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Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity

OCTOBER 20, 1914

VoL XII - No, I Whole No. 43

Table of Contents

Frontispiece — ''Hosts of 191 4 Conclave, Atlanta, Georgia" 2


The Fraternity Situation - 3

The Fraternity and the Chapter 4

Among Our Contemporaries— - 7

(a) What is Achoth - 7

(b) Phi Mu Sigma Fraternity - 8

(c) Tau Beta Pi no longer alone in Engineering Field... 9

Just Coincidences - - i i

The Annual affair for Mothers 13

The Eighth Biennial Conclave —

(a) Georgia Technology — "The Home of Georgia Alpha". ..17

(b) Atlanta, Georgia — "The Convention City" 21

(c) Conclave Delegates and Alternates 25

(d) Convention Song 26

(e) From the Grand Officers.... 28

Resolutions - -9

Editorials 3^

Exchanges 34

Hellenie ^ 37

The Alumni Department 39

Chapter Letters 47

Advertisements —

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Sigma Phi Epsilon Journal


October 20th— December 25th— March 1st and May 1st

Subscription, $1.50 a Year. Single Copies, 40 Cents


FRED A. PRICE, P. 0. Box 144, Lawrence, Kansas
Editor-in-Chief and Business Manager


JOSEPH R. CURL, 1001 Sclimulbach Building, Wheeling, W. Va.

Exchange Editor

DEAN D. McBRIEN, 605 College Ave., Conway, Arkansas

Contributing Editor

JOHN H. BOWEN, 521 Board of Trade Bldg., Norfolk, Va.

Alumni Editor »


All Editors will please send Exchanges to the Above Addresses
Send all Material for Publication to FRED A. PRICE, P. O. Box 144

Lawrence, Kansas

Material must be in the hands of the Editor, twenty days before date

of Publication

Articles Contributed may be sent direct to Contributing Editor

Entered as Second-Class Matter November 24th, 1911, at the Post

Office, Richmond, Va., under the Act of March 3, 1879

Application made for transfer to Lawrence, Kansas

£ f B - V.''


Fred A. Price, Editor-in-Chief

VOL. XII. OCTOBER 20, 1914. NO. 1

I contributions!

i .1

[|].<_>«><»»<»<i«_><».« Dean D. McBrien, Department Editor .—..«...«» [|]


Erman J. Ridgway, famous as the publisher of Everybody's
Magazine in a letter to the College Fraternity Reference Bureau just
received, says, "The fraternities have been the victims of many mis-
representations." After one has surveyed the whole field of anti-
fraternity endeavor, I feel sure that he will agree that Mr. Ridgway
has struck the keynote which sounds nine-tenths of the activity against
the Greek Letter Societies in American Colleges. The opposition
has built up a tissue of invective and untruth in their attacks on the
fraternity system, taking advantage of the fact that those to whom
they appeal are for the most part not college men and do not under-
stand the subject matter. Fraternities are composed of human beings
and have their imperfections as has every human institution but their
faults are not vital and for the most part admit of remedy. To say
that they should be annihilated because they sometimes have members
who act unseemly is to say that the Christian Church should be dis-
banded for the same reason. As George Fitch has well put it, "My
little daughter does not always behave but I am not going to ask the
Illinois legislature to abolish her."

We, of the fraternities know their real faults much better than
our adversaries. We are trying to correct them. Roscoe Chambers
has recently said in one of his pregnant articles, "The one great factor
in college life that helps most of all in moulding the manners of its
men, is the chapter house. It takes the place of home. And he who
enters therein will find himself governed by a code of laws more
drastic than ever dreamed of by the strictest parents. It makes 'good
sports' out of some mighty saffron material. Like Jack and the jam
they won't pike — they are not allowed to ; they take their medicine
when medicine is due — they have to ; they admit defeat and come back
smiling — the grouch has no place to rest his sore head. The ideals
back of every college fraternity make for manhood. The freshman
has the help, the encouragement, the sympathy and guidance of the
upperclassmen, which is a kinship often closer and stronger than that


of blood. Fraternities make mistakes but they stand more ready and
willing to make real men out of weak ones than many fathers do."

