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The First of July

On July 1 the blanket deferment which has given all college men of the class of 1941 a chance to complete their college education ends. From now on Joe College goes into the Army when his number comes up just as any other young American does--unless his local draft board on the basis of information from his college decides that he is of more service to the country on the campus than in a camp.

Students may be deferred in Class II-A by the local board when the activity for which the registrant is in training is one "essential to the national health, safety or interest and the registrant is found to be a 'necessary man' in the sense that it is necessary to provide the required replacements for and additions to such men engaged in such essential activities." The first question asked is the field of study with medicine, dentistry, chemistry, engineering of all sorts, and most other sciences on the list recommended for deferment. But Bio D and Chem 4 are no magic keys out of the training camp. The Student's scholastic record is consulted and unless there is good evidence that he has the ability to complete the course with a high enough standing to justify expectations that he will really fill the need in his field, there will be no exemption granted. Even for medical students there isn't blanket deferment--each case is decided individually and locally. Those who register in July, then, as well as registrants who will be reclassified, must study their home area as well as their bluebook postcards in trying to predict the length of the remainder of their scholastic life.

Mingo Junction, Idaho, with only a handful of college students from the town may well consider even a mediocre student in Fine Arts worthy of deferment. Brookline, Massachusetts, with almost every young man in college, will have to be much pickier when it comes to exemptions. Secondly, the total number of men to be called from the whole country is important to the July registrant figuring out his chances of being called. The details have not been worked out yet but the newly 21 year old group will probably be required to provide about as many men in proportion to their number as the older men already have--i.e., about one-third of those classified in I-A. Just how many more than that will be called depends on a lot of factors. There are no unused facilities for training soldiers at the moment. If the present draftees and the national guard are retained for another year, which seems probable, few more men can be called until new camps are built. The army has recently hinted at doubling the size of the draft army and contracts for the new camps are being awarded now. Possibly two out of three July I-A men will be in uniform but they will probably not be called till January. At that time most cases will be able to get deferment till midyear exams are finished.

The idea of lowering the draft limit to 18 has been abandoned, but the top age will probably be pushed down to 25. This along with the present predilection of local boards to exempt men married after the draft except in cases where it is obviously a draft dodge will raise the percentage of college men who will be taken.

Those who register or are reclassified in July should have the information blanks sent them by the college filled in before leaving for home. It's too late now to shift into the study of poison gas from the less lethal material dispensed in other departments, and it's too late to raise your Math A mark. Newspaper reports on whether the present draftees come back and how many new camps are built are the best guide to chances of ending your college career with a regular diploma. All the neophyte registrants can and should do is to make sure that their college record is in the hands of their local board.

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