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April 28, 1963 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1963-04-28

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SUNDAY, APRIL 28t 1903


Fraternities Draw Praise, Criticism from U.S. Student Bodies

(Continued from Page 2)
for the organizational man," Pres-
ident John. Millett of Miami Uni-
versity of Ohio says. "I happen to
think that ti... is useful rather
than harmful.",
But any one who concludes all
Greeks think, act and look alike
right down to their dirty white
bucks risks the embarrassment of
Jan Garrett, president of the MSU
Young Socialists. He is convinced
today's Greeks are tomorrow's
"organizational bureaucrats" but
has to live with the unsettling fact
that a recent leader of the group
was a sorority girl.
For certainly 7 million Greeks
can't all be snobbish, 3-button
suit, no-padded-shoulder copies of
each other.. They are probably as
diverse as 7 million plumbers or'
bank vice-presidents. What wor-
ries some of their critics is that de-
spite their diversity they too often
speak in one voice-or not at all.
As a group they seem to have sur-
prisingly little to say publicly on
national issues, one way or anoth-
Yet this silence can sometimes
be deceptive. When the University

of Georgia integrated two years
ago the fraternities did nothing
other than increase study hall
hours. This was not, as might be
viewed from certain northern
points, failure to speak out but an
effort to avoid the violence that
came later to Oxford, Miss.
Despite the heckling of the an-
ti-Greek chorus, fraternities are
not unwanted. On the contrary. A
national survey of college deans
showed they would like to have
500 more fraternity chapters add-
ed in the next five years. A build-
ing boom is already under way..
At Pennsylvania State Univer-
sity, which has 54 chapters, fra-
ternities have spent $1.16 million
on construction and repair in the
last two years. Arizona State re-
cently completed new fraternity
construction totaling $2.5 million.
Stanford has Just completed a $11.
million fraternity quadrangle and
has begun another-with outdoor
barbecue pits for each house.
Serves as Housing
This means desperately needed
housing--usually at private ex-
pense-for colleges facing the swift
swelling of enrollment. And the

enrollment itself means more
members for the fraternities to
help meet their own rising costs.
But money and barbecue pits
will not be the saving of the fra-
ternity system. The growing chal-
lenge before them today is to
prove they are a desirable adjunct
to the educational process, a chal-
lenge the Greeks are beginning to
respond to.
"Once the classes are out and
the students go over the hill, we
feel we've lost them," a Williams
professors says. "I think there are
some Chi Psi's who don't ever
leave the house except for classes.
They're so happy just being Chi
It was to break down this in-'
sularity, primarily, that Williams
decided after years of wrestling
with the fraternity issue to order
the houses off campus effective by
1966. They will be replaced by so-
cial units of 100 students or so
which will house and feed their
residents, provide besides social
facilities for beer and cheer-cul-
A unit, for instance, might havef

a chamber music recital after din-
ner or a professor living in the
building or an art exhibition in
the commons room. "Even if the
student was tone deaf and hated
art he'd at least have to look at a!
picture or hear a few notes on
his way out the door," the profes-
sor said.
Angry alumni charged Williams
with playing big brother. One irate
Graduate even compared the sys-
tem to the Chinese communes.
Many Greeks feel Williams has
turned off the mainstream of
American college life and is head-
ed over the waterfalls. Yet a size-
able number of schools have writ-
ten Williams for details about its
perilous experiment and are
watching closely to see how it will
come out. Others are doing more
than watching.
Ultimate Ultimatum
Brown has told its fraternities
to get their marks up or get out.
Bowdoin, still pro-fraternity, none-
theless thinks its seniors would do
better to live away from the fra-
ternities in a more academic at-
mosphere and is building a 14-
story un-ivory tower-the tallest

New England building north of
Boston-to accommodate them.
These scattered reforms don't
yet form a definite trend. Nor do
they indicate the fraternity on the
whole hasn't done well. They indi-
cate some educators want it to do
They feel the fraternities' po-
tential is great: To expand their
philosophy of brother-help-broth-
er from the social to the academic
realm, to add lectures by visiting
speakers, good library facilities and
even resident professors to stim-
ulate thought and conversation in

a uniquely relaxed atmosphere.
The 'U' at Last
"We are almost yearning for
them to succeed," a University
administrator in Ann Arbor said.
And the Greeks can point jus-
tifiably to their long history of
teaching self-government to the
nation's youth: To making, at
their best, substantial government
to their members' social develop-
ment: And to serving as a focus
to school loyalty and spirit.
While it is under pressure, the
decline and fall of the Greek em-
pire is not yet.

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