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at approximately $1 billion. In terms of national manpower needs, it should be noted that in the first 4 years of its operation the Korean GI bill was instrumental in attracting 156,000 veterans into scientific and engineering careers.
USNSA therefore feels that the benefits to the Nation, as well as the greater equality of opportunity which would be afforded all individuals, far outweigh the costs and possible incidental disadvantages of veterans' educational benefits. The association therefore supports the passage of S. 1138, the Veteran's Readjustment Act of 1939.
Mr. HOFFMAN. I would like to comment on the impact that the draft law has on a young man from 18 years of age on.
Normally, a young man of this age would not go into the service but he would pursue his career or educational objectives.
Mr. MITCHELL. Mr. Hoffman, may I interrupt you?
Mr. Chairman, I would like to know something about the organization that he represents.
Mr. HOFFMAN. All right.
Mr. HOFFMAN. The U.S. National Students Association is a confederation of student bodies of 300 colleges and universities throughout the country and they are represented through their democratically elected student governments.
In each summer we hold a National Students Congress at which delegates elected by their student governments attend. There are generally about 1,000 delegates that attend our congresses and our congresses through workshops, through committees, and through plenataries finally arrive at positions that we take with regard to legislation that affects students and affects higher education. We are restricted through our constitution to taking positions only on subjects that affect students and the role of students.
Mr. MITCHELL. How many colleges and universities belong to the organization ?
Mr. HOFFMAN. 375.
Mr. HOFFMAN. I am the president, and I have taken a leave of absence from the University of Wisconsin Law School to serve the National Students Association this year.
Mr. QUIGLEY. I gather from that fact the membership in the association would be available to undergraduates and graduate students alike?
Mr. HOFFMAN. That is correct.
It has been pointed out in the report in the Senate committee quite aptly and in comments on other testimony given before this body that many young people are unable to continue their education because of financial limitations.
Dr. Kenneth Little, from my own institution, the University of Wisconsin, did a study a year ago in Wisconsin in which he came to the conclusion that many high school students were not able to continue their education because of finances.
Half of the top 50 percent of graduates of high schools in the State of Wisconsin did not go on to college and one-third of those stated as the reason they did not go on financial limitations
We support S. 1138 because we feel that many of these individuals who were not able to continue their education because of financial limitation will be able to do so under a continuation of benefits to GI's.
It has been my experience that because of the draft situation many young people will enlist to complete their obligation before going on to college and find that once they have enlisted, when the time comes that they are free from the service and are able to continue their education, they are unable to do so because of the financial limitations, because of now having a wife or having a family and are not able to afford to go on with their education.
Our economy-our present society demands that competitively young people must have a college education. It has been pointed out quite aptly here in questions, I think, from this group to the first speaker this morning, the fact that surely from the standpoint of defense it is an absolute necessity to have educated young people in this country; to have educated young people and to improve our education is going to require more individuals to go into the teaching professions.
It is found in the statistics which are stated in the Senate committee report that veterans serving in universities after their service in the second World War and the Korean affair did intend to go into teaching professions and intended to go into scientific professions, which are those of primary necessity for our country, simply from the standpoint of defense and competition with the Russians.
In my own case the draft status affected my choice of an undergraduate curriculum. My desire for a long time has been to pursue the profession of the law, but when I entered the university I was informed by my local draft board that I would probably have to interrupt my education to serve in the armed services immediately following my basic education, my undergraduate education.
There was one opportunity, though, to continue my studies in law without going into the services without having this break in my education which I thought might cause considerable harm in the transition from going into the service and back and getting into the groove, so to speak, of studying again—and that was to go in after 3 years in law school and a program which the commerce school offered. I could go in after my junior year and then complete my law school and then serve the armed services and I might have a better chance to serve my country in the Judge Advocate General Corps if my grades were sufficiently high enough in the law school. So I chose the commerce course, and now after being in law school for one semester because of the change in policy of the local board and allowing you to continue in law school, I find my preparation is inadequate in the two areas in which I am primarily interested; that is, international law and American constitutional law. So in this case my draft did affect my education from the start of my consideration of a curriculum in college.
There may be 30 different ways to plan your education theoretically, but it has not been my experience. It has been my experience that these 30 different ways have not been adequate to meet some particular needs of students.
The graduate students, or those who hope to go to graduate education, are another group that are severely affected by the present draft law.
The average age of persons going into the military is stated as 22. This has been stated by the National Educational Association, and I believe their statistics are quite correct. At the age of 22 a student is generally finishing his undergraduate work and then is considering going on to his graduate work. It is in
very few cases that our student is able to get a deferment to continue with his graduate studies.
College teachers are those who prepare through graduate work and again we are severely limiting what is the greatest need in our country as stated by the President's Commission on Education beyond the high school in their report in 1956, that of college teaching.
In my experience at the University of Wisconsin and from the statistics that were stated in the report to the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, veterans have made a substantial contribution to colleges. They have made a substantial contribution, as I stated before, in their choice of courses, courses which are going to prepare them to fulfill vital needs in our society, scientific work, work in the teaching professions.
In addition, statistics show that veterans tend to get higher grades than nonveterans and I don't think any other criteria has been found yet for measuring the success of a student in college than the grade point average.
