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Digitized by the Internet Archive

in 2010 with funding from

Carey E. Heckman, Dartmouth 76









Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity

MARCH 1, 1915

VoL XII— No, 3 Whole No, 45

Table of Contents

Frontispiece — "Wisconsin Alpha" 224

Contributions —

Proceedings Inter-Fraternity Conference —.525

The True Task of the Fraternity I..237

A Letter from Cuba 241

A Confession 243

The College Fraternity and Dad 244

Customs and Traditions at Ohio State 245

All Star Fraternity Football Team 248

Lawrence College 25 1

Installation of Wisconsin Alpha 255

A Wprd About Sigma Tau Nu .257

The Song of the Convention 261

Inter-Fraternity Dinner 263

Editorials 264

Exchanges - - 268

Collegiate 274

Hellenic 276

Alumni Department 281

Chapter Letters ..: ,..297

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


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Exchange Editor

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~ Alumni Editor

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Entered as Second-Class Matter November 5, 1914, at the Post Office,
Lawrence, Kansas, under the Act of March 3, 1879


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VOL. XII. MARCH 1, 1915 NO. 3


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l|l.<»......^ Dean D. McBrien^ Department Editor 4,.<«„«»«.||i


Joseph R. Curl, D. C. Alpha, '09.

The sixth annual meeting of the Inter-fraternity Conference con-
vened at the University Club in New York City on Saturday, No-
vember 28, 19 1 4. Thirty-four fraternities w^ere represented by 112
members, making the largest session thus far held. Prof. F. W.
Shepardson, the chairman called the conference to order and in his
address reviewed the achievements of the conference in its five years
of existence. These achievements may be briefly summarized as fol-

1. The breaking down of the barriers of suspicion and jealousy
which formerly marked the relationships of fraternity officials.

2. The conceptions of the meaning and value of fraternities
have been much ennobled through acts of service to the college boys.

3. The influence of the meetings and discussions has been trans-
mitted to chapter houses from Maine to California, by the stimulation
of undergraduates to increased endeavor, higher standards, better
scholarship, cleaner living, etc., and the breaking down of improper

4. The strengthening of the position of fraternities with uni-
versity and college administrative officers, through printed reports,
personal visitation by executive officers, and distinct advances in vari-
ous chapters.

Prof. Shepardson outlined as the work of the future the follow-

Through the Committee on Public Opinion the investigation of
reports of discontent and the gathering of data for the guidance of
chapters where danger threatens.

Through the Committee on College Organizations inimincal to
the best interests of the fraternities the bringing of complete rout to


organizations for drinking and vulgarity, the working out in some
manner the problem of dual membership in general and professional
fraternities, and the checking of the high school "frat."

In conclusion, Prof. Shepardson pointed out that there was n
task before the conference in securing the hearty co-operation of alum-
ni members in the movement for fraternity advance — to secure the
sympathy particularly of those who look upon a visit to the chapter
as an occasion for the so-called "good time."

The report of the Secretary, Mr. Henry H. McCorkle, showed
that he had received a mass of correspondence during the year from
fraternity and college authorities, and that all information requested
had been given ; that the Executive Committee had investigated the
alleged breach of an inter-fraternity council agreement at Tulane Uni-
versity, and through a local committee had been endeavoring to ad-
just the matter.

The Executive Committee, through the Secretary, made the fol-
lowing recommendations :

( 1 ) That hereafter the Conference publish the minutes at its
own expense.

(2) That the editorial responsibility be placed upon an indi-
vidual rather than upon a committee.

(3) That all committee reports, which are to be printed, be
filed with the Secretary, w^ho w^ill have them printed in uniform type,
stock and size, so that they can be bound up with the proceedings of
the Conference in an uniform volume.

(4) That Section V. of the Constitution be amended so as to
read :

(V.) The executive power of the Conference between the an-
nual meetings shall be vested in an Executive Committee consisting
of the Chairman, the Secretary, the Treasurer rx-officio, and six oth-
er members to be elected, in two classes of three members each, to
serve for a term of two years, in such a manner that three of them
shall be chosen annually.

The Treasurer's report was in brief, as follows:

Balance on hand at last report $188.12

Receipts during year 745-95 $934.07

Disbursements 565.96

Balance on hand $368.1 1

The Committee on Relations Between Colleges and Fraterni-
ties reported that it had addressed a questionnaire to 79 colleges, and
from the replies "several things are clear," as follows:


( 1 ) That the whole question of fraternities in the colleges,
their present and potential value to the colleges and to the students,
has been undergoing a very general reconsideration by the colleges.

