The teen-age draft bill, minus its original semester deferment for college students, passed the Senate yesterday and was sent to President Roosevelt. The absence of that one clause from the long-politicked bill attracted college students' attention, seeming to affect closely the future of the colleges themselves.
Commenting on the passing of the bill, Dean Buck said last night, "It will give to students the clear directive they have wanted since the war began and will pave the way for a new, more definite program for utilizing the colleges in the war effort."
Five Hours' Talking
After five hours of debate, mostly on the controversial clause requiring a year of training for the new draftees before they see action, a voice vote passed the bill. During the debate, Senators took pains to point out that they were only reluctantly allowing the one-year section to be left out and still thought it was a good idea.
As originally passed by the House, the bill would have deferred college students threatened with induction until the end of an academic semester. The Senate, however, made this provision only for high school students, and the interchamber conference which followed did likewise. Final approval of the Senate clause means that college students will begin to be inducted as soon as draft boards can get to them.
That date will probably not be immediately, however, since the time needed to get new machinery in motion is expected to least into next year.
What will be the fate of the nation's colleges under the new situation obviously brought about by this bill has only been hinted at by educators and government officials.