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Brandeis professors and students are joining to discuss whether professor should stop giving grades or give everyone A's, in order to avoid "collaboration" with the draft.
A memo prepared by John R. Seeley, chairman of the sociology department has touched off a campus-wide debate, which will culminate next Wednesday in three simultaneous meetings where undergraduates, graduate students and faculty members will decide what action--if any--they should take to thwart the Selective Service's plan to use grades as the basis of a student's draft status.
In his memo, Seeley declared that if professors continued to grade students and allow the grades to be published, "we are perhaps as proximate as whoever in Nazi Germany 'objectively' determined the fraction of a man's an cestry that was 'Jewish.'"
"Are [professors] willing to enter so intimately into a process whereby they in effect load the dice for and against the survival of their several students: And are they willing (and able) to function professionally in a situation wherein they hold life-and-death probability powers over their students?" he continued
As for possible solutions, Seeley wrote: "We might refuse to be professors under such an invasion or misuse of our role. We might cease to grade at all (except privately for information for each student) or we might grade every one equally high."
Seeley sent copies of his memo to Dean Monro and David Riesman '31. Henry Ford II Professor of Social Sciences Monro said yesterday that the report "raised questions that ought to be asked," but continued, "if it's appropriate for the Selective Service to request such information then it's appropriate for us to respond."
Riesman also said that he did not think that the faculty should "opt out" of grading students because of the war. "People will be drafter anyway," he said.
Members of the Brandeis group stress that they are only concerned about the procedure for selecting students, but at an organizational meeting yesterday, 20 students and three professors discussed whether the issue should be linked to a larger anti-war movement. They decided to let the undergraduates, graduate students and faculty members argue out the question during next Wednesday's meetings.
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