(2) That the relations between the colleges and the fraterni-
ties have been growing much more cordial ; that there is a more gen-
eral recognition among the colleges of the fact that the fraternity k
an educational influence worthy of cultivation, and, when cultivated,
productive of valuable results, however ill-informed certain legisla-
tors and others may remain ; and that the influence of the fraternities
in the colleges is quite generally regarded by the colleges themselves
as increasing in wholesomeness.

(3) That there is a marked tendency on the part of the col-
leges to exercise an increased supervision over the fraternities, this
supervision taking the form of definite regulation to some extent, but
still more exercising itself in informal ways, by conference and sug-

(4) That especially are the colleges seeking to raise scholar-
ship standards among the students by cultivating a rivalry in scholas-
tic standing between the various fraternities, by the publication, much
more frequently than heretofore, of comparative tables, and also by
bringing fraternity influences to bear on individual delinquents; and

(5) That the fraternities themselves, graduates and under-
graduates, welcome the tendency to make these student groups more
useful in their respective communities, and are meeting the colleges
more than half way ; and that they are quite willing to submit to such
supervision and regulation as the college authorities may properly ex-
ercise, this side of prohibition, violation of privacy in matters which do
not aiifect the college, or serious interference with a wholesome sys-
tem of self-government.

After giving a very detailed account of the answers received in
the questionnaire, the committee submitted the following recommenda-
tions :

The general tendency toward co-operation between the colleges
and fraternities in meeting criticism of student short-comings and in
rectifying the conditions criticised is exceedingly gratifying. There
seems to be nothing new to recommend in this connection. The pres-
ent status should be continued and the movement expedited by the
spread of information and by persistent effort on the part of both col-
leges and fraternities to continue the movement and to apply to con-
crete cases in practical ways the manifest desire of both colleges and
fraternities to be mutually helpful.

Moreover, the colleges, and those directing collegiate activities,
whether in or out of legislatures, should exercise some patience, and


apply to student problems the common sense they would apply to un-
satisfactory conditions in other walks in life, social, economic or politi-
cal. They w^ould not expect to change such conditions over night.
If intelligently prosecuted, their inquiry would be directed tow^ard ( i )
what are the causes of existing conditions; (2) what are the present
tendencies — toward improvement or the reverse; (3) what can we
do to expedite wholesome tendencies or retard the unwholesome ;
and (4) what is the ultimate goal toward which movement should be
directed, and why? They would not expect to arrive immediately
on setting out. And above all, they would expect to build upon the
past, rather than tear down. Evolution, rather than revolution,
would be their method.

In this connection mention should be made of the fact that sev-
eral colleges have made timely contributions by way of reports and
articles toward the ultimate solution of the common problems con-
fronting them and the fraternities. One may be specially noticed,
"A Report on Inter-Fraternity Relations of Dartmouth College"
giving the history of the experiments made by Dartmouth's fraterni-
ties with a postponed rushing season. A discussion of this problem
would be of place in this report, but the existence of such data in
printed form, and the fact that further information on the subject
may be had by inquiry of the officers of this Inter-Fraternity Con-
ference (men's fraternities) and of the National Pan-Hellenic Con-
gress (women's fraternities), suggests the desirability of colleges
which are considering specific fraternity problems, making full in-
quiry as to whether the experience of other colleges is accessible for
their consideration.

In thus summarizing the situation and making suggestions for
the future, this committee would emphasize two things:

First, the necessity of leadership in the practical and concrete
steps to be taken, often informally exercised, but nevertheless real.
In the nature of things, this must come from the colleges themselves.
Who else can do the work so efficiently, or with a more consistent
policy? Is it not, moreover, one of the things that the colleges are

Second, the desirability that the college authorities, in those
states where legislative interference with a purely collegiate problem
is threatened, shall assert their right to solve such problems them-
selves, without the embarrassment of a legislative fight which takes
into consideration only a few of the many elements involved.

The committee was thereupon discharged, with a vote of ap-
preciation from the conference.

The Committee on Local Interfraternity Councils submitted


its report. This committee made "an endeavor to ascertain * *
* the conditions concerning the existence, administration, mem-
bership, control and experience of local Inter-Fraternity councils at
the various colleges where the fraternity system was represented by
chapters," but owing to conditions at various institutions it was
deemed advisable to wait until November i, 1 91 4, before sending
out a questionnaire. Questions were sent to 156 colleges, and from
the answers the committee learned the institutions where there exist-
ed, or do not exist, local inter-fraternity councils, the form and pow-
ers thereof, and where not existing the reasons if known, at what in-
stitutions the local councils regulate rushing, and whether the ef-
forts so to do have been successful or not. All of these data w^ere
put in tabulated form in the report. The committee, in reply to its
request for suggestions, received the following:

Keep politics out of such council.