We have never spoken plainly of our opponents. Probably it
would not be expedient to do so. It certainly would be cruel to tell
the truth about them. They are commencing their agitation again.
In Ohio where they so wickedly fought our chapters at the state uni-
versity, they have commenced a new campaign and are using the mo-
tion picture as a weapon. One of their tactics is to circulate a play
called, "A Helpful Sisterhood," which is nothing less than a thinly
veiled attack on the sororities. They are using the metropolitan
journals, too, and magazines of a certain character, which seem al-
ways ready to open their columns to the anti-fraternity muck rake are
loath to give an inch of their space to a decent exposition of what fra-
ternities stand for. In several states the anti-fraternity forces are
uttering threats as to their intentions when the legislatures meet again.
It is the plain duty of every Greek to be on his guard and to use every
just instrument for the defense of the college fraternity system 'vhich
is so dear to him.

William C. Levere,

Secretary College Fraternity Reference Burecct.


Fifteen or twenty years ago, it was the fashion to point out the
"star chapters" of one's fraternity to the comparative detriment of
those that were not grouped in constellations. The members of one
"star chapter" whispered to members of another "star chapter" — all
very confidentially, of course — that Alpha or Beta or Gamma chapter
took in "the most impossible girls." There was a very general feel-
ing, shared by all except the victims of the prejudice, that "something
really ought to be done about our weak chapters;" and in some cases,
chapters in old and small institutions were blithely voted out of exist-
ence by the very chapters that owed them their charter grants. One
of the best signs of the times in fraternity as an expression of real fra-
ternalism, is found in the changed attitude of the general fraternity
toward so-called "weak chapters." The qualities that used to make
up a "star chapter" — good social placement, a large share in the
gaieties of college life, leadership in entertaining and dress, and popu-
larity with the local smart set — are yielding more and more to the
ideals of scholarship, influence for the best in the college circle, and
true womanly character — ideals that find place quite as much in the
small and unfashionable college as in the big well-advertised univer-

The Spartans helped to keep up their high standard of physique
by killing off the weak and deformed among their offspring, but the


twentieth century method is to develop the weaklings by "better babies
contests;" and the modern Greek is following the same good example
and strengthening the weaklings among fraternity chapters. A policy
of refusing charters to petitioners in unpromising institutions is the
part of wisdom ; but a policy of withdrawing charters from blameless
chapters in such institutions is now stamped as unchristian and unfra-
ternal, and is rapidly dying out.

I remember a delegate from one of these "weak chapters" who
journeyed to my first convention. There was the usual convention
crowd — a rapidly growing snowball of delegates and visitors. We
alumnae had had so bad a training in the "weak chapter" viewpoint
that we all pricked up our critical ears when we heard that the dele-
gate from a certain small college was on the train. "What is she
like?" we asked of the sophisticated graduate who had discovered her,
and the answer was, "Oh, just what you'd expect — terribly provincial
• — no manner. I wonder how much longer it will be before we'll lift
that charter." And another blase alumna added, "It ought to have
been done long ago. Probably it will be, at this convention. Poor
child! It's hard on her, isn't it! Perhaps the kindest thing would
be to ignore her."

But such was not the view of the undergraduate girls of the
party. They greeted the "weak" delegate with the effusiveness only
possible to the very young on the way to a fraternity convention.

Yet so thoroughly was I imbued with college recollections of "the
impossible girls that that chapter takes in" — ("Why, one of them
came over for a dance we gave, and positively it was the most ghastly
thing!" et cetera) that in a few minutes' quiet talk with the little
delegate en route, I opened the subject of her college's small and de-
clining numbers, and fatuously and tactlessly asked, "Have you girls
ever thought it might be advisable to surrender your charter?"

"Why should it be advisable?" she asked calmly.

"Well, you know," I blundered on, "the college is small, and

there isn't much er desirable material, and of course the

fraternity mustn't let its chapters run down, and if you are loyal you
would wish whatever is for the best good of the fraternity, and
. " somehow it was hard for me to find words for what
had previously seemed perfectly obvious, but I tried to sum up: "Of
course you know that your chapter is more or less on trial."

