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Release date:October 23

Wayland campuses showing support for military personnel

With armed forces being beefed up nationwide, students on university campuses are being called to leave their classrooms and return to their Reserve or National Guard units in preparation for military action.

With 11 campuses outside the Plainview headquarters, Wayland Baptist University students are not exempt. The majority of those campuses are located on or conduct classes on military installations. But none are exempt from the effects of the largest military call-up since the Persian Gulf War.

"Our campuses didn't really get hit too hard, because there hasn't been a mass deployment from any of the bases," said Dr. Bill Hardage, Wayland's vice chancellor.

Hardage said the real effects of the war won't likely be felt until the next enrollment term in November.

"We expect to see maybe a ten percent downturn in enrollment in November, based on deployment and added work shifts," he said.

"When some were deployed, others had to cover their work shifts and didn't have time for classes."

When military personnel are called up, Wayland's policy is for students who will miss 25 percent or more of the term to apply for a Military Temporary Duty Assignment Withdrawal Refund if they must drop all classes. Hardage said students also have the choice of making up their work if they return during the term or taking an incomplete for the course and finishing the required work at a later date.

The U.S. Department of Education has directed universities like Wayland to provide relief from student loan obligations by postponing loan payments for borrowers during the period of active duty service. Schools were also urged to provide full refunds of tuition and other charges and flexibility in re-enrollment for those students.

Wayland is doing just that, while encouraging military students to complete their education once they return to their bases.