Originated as a war-time conditioning measure for all, physical training is now apparently endowed with social and recreational significance. Its purely physical benefits have been merged with a win-friends-and-influence-people drive. Decidedly sensible for 17-year-old Freshmen straight from secondary school, this program does not suit 21-year-old veterans who have spent several years running along Georgia obstacle courses and Pacific beaches.
All Juniors and Seniors are excused from exercise because they presumably are physically mature, academically busy, and socially adjusted. Veterans are in equally good shape, and their academic burdens, after several years' absence from lectures and blue books, are fully as great as those of upper classmen, sliding along smoothly in their scholastic grooves. All that remains, then, is the misassumption that veterans, like non-veteran Freshmen, need an added stimulus to find recreation and meet people. Months of community living have removed all vestiges of the hermit instinct from most ex-service men. They know how to go about meeting other men and making new friends. Compulsion will not work here; nor will it work to make exercise recreation to those who don't already consider it as such.
Regardless of their college class, students matured by service life are able to adjust themselves to college life without being maneuvered about like puppets on a string. Their situation and that of 17-year-olds are not identical; one blanket ruling cannot always apply to both. The Faculty should reconsider their ruling. Beginning with the summer term, all veterans should be excused from required physical training.