Harvard will be emptier by 1400 men soon after February 1, the College announced yesterday after tabulating answers to the study card poll taken early in December. Fluctuating government releases and uncertainty of draft operation make a definite count impossible, but officials are sure that at least 1000 of the 3,300 now in Cambridge will fail to answer the second semester school-bell.
Throughout the fall students have been dropping out at an average rate of about 30 a week to join the armed forces, and the 18-19 draft and Enlisted Reserve call are the new factors which will cause the big drain next month. College will have almost twice as many Freshmen and Sophomores as Juniors and Seniors after the Great Exodus.
Replies to the confidential questionnaire which was filled out by 3307 students were analysed, and with them as a guide the entire student body was broken down into about 100 categories according to reserve groups, fields of concentration, and draft status. On the basis of all available information, officials then decided whether or not each group would be here after February.
The most doubtful item in judging returnability was the practical application of draft laws. Just how fast men will be taken can not be predetermined, and various boards snap men up at different rates. In tabulating men subject to draft, officials divided them by age groups, and then estimated the date of call for each group.
Shrinkage in population will necessitate changes in housing and courses, but no plans have yet been made as a result of the figures. Of the 1700 men expected to return, about 40 per cent are in a reserve corps, Army or Navy which would leave them in College but subject to instant call.