"I don't know that at all," she replied, quite firmly, quite im-
personally. "It seems to me that it is the general fraternity that is
on trial. My chapter stands for the ideals of our founders, ^f'here
isn't a girl in the chapter who doesn't succeed in expressing those
ideals, and the chapter is a real help for good in our college. If the
fraternity has so far lost sight of its ideals, that it no longer recognizes


them in us, why, then " she paused — "why, then it is the fra-
ternity that should lose its existence — not my chapter."

Somewhat dazed I found myself realizing that she was right.
Something in her look carried me back to the night of initiation, with
its sense of exaltation and high intentions. Since that day, how far I
had drifted from the true concept of fraternity! The question came
— what does the fraternity stand for now? Does it base its estimate
of a chapter on outward things, as I do — or does it recognize realities?
Shall I find at convention the soul of fraternity or only the outer
shell? To me, it was a matter of interest. To the delegate from
our "weak chapter," it was vital. And she was not disappointed.
Though there was hostility at first from certain alumnae, who, L'ke
me, had persisted in retaining the "star chapter" tradition ; though
there was of course criticism from the class of mind that bases the suc-
cess of a rushing season on externals — yet the general spirit of con-
vention was the real spirit of fraternity ; and officers and delegates
united in supporting the "weak chapters" — weak, perhaps, in material
evidence, but strong in true fraternity ideals.

Elizabeth Rhodes Jackson, Editor of The Key of K K V.



( Under this head we. are printing this month a series of three
articles relating to fraternal orders working in other fields than that
held by the ordinary social college frate\rnity. We believe that these
articles will prove of interest, not only to our own me?nbers but to
most of our exchanges as well. — Contributing Editor).


The Achoth Sorority was founded March fifth, nineteen-hundred
and ten at the University of Nebraska. The founders were Hazel
Fishwood, Alice Humpe, Mable Long Aylesworth, Francis Chat-
burn, and Edna Green. The first chapter was founded with fifteen
charter members. Such an organization was made possible through
the kind assistance of leading women of Lincoln, and prominent mem-
bers of the faculty of the university.

A national organization was effected in 191 2, and at present
there are five chapters distributed as follows:

Aleph, University of Nebraska, founded in 19 10.

Beth, University of Iowa, founded in 1910.

Gimel, University of Illinois, founded in 191 1.

Daleth, University of Kansas, founded in 191 2.

He, University of Washington, founded in 191 4.

Achoth was a new idea, and like some new ideas, it "took." The
membership is chosen from university girls who are members of the
Order of the Eastern Star. The character letters are Hebrew in-
stead of Greek. In these two ways only does Achoth differ from the
ordinary Greek-letter fraternity. All of our chapters have been in-
vited to join the pan-hellenic councils at the various schools, but until
forced to do so we prefer to be free from the incumbrances such action
would bring.

Achoth aims to form a closer bond of friendship and love among
girls of the Order of the Eastern Star. We have in mind a certain
type of girl that we prefer for our members ; the democratic girl with
broad ideals is popular with us. It is true that all O. E. S. girls
would not make good sorority girls, and in the double process of se-
lection system the girls becoming members are always the best.

A new sorority always has its difficulties, and has to fight its
way to the front. Achoth has been more successful than the average.
The present chapters are very active and their members are prominent
in school affairs. It seems certain that with age, Achoth will gain
the position among older orders that she desires and that she deserves.
The relation to the Masonic fraternity and to the Order of the East-
ern Star furnishes the proper amount of stability, and the members are
able to take care of their part.


The organization is similar to that of the Acacia Fraternit)^, but
in no way are the two connected.


(Miss) Jessie Downing,

Aleph of Achoth.


