Service exam-
ination. The college told students
to make other arrangements.
* Ann Arbor. University stu-
dents picketed the home of Uni-
versity President Harlan Hatcher
in protest of cooperation with the
Selective Service System.
The Selective Service System,
meanwhile, was receiving a lot of
verbal protest.
Hatcher questioned whether the
Selective Service System was being
used "as a punishment for boys
who like to wear beards or who
declare their protests against the
confusion of the age."
He advocated a professional mil-
itary with the same rights and
privileges as other occupations.
In a protest of a different kind,
state Republicans claimed Mich-
igan had a higher number of draf-
tees than it should proportionally.
They called for an investigation.
A conference of leading citizens,
including John Monro, dean of
Harvard College; Philip Sher-
burne, president of the United
States National Student Associa-
tion, and Harris Woford, associate
director of the Peace Corps, advo-
cated broad changes in the Selec-
tive Service System when the
draft law expires in July, 1967.
Sen. Robert F. Kennedy said un-
der the present system "those who
have the intellectual capacity or
those who have the economic re-
sources to go to college are pro-
vided with a deferment."
Yale President Kingman Brew-
ster said current U.S. draft policy
"has invited a cops and robbers
view of national obligation." He
said the system "encourages a
cynical avoidance of service, a cor-
ruption of the aims of education,
and a tarnishing of the national
Protest of this nature from all
areas led to a review of the sys-
tem in Congress and by various

President Johnson stepped into
the picture recently by announc-
ing establishment of a 20-member
national advisory commission on
Selective Service. This group will
study the system and make recom-
This step was viewed with both
approval and skepticism by some
House members who are among
leaders in the move for a draft
study by Congress.
"A good idea, but no substitute
for a congressional study," said
Rep. Donald M. Fraser (D-Minn),
and Rep. Robert W. Kastenmeier

strength level of the armed serv-
ices were sustained in the future,
the per cent of men reaching 26
who had military service would
decline to 42 per cent."
This he compared to 1958, when
70 per cent of those at 26 had
seen service.
The baby boom of the late 40's,
when the draftees and volunteers
of World War II had come home
after four years of conflict to
start new lives, is responsible for
the growing manpower pool.
Few officials dispute Morris'
contention that the draft is very
much needed today. He says the
need will continue for the next



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UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO STUDENTS held a sit-in to protest their school's cooperation with Se-
lective Serbice boards.


THE SIT-IN at the Ann Arbor draft board was the first incident
to bring nationwide protest as those involved were reclassified.

Join The Daily


(D-Wis) expressed concern that
"past executive studies of the
draft have not been very effec-
The supply and demand prob-
lem of the future was outlined to
the House Armed Services Com-
mittee holding hearings on the
draft. Thomas D. Morris, assistant
secretary of defense for manpow-
er, testified:
"In 1974, the number of men
reaching draft age will total more
than 2.1 million each year-over
80 per cent above the 1955 level,"
he said.
"If the current 3 million

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decade at least, unless world con-
ditions drasticafly change.
Selective Service is not only
needed to supply draftees for the
military, he, testified, but as a
spur to voluntary enlistments.
Without it, nearly everyone agees,
the call to arms would be heeded
by far fewer men.
Hershep contends there is noth-
ing wrong with the current system,
little changed in more than 20
"It's totally unfair," counters
Rep. Otis G. Pike (D-NY), a
member of the House Armed
Services Committee.
In the process of selection, a
focal point is deferment policies,
particularly centering on the men
deferred to go to college, a num-
ber now totalling two million and
ever growing.
"Discrimination against the poor.
A boon for the rich. Penalizing
the lad who must work and strug-
gle part-time for knowledge."
These are some of the phrases
critics use to question the fair-
ness of educational deferment.
But Morris, Hershey and most
witnesses have vacked this time
for study as a sound policy. The
military looks to the colleges to
produce 90 per cent of its new
officers through ROTC programs
or enlistment for officer candidate
And many witnesses contended
the nation's social fabric and econ-
omy must be considered. They
point to the need for scientists,
teachers, doctors.
While few people on Capital Hill
look for drastic changes in the
draft law, there is an apparent
belief some administrative over-
haul is needed.
"My feeling is there should be
central guidelines for deferment,"
says Rep. F. Edward Hebert (D-
La), third ranking Democrat on
the House Armed Services Com-
"You've got 4000 clerks running
local boards now, each basically
deciding their own policies."
On college deferment, Hebert
feels there should be just one cri-
"If a boy is making a passing
grade, he should be deferred. But
only for undergraduate work."
The military, Morris says, wants
the younger men, the 19- and 20-
year-olds drafted first. They're
more trainable, and they're not as
settled in careers, he says. This
would reverse the present policy
of taking first those who are near-
est their 26th birthday.
Morris based his statements on
a study of the draft ordered in
1964 by President Johnson, but
released only during the draft
hearings, months after its comple-
Morris put the Defense Depart-
ment back of Hershey's suggestion




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