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Is selective service a good idea?

Registering your name for selective service is the law, but is it a good or bad idea?

Selective service is the federal government’s way of keeping tabs on eligible men should it ever enact a draft, which hasn’t happened since 1973. Still, every man who reaches the age of 18 must apply to the selective service.

Many seniors at Douglass were not aware of this rule until advised of it by their counselors recently. Some said they do not see the need for registering.

“I do not feel it is fair to us to be forced to register when we are 18 because I feel as if my rights are being taken away, and I am forced to do something I never planned on,” said senior Kenneth Burns.

Said senior Michael Betty: “Not everyone should have to do that. We have our own lives. That’s our decision, not the government's.”

Some students, however, think selective service is a good thing.

“If you want financial aid for college, then you should sign up and have the government pay for your schooling. If the government is willing to pay for your education, then you should be able to work for and protect your country if called upon,” said Nate Lymon

Additionally, men who fail to register will be ineligible for federal jobs and possibly state jobs, training, and loans. It is even possible to lose U.S. citizenship.

The consequences for saying no to selective services registration can carry a maximum penalty of $250,000 and up to five years in prison, though nobody in recent decades has received that penalty, according to

Douglass students and other young men should listen to the advice of Douglass counselor Dianne Parham.

“They need to do it because it’s the law,” said Parham.


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