Another star has risen in the Fraternity firmament, which bids
fair of becoming one of its strongest planets. It is the PHI MU
SIGMA Fraternity, with headquarters in Washington, D. C. It is a
Christian Fraternity, and draws its membership from the young men
of the Ecclesiastical Sunday Schools. Its ultimate aim is akin to that
of Baha, to unite into one large Christian Fraternity all the members
of the various Greek Letter Fraternities. It does not intend in any
way to antagonize the College and High School Fraternities, but
hopes to number many of such members as its own. The Fraternity
was organized in Washington, D. C. on May 27, 1908, by Dr. Clif-
ton Power Clark, and the young men comprising his Sunday School
class at Mt. Vernon Place M. E. Church, South, became the Charter
Members of the Fraternity. The Fraternity has three aims: i. To
attract the young man to the Sunday School class, hold him there and
eventually lead him into Church membership. 2. To build up the
young man in every way that God intended ; physically, mentally and
spiritually. 3. To form a closer union between the young men in
the various Sunday Schools. The Fraternity is interdenominational.
Any Sunday School is entitled to a Chapter. The minimum age limit
is sixteen years, but there is no maximum limit. Many pastors and
superintendents of schools come in as Charter Members. The Fra-
ternity has the honorary degree of Sustaining Member, in whose ranks
are many of the most prominent clergymen of the day. The first few
years of the Fraternity were spent in perfecting the organization, and
not until the beginning of 191 4 were efforts made to spread the work.
The Chapters organized in Washington City are Alpha, Beta, Gam-
ma, Delta, Epsilon, Eta, Zeta, Theta, Iota and Omicron, with a mem-
bership of nearly 500. Four new Chapters are in the process of orga-
nization. The Fraternity is spreading to the States. The last
''foreign" Chapters to be installed were 'Beta of Louisiana" at New-
Iberia, Louisiana, and "Alpha of Texas," at Palestine, Texas. Steps
are being taken now to place Chapters in Michigan, Wisconsin, Mis-
sissippi, Georgia, Virginia, Vermont, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
The first Convention of the Fraternity was held in Washington City
on June 21-23, and all Chapters were represented. It was a very
enthusiastic meeting, and many plans were promulgated for spread-
ing the Fraternity. One of the most important steps taken was the


creating of a National Council, this Council to be composed of two
representatives from each of the Ecclesiastical Churches. There is al-
so a National Executive Committee, composed of the Supreme Master
and the Grand Master of each State. There is great need of this
Fraternity. Those who work in the Sunday Schools know that be-
tween the ages of 16 and 20 many of the boys slip away; it is to cor-
rect this exodus that the Fraternity was organized. It has proven
wonderfully effective where it has been tried, and is doing a great
work. From Alpha Chapter of the District of Columbia have gone
out three young men into the ministry, three others as Sunday School
class teachers, several as officers in the Epworth League. It prepares
the boy for Church work, and gives him an incentive before unknown.
One of the splendid features of the Fraternity is the interdenomina-
tional friendship it develops. In Washington City there are Chapters
in the following denominations: Methodist Episcopal; Methodist
Episcopal, South ; Lutheran ; United Brethren ; Christian and Pres-
byterian. This Summer a joint camp was maintained near Washing-
ton, all local Chapters being represented, and much good accomplish-
ed along this interdenominational line. This fall a Fraternity
House is to be maintained by all local Chapters. The Supreme Mast-
er is anxious to have the co-operation of the other Fraternities, and
will appreciate any help they may give to their new brother. To se-
cure a charter, a petition bearing ten signatures of bona fide Sunday
School scliolars must be addressed to Supreme Master Clifton P.
Clark, 1834 Ontario Place, Washington, D. C.

(Signed) Clifton P. Clark, M. D.,

Supreme Master, $ M ^.


Sigma Tau was founded at the University of Nebraska, Febru-
ary 22, 1904, after a year and a half of subrosa organization. Its
organization was due to a feeling among the engineering students at
that institution that the engineering students of merit should be bond-
ed together by fraternal ties as well as ties of class-room friendship.

For years national expansion was discouraged, the second chap-
ter not being established until 1908. During this time great empha-
sis was placed upon strengthening the Alpha chapter. The year 191 1
saw the establishment of the third chapter. With the election of the
first Grand Council the following year. Alpha chapter relinquished
the duties of a national organization. From then on a more liberal
policy was pursued and with it chapters were installed as follows:

Alpha, University of Nebraska, 1904.

Beta, University of Iowa, 1908; (withdrawn 1912).

