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August 15, 1935 - Image 6

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1935-08-15

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Wild Man? No! Just Michigan's Honor Societies
Taking' Worthy Ones In Traditional Yearly Rides'

^- . u rP4 ;

Hast Come


' .

,CW e Cam pus Merchants
Sing Our Praises To

When Spring cones to Ann Arbor
it brings with it not only the showers
and resulting flowers, but a group of
University of Michigan students, gone
temporarily berserk, whom the Uni-
versity and its undergraduates proud-
ly point out as "hoors men."
Indian braves, forest bards, dunces
on skates, Egyptians, and fire-wor-
shippers - shouting madly, and run-
uing across the walks and lawns of
the ordinarily peaceful campus, make
their appearance in May. Why that
month nobody has ever troubled to
find out, but at any rate they are not
really mad, they are merely dressed
ip in the grotesque costumes of their
various tribal orders and are "riding"
for new members.
Five honor societies exist on the
campus to honor M chigan men who
have distinguished themselves in ac-
tivities: Michigamua, Druids, Sphinx,
Vulcans, and Triangles. Their his-
tory and traditions are interesting
and the intiation ceremonies color-
Each year these honor societies
choose from among the 8,000 or more
undergraduates in the University,
men whom they believe will carry out
not only the aims and purposes of
their individual societies, but also the
tradition of Michigan - something, it
has been said, which no university or
college can well do without.
Michigamua Oldest
Michigamua, oldest and most fa-
mous among the campus honor so-
cieties, came into being in the fall
of 1900 in order to study philosophy
under the famous Prof. Robert Mark
Wenley. It is said that because those
who wrote the most under WenleyI
seemed to get the highest grades, the
group was originally called the "hot
air" club.
The Indian motif came two years
later. The Michigamua tribe, from3
which the state took its name, was
not a very large one, though well-
known in this region. Charter mem-
i-ers took upon themselves Indian
names, all bearing upon the particular
feat or activity in which the Tribe
member was engaged. To put it in
the words of the "fighting braves"
of Michgamua, each name "must
catchem plenty signif."
Some of the names applied to the
various members are "Pontiac" Fred
Dewey, "Raven Locks" Hollister,
"King" Phil Bursley, "Billy Bowlegs"
Temple. Listed in the directors of the
Tribe are also some Michigan men
who today are leaders in their fields.
Among these are "Great Scalper"
Yost, H.C.L. Jackson, well-known De-
troit columnist, "Three Thunder"
Kipke, "Warrior Builder" Chuck
Hoyt, "There He Goes" Chauncey
S. Boucher, "Big Ten" Ralph Aigler,
"Wally Neugance" Emory Thomason,

at one time the highest paid business
executive of any newspaper, and at
present the owner of the Chicago
Daily Times and Tampa Tribune, and
"Friendly Chidf" Mortimer E. Cooley.
Michigamua is the one honor so-
ciety on the Michigan campus that is
known from coast to coast and ranks
along with Yale's Skull and Cross-
Called "Tribe"
"Tribe," as it is more familiarly
called, initiates its young palefaces
1n a public ceremony in which the

and up seven flights of stairs in the city. There was a time, according
Michigan Union. to records, when members of Sphinx
At one time' the annual "Tribe" carried .45 revolvers wth which they
party used to be one of the most im- startled the citizenry, but someone
portant functions of the year. It objected. And then also in those
would start as a steak roast early in "good old days" there used to be an
the afternoon and the dinner would overhead water release on one of the
be served by the "young bucks." campus drives, unuer which the
At the present time, the annual Sphinx wagon would drive in order
Michigamua party is known as the to assure the initiates a thorough
"Peace Paddle," and each "young dampending. If any of the initiates
buck" paddles a "fighting brave" and suggested that they were cold, oblig-

his "squaw" of the moment up theI
Huron River where, in a secluded andj
"Indianish" territory, much amberI

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"fighting braves," of last year's mem-
bers, assume the Indian headdress
and red war paint (brick dust), and
bring the supplicant initiates into the
wisdom of Indan lore in an impres-
sive ceremony, the location of which
is the Tappan oak in front of the
General Library.
In this initiation the "palefaces"
are made to do much to prove that
they will "fight like hell for Mich-
igan and Michigamua." Part of the
torture consists of making the ini-
tiates "duck walk" across the campus

I __________________--4





$lue GooSC Lines

"fire water" and sandwiches are con-
Frm All Colleges
Members of Michigamua come from
all colleges of the University and
are chosen on the basis of their rec-
ords in their activities, but more im-
portantly as to their character.
Druids, senior honor society, which
honors only literary college student,s
found its inception in Joe Parker's
traditional Michigan rendezvous in
Its motif is taken from the Druids
- bards of the forests - taken from
German legends of the middle ages.
It's chapter room in the Michigan
Union is decorated appropriately (as
is a room devoted to Michigamua)
and features a cave-like hole with
trees and rocks lending atmosphere.
At the weekly Druids' meetings,
members are togged in medieval
hooded robes, and assemble under
the direction of the "arch-druid."
Druids' initiates assemble ariund
the Druid rock in front of Angell
Hall and crawl about with planks tied
to their backs, rendering homage be-
fore the ban-fire. Each year incom-
ing members are responsible for giv-
ing the historic rock a bath.
The Egyptian theme runs through
the ceremonials of Sphinx, junior
honorary literary society, which was
founded more than three decades
Sphinx For Juniors
Intended solely to pay homage to
distingushed and promising juniors,
Sphinx originally'had the job of con-
ducting a tag day to pay the expenses
of the Varsity Band, assisted in the
enforcement of campus traditions,
and helped to entertain visiting ath-
Old members wear red robes in
the initiation ceremonies, and ini-
tiates, stripped to the waist and
well covered with venetian red, are
tied to a board, and loaded on to a
hay wagon for a ride through the