Abolish any form of pre-matriculation pledging.

No one ought to be pledged until he passes in enough work to
show that he can remain in college.

Invitations to membership in the fraternities should be on a
more dignified basis.

The council i^hould be backed up by the college authorities.

Find some w^iy to make a disagreeable chapter behave courte-

Make the fraternities cease encouraging the local chapters when
they break the rules and play smart.

Don't attempt to regulate High School fraternities.

Pay no attention to a candidate's previous membership in a
High School society.

Pledges ought to pass in a certain amount of work before ini-

The council ought to have some real power to prevent any
chapter acting unfairly.

The above, however, are merely individual suggestions. A very
general suggestion which was made by over seventy of those who re-
plied to the questions asked was that some method should be devised
by which an adequate punishment could be inflicted for a violation
of the council rules relating to rushing or to any other serious matter.

Concerning the question of punishment the committee said :

It is * * * obvious that any form of penalty or pun-
ishment which can be devised should, under all circumstances, pro-
vide for the retention of an offending chapter under the jurisdiction
and control of the local council.

But the dilemma which arises is this: No fraternity chapter


should be punished in such a way as to threaten its existence or de-
prive it of the financial support of its members. If either of these
results ensue from a punishment inflicted for instance, by forbidding^
it either initiate members or to compel it to suspend its functions and
thus deprive it of its income, then of course the general fraternity to
which it belongs fears the extinction of the chapter and comes to its
support from an instinctive feeling of loyalty and under the impulse
to "help a brother in distress" seriously injures the effect of any such
punishment and gives the offending chapter a moral support which
it should not have.

Imposing fines upon a chapter seems also to be rather inade-
quate. If the chapter is composed of wealthy members, a3 is fre-
quently the case, the fine is paid without any particular difficulty, and
in almost any case, unless the fine imposed is so large as to shock the
sense of fairness of the members of the college community, it has lit-
tle or no effect as a punishment.

In any case, if a violation of the rushing rules results in a fra-
ternity chapter being able to pledge men unfairly, whatever punish-
ment is inflicted should include a prohibition against the initiation of
those particular pledges, at least, for a limited time. It would seem
that possibly the most efficacious punishment which could be devised
would be to deprive an offending chapter of the right to participate
in athletic or other college activities for a certain time. This would
wound the pride and weaken the prestige of the offending chapter
without threatening its existence or depriving it of financial support.
However, this is merely a suggestion made by the committee.

Unless the members of the inter-fraternity council at any college
are able, through the existence of a spirit of college loyalty, to secure
the moral sanction of the undergraduates to the infliction of punish-
ment for infractions of its rule, they should seek the assistance of the
college authorities, that is, either the faculty or the Board of Trus-
tees, or both. There are a few colleges where the students have be-
come accustomed to principles of self-government and can be trust-
ed to handle a situation of this kind adequately, but in many colleges,
in order to be successful, the power to punish must either come from
above and be sanctioned and upheld by the college authorities or by
the authority of the fraternities concerned. The latter alternative
would naturally be the most desirable from the standpoint of the
members of this body.

The committee gives with its report the details of local inter-
fraternity agreements of some 14 institutions, which afford available
data for a comparative study of these agreements and ideas on which
to prepare new agreements. The committee has in its possession


copies of the constitutions and by-laws of such organizations in
about 50 colleges in all.

The Committee on Uniform System of Chapter House Account-
ing reported that 16 fraternities have adopted and are using the coii-
ference plan. This committee was discharged with a vote of ap-

The recommendation of the Executive Committee, heretofore
set forth in the report of the Secretary, that the constitution be
amended, was unanimously adopted.