Gamma, University of Pennsylvania, 191 1.


Delta, University of South Dakota, 19 12.

Epsilon, Kansas State Agricultural College, 191 2.

Zeta, Oregon State College, 19 13.

Eta, Washington State College, 191 3.

Theta, University of Illinois, 1914.

Iota, University of Colorado, 1914.

At the last National Conclave held in Lincoln, Nebraska,
April 17 and 18, 19 14, provision was made for a national pub-
lication. Up to the present time an Annual Letter has been issued
by each chapter. This practice wall be continued in the future.
Every fall the alumni write in to their respective chapters giving an
account of their work for the previous year. These letters are then
compiled, published, and a copy sent to all alumni that wrote in.
These letters serve the two-fold purpose of keeping the alumni in
touch with each other and with active men. Their account of the
work performed by them in the engineering field, both at home and
abroad, are an inspiration to better work by the active men who have
yet to show what they can do as engineers.

The Annual Letters will be supplemented by the ''Pyramid," a
semi-annual containing articles of interest to the fraternity at large,
of engineering and of chapter letters.

When the National Conclave is not in session, the affairs of the
fraternity are taken care of by a Grand Council of five members, a
Grand President, a Grand Secretary-Treasurer, a Grand Historian,
and two other Councilors. The National Conclave meets every two
years and consists of the Grand Council and a delegate from each

Only juniors and seniors who comply with the requirements are
eligible to membership. They are judged according to "Scholarship,
Practicability, and Sociability, the three requirements of a successful

Scholarship and Practicability are judged by both the active men
and the faculty, while the Sociability rests with the active men. About
equal emphasis is given to Scholarship and Practicability, while Socia-
bility is considered not quite as important as the other two. Great
care has been given to the method of election so that it is very difficult
to make a bad mistake in the election of new men. Honorary mem-
bership may be granted to the members of the engineering faculty
ranking higher than instructor or to any prominent practicing engi-
neer. These honorary men have proved very helpful to the frater-
nity and to the individual chapters.

All the chapters work with the school in every way possible to
make a stronger engineering college at the institution in which they
are located. The honorary fraternity has a place in every school
which can not be filled by any other organization. If it will, it may


prove of material aid in helping the members and the school to a
higher plane. The friendship resulting from fraternal ties among
men of the same profession is one of the greatest benefits resulting
from membership in an honorary fraternity.

Sigma Tau is not a political organization, and to prevent partici-
pation in school politics as an organization, a clause in the constitu-
tion prohibits any of the members from expecting political support of
the other members. An honorary fraternity has no place in school
politics, it being much better for the good of the chapter and of the
school if the members are sometimes found on opposite sides of the
political fence. This will help to keep down any jealousy that may
be aroused in the men that can never become members of an honorary

Another clause prohibits the "frat house," as it is commonly
known, while club rooms are sanctioned and even looked upon favor-
ably. It is a great handicap to a chapter of an honorary fraternity
to own a fraternity house where the members or a majority of them
room. For then the social requirements are apt to be paramount,
while the ideals of the fraternity are neglected. Men will be taken
in not so much for their standing in school as for their social quali-
ties. If the college in which the honorary fraternity as a chapter is
comparatively small, many social fraternity men, otherwise very de-
sirable and deserving of the honor of membership in the fraternity,
will be kept out, whereas men not having a standing so high will be
taken in to help support the house. The chapter must be very large
if a membership of juniors and seniors can keep the house running.
The usual result will be a lowering of standards of admission when a
chapter house is maintained by an honorary fraternity.
Fred A. Wirt,

Grand Secretary-Ti-easurer, Sigma Tau;
Nebraska Alpha, Sigtna Phi Epsilon.


Oft-times things happen in connection with our fraternity life
which may be described as "just coincidences," nothing more and
nothing less. It was the thinking over of several of these that have come
to my attention that led to the writing of this article. I do not doubt
but that the reading of this little letter will call to the minds of many
brothers who may chance to read it, occurrences of like nature that
have come within the range of their own experiences. If such there
be, and I am sure there are many, I hope they will send an account of
them to our Contributing Editor so that they may find their way into

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