It has been my experience as a counsellor in a living unit with some 75 students in the dormitories that the veterans in this dormitory tend to set an example for the undergraduate students, set an example in their work, in activities, set an example in their daily living in the house. They were matured individuals and they were those that I think aided a great many of the undergraduates in their choices of vocations and in their choice of curriculum.
I think that the Government ought to afford the opportunity for veterans who are making this substantial contribution to continue their education and I feel very strongly that one way that this can be done is through the passage of the bill which is now before you for consideration.
In my prepared text I would like to call your attention to page 4, to the four advantages that we feel that this legislation will have.
The adoption of legislation providing educational benefits for veterans as provided in the bill would serve four important purposes.
First: It would help to offset the disadvantages and disturbances in educational and career plans necessarily involved in service in the Armed Forces, and, thereby, would tend to equalize opportunity and reduce inequality between those who do and do not serve.
The previous speaker pointed out the fact that there are inequities in our compulsory system. That is, many are able to escape the draft. In fact, the majority are able to because of student deferments or because of disabilities or because they are fathers and therefore placed further down on those who are called or because they have reached the age of 26 and are so far down on the list that they escape the draft entirely. There are inequities. We feel competitively the young person who goes into the armed services is losing out and we should do our best to try to equalize opportunities.
Second: It would tend to increase enlistments and thereby reduce the need for use of the draft. Since, on the whole, those who will
choose to enlist will be individuals likely to suffer fewer dislocations and interruptions of plans than those who would otherwise be drafted, this tendency would reduce the harmful effects of compulsory service to minimum.
Mr. MITCHELL. Mr. Chairman, if I may interrupt the witness there.
Mr. MITCHELL. The statement you have just made is diametrically in opposition to the one he has made.
Mr. HOFFMAN. It certainly is.
Mr. HOFFMAN. I would. When I began my testimony I stated the fact that the association represents college students throughout the country.
In our basic policy declarations, in our consideration of the purpose of education there has been a great deal of discussion as to the relationship between the individual and the Government.
It seems to me that the strength of our entire system of government is the fact that government in this country exists for the individual, government exists to try to increase his opportunities to continue with his education in this case. And that it does not exist as it does in the Soviet Union, the individual does not exist where the government does in the Soviet Union.
In this case, in this specific example that is stated here, I think you are going to find that students who are financially unable to continue their education will enlist, get their service, and then continue going on to college because of the benefits they receive.
One gentleman who testified before the Senate subcommittee stated that perhaps this might be the optimum, this might be what we are hoping for, that is, because the veterans tend to make better grades, because they tend to be more mature individuals and set an example, that we should try to promote people going into the service and then coming out and continuing with their education.
Am I meeting your question?
Mr. HOFFMAX. Third: it would encourage the education and completion of education of a good number of persons, preparing them to play more valuable roles as citizens.
And I have stated this.
And fourth, it is stated very strongly by the last two gentlemen to address you it would help increase the brainpower of our country, our most neglected asset.
In this case it would be the Government investing in the young people of this country. And as
And as a representative of them I cannot think of any place to better place the investment of the Government.
It has been often stated that the problems which are facing our country today will not be solved by the present generation but are going to have to be solved by the young people of the country, hoping someone will not touch the pushbutton as Mr. Haley stated and we will have complete annihilation. If this is the case that we are going to continue to have our society at all,
Mr. MITCHELL. You don't think, Mr. Hoffman, that we should plan our educational program based upon the fact that someone will not, but rather on the fact that it will not be done?
Mr. HOFFMAN. I certainly do. I certainly think we should base our education on the fact that our society is going to continue and this country is going to continue.
Mr. QUIGLEY. Is that the end of your statement, sir?
Mr. HOFFMAN. I would just like to point out that on pages 4, 5, and 6 of the statement are some refutations to some of the statements of opposition, that typical opposition to this bill that were stated in the Senate subcommittee, that were stated on the floor of the Senate, and that have been stated here this morning.
In order not to take more of your time I will just refer you to those pages and state that I think that they are refuted quite aptly on those pages.
Mr. QÚIGLEY. Thank you, Mr. Hoffman, for an excellent statement.
Mr. GEORGE. Mr. Chairman, I would just like to comment that I feel like you have presented the viewpoint of the modern generation, while Mr. Burgess is a generation behind us.
I wish that we could have had you first so that he could have heard the testimony that you have given us.
I certainly wish you much success in law and I am sure you will be an outstanding lawyer.
Mr. HOFFMAN. Thank you very much, sir.
Mr. QUIGLEY. The thing that fascinates me about the witness is all the planning, rearranging of his life he did, not to have his education interrupted by the draft and now he is interrupting on his own to carry out his duties and responsibilities as president of this association.
Mr. MITCHELL. I want to joint, Mr. Chairman, with both you and my colleague from Kansas in saying that I think this young man has made a most impressive presentation of his case and I think he will be equally impressive when he is at the bar of the law.
Mr. QUIGLEY. He has, and you have done neither your cause, nor your association, nor yourself anything but good today.
Mr. HOFFMAN. I hope that the statement I have made today will be effective in securing passage of this bill and the signing by the executive branch representative.
Mr. Quigley. We do not want guarantee that in writing.
Mr. QUIGLEY. This committee will now adjourn until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.
(Whereupon, at 12:25 p.m., Thursday, March 3, 1960, the committee recessed to reconvene at 10 a.m. Friday, March 4, 1960.)