The Committee on College Organizations Antagonistic to Fra-
ternity Ideals reported, through its chairman Mr. James B. Curtis,
that the following results have been obtained with reference to the
prohibition against T. N. E.:

Fraternities which prohibit membership in T. N. E 14

Action not j^et taken, but slated 3

No action 5

Attempted to prohibit and failed i

Matter for consideration of each chapter 4

Not important enough to be dignified by action 2

Fraternities not answering 4

The committee further reported that an inter-fraternity organiza-
tion known as "Quo Vadis" had been discovered. This organiza-
tion was founded at the University of Missouri, October 13, 1906,
and its requirements for membership is that the candidate "bum" his
way 1,000 miles. Attention was called, so that members of the con-
ference could be on their guard, to two clubs, one known as "Deru"
at Northwestern University, and the other as "Pachamachanan" at
the University of Kansas, both political organizations. The commit-
tee submitted the following resolution, which was unanimously
adopted :

Resolved: That the Inter-Fraternity Conference receives with
approval the report of progress made in prohibiting membership in
Theta Nu Epsilon and recommends that the members of this Con-
ference continue their opposition.

Be It Further Resolved: That it views with disapproval such
organizations as Quo Vadis at the University of Missouri, which is
believed to be an inter-fraternity organization, and recommends that
it be watched there and wherever it may appear, and further recom-
mends that the fraternities having chapters where it exists seriously
consider prohibiting membership in it.

Be It Further Resolved: That inter-fraternity fraternities.



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clubs and organizations have been found useless and detrimental to
the best interests of the Greek letter fraternities.

The committee was discharged with an expression of apprecia-
tion by the conference.

The Committee on Relations Between General College Fra-
ternities and Professional Fraternities reported that advice had been
received that there was in process of formation a Medical Inter-Fra-
ternity Conference along the same lines upon which this conference
was formed, and that information had come that steps have been
taken to form a Legal Inter-Fraternity Conference. The committee
submitted the following resolution, which was unanimously adopted :

Resolved: That the Executive Committee of the Inter-Frater-
nity Conference at once enter into correspondence with the several
Medical and Legal Fraternities, with the view of co-operating in any
way we can in the formation of a Medical Inter-Fraternity and a
Legal Inter-Fraternity Conference.

The committee was discharged from further duties.

A report of a special committee outlining the steps that have
been taken in, and giving the present status of the case of the Board
of Trustees of the University of Mississippi vs. Waugh, now pending
in the Supreme Court of the United States, was read, the report filed,
and the committee discharged.

The Committee on Chapter House Conditions presented an ex-
haustive report based on 117 replies received to a questionnaire, sub-
mitting ten questions intended to bring out the cost of living in chap-
ter houses as compared to dormitories, giving attention to the general
control exercised over chapter houses. The report says :

These (replies) indicate very wide differences of practice in al-
most every department of Chapter House activity. Some Chapter
Houses are evidently very highly organized, are controlled by very
detailed rules, while others seem to be still in a very primitive con-
dition of government. Indeed it appears as if the work done by
this Conference in the matter of devising a standard method of Chap-
ter accounting might possibly be extended to the development and
promulgation of a system of Chapter House organization and govern-

Those Chapter Houses which are not fully organized are too
apt to be dependent; upon the character and personality of a single
man. If that man is a senior and he lacks qualities of leadership or
is deficient in moral fibre, the entire Chapter must suffer unduly by
that circumstance. Those of us who have observed the life of vari-
ous Chapters in a single institution must have noticed how they have
their periods of success and failure, their ups and downs, and how


these fluctations seem to depend upon the personality of some feu-
men who happen to be at the head of affairs at the time. A high de-
gree of Chapter organization, and especially with organized Alumni
co-operation, must lesson considerably the extent of these fluctuations.

The report concludes as follows :

Summing up these opinions it appears that those Chapters are
best which are most highly organized and in which the conduct of
the individual members is regulated and controlled by rules strictly
enforced. As has been said frequently in these reports the Chapter
House is the student's home and his w^elfare should be as carefully
guarded while a resident there as it was in the home which he left
when he came to college. The organization of each Chapter shouhl
be such as to foster in its members the best that is in them in scholar-
ship, in student activities and in social intercourse, and any fra-
ternity Chapter that fails in any one of these ideals is delinquent in
its duty toward its men, whatever may be its public reputation or
standing among its fellows.

We believe that to assist those chapters that are less wtII orga-
nized and, possibly, those fraternities that have not yet given much at-
tention to this subject, the Inter-Fraternity Conference might very
well make a more systematic study of the entire subject of organiza-
tion than we have been able to do, with a view to the formulation
and publication of an adequate standard system of Chapter House
organization for the use and convenience of all who may be inter-
ested. While such a system might not be adopted by any one chap-
ter of a single fraternity, yet it might and probably would include

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Online LibrarySigma Phi EpsilonSigma Phi Epsilon Journal (Volume Vol. 12 No. 3) → online text (page 1 of 11)