College Refuses Deferment

Poll Against Blanket Exemption

Harvard College has voted against blanket deferment for all college students by a margin of 199 votes.

The results of a CRIMSON poll conducted Tuesday and Wednesday revealed that 543 students were in favor of a proposal to defer all college men from the draft for the duration of their academic career while 742 opposed the measure.

Of those who voted "yes" to the deferment of all, 520 were non-veterans. Four hundred and forty-seven non-veterans and 283 veterans voted "no" to the proposal.

Pre-medical students, science majors, and engineers should be exempt from the draft, according to the ballots of 390 voters. Only 47 felt that those studying in the social sciences or other fields of learning merited deferment.

Deferment by Grades


Several students indicated on their polls that draft exemptions should be based on academic grades.

The CRIMSON decided to poll Harvard on the draft issue after learning two weeks ago that deferment for all college students is under consideration in Washington.

Five committees set up by the Army are at present working on a plan which would exempt students taking courses in agriculture, biology, engineering, physical sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

Under the plan deferments would last for one year and could then be renewed providing a student's work met certain academic standards.

Individual draft boards will probably take few college students this year, even if they are not exempted by law, because of the reduced quotas which the Army announced last month. The cut in draft quotas became necessary when the Army's budget was drastically reduced last month.

Poll Breakdown

Of all the students who voted in the college-wide poll,

543 voted for deferring all college students.

742 balloted against deferment.

Of the negative votes,

390 urged deferment specifically for pre-medical, scientific, or engineering students,

47 voted specifically for deferring men in social sciences or other fields,

the others checked deferment for all groups, or suggested additional fields.

283 veterans voted no against deferment and 23 voted yes.

520 nonveterans voted yes for deferment and 447 voted no.