ing members would paddle the soles
of their feet to insure better circula-
On one part of the ceremonial ride,
the members of Sphinx run up the
steps of Angell Hall and assemble
under a bronze Sphinx head in the
foyer *of the building to sing their
traditional song.
Feud Formerly Existed
A constant feud used to exist be-
tween Triangles, junior honorary en-
gineering society and Sphinx. It used
to occur that when Sphinx wanted
to drive their wagon-load of initiates
through the engineering arch-way,
the Triangles would be naving their
initiation there and would rather
naturally object. Unable to stop the
inroad of Sphinx, members of Tri-
angles, about five years ago, poured
hot water on them as they passed
under the arch from windows above.
Triangles formed more than 20
years ago, has a program of regular
lectures at its meetings intended to
present broadening material outside
the field of engineering.
In accord with its philosophy of
cleanliness of the soul, Triangles has
in its initiation a regular scrubbing
of the Enginereing Arch. Initiates
must also crawl around in the steam
laboratories with the same idea of
purification by heat in mind.
Of more than general interest on
the University campus is the reg-
ular Triangle skating contest in front
of the General Library. Initiates
in dunce caps and carrying pails of
water, and some of whom have been
given no opportunity to learn to
skate, are tested for speed and en-
Outstanding seniors in the engi-
neering college are honored by mem-
bership in Vulcans, which was found-
ed in 1904. Meeting every two weeks,
Vulcans also attempts to present a
broadening program to its members.
Around Huge Fire
The informal part of the initiation
of Vulcans is conducted around a
huge fire in front of the engineering
clock tower and the initiates, stripped
to the waist and blackened, brawl
about the fire, blowing on it and
pounding on an anvil.
Two years ago, the society, which
like all of the others, "rides" for its
men at night, disturbed the populace
of Ann Arbor to such an extent with
their anvil-pounding that the local
"bobbies" were summoned and the
boisterous fellows were placed in the
"bastille" temporarily.
Later in the initiation ceremony of
the society, the legend of Prometheus
is reenacted in a remote room in the
basement of the engineering building.
There is the picture of men's honor
societies at the University. These so-
cieties carry on at Michigan one of
the greatest assets it can possess -
tradition. The boys initiated into the
societies, for the most part, are defi-
nitely "good Michigan men." They
are the alumni who come back for
the big games, they are also the
alumni who frequently help the Uni-
versity materially with financial as-
sistance. They feel closer to Mich-
igan than the average undergraduate,
no doubt, because they have done
things on the campus.
"There must be no walking about
the halls in the nude"-Edict issued
at the University of Toledo (Ohio).
At the same time, the students were
told to see that their curtains were
drawn while undressing.
Found in a blue book at the Univer-
sity of Maryland (Baltimore)-"Dear
Professor: If you sell any .of these
answers to the humor magazines, re-
member I want my cut."

Predict Another
Good Year For
Debating Team
Last Year's Grolpp W uner
Of Conference Forensic
Prospects for another successful
varsity debating team are visioned
by James H. McBurney, coach.
Although many of the regular de-
baters from last year's Conference
championship have graduated, Mr.
McBurney said that a number of
promising freshmen, along with two
or three veterans of last year will be
back this fall.
Those who will be back are Ed-
ward Litchfield, '36, who won the
National Delta Sigma Rho speech
discussion contest last year, William
Centner, '37, Abe Zwerdling, '37L,
Jack Maekle, '37L, Joseph Harmon,
'38, and Collins Broks, '37.
Not Complete Yet
The complete schedule for the
1935-36 season has not yet been
prepared, according to Mr. McBurney,
but as in the past two years the
varsity season wil be divided into
two parts - fall and spring debates.
In the fall the varsity team will
engage Wayne University, University
of Detroit, and Albion College, and
probably three Big Ten teams, as yet
In the spring, the annual Con-
ference Debating Tournament will be
held, this time at the University 6f
Illinois at Urbana.
Last year the University team
placed second in this tournament,
but as the record of debates won and
lost during the school ye r, are in-
cluded in determining the Conference
champion, the University was award-
ed the cup.
Won 8; Lost 2
The record for last year's confer-
ence debates for both men and women
was: Men, won 6 and lost 2; women,
won 2 and lost 0.
The question which will be debated
on next year is "Socialized Medi-
cine," a subject which Mr. McBur-
ney, characterized as being "chock
full of controversy and excellent de-
bating material."
During the past four years, Michi-
gan debating teams have never fin-
ished lower than second place, and
along with Northwestern University,
this University practically holds a
monopoly on debating champion-
Health Service
Gives Complete
Medical Care
Inexpensive And Extensive
Aid Offered Sick Stu-
dents Enrolled Here
The most extensive and inexpensive
medical care offered among American
universities is provided by the Uni-
versity of Michigan Health Service
which cares for any student illness
that should arise during the student's
residence and takes preventive meas-
.ures in regard to the student's living
and recreational conditions. .
Illness contracted by the student
during the semester in which he is
enrolled is taken care of in the Health
Service building and the University
Hospital. Each student receives
without charge office medical service
of any nature from his physician -ad-
viser and the Health Service staff of
specialists. The student is also -en-
titled to free bed care for 30 days and

emergency operations without charge.
Nurse Stationed
In each of the women'sddormitories
there is a nurse stationed, and men
students living in rooming houses
have room-call service available.
Of the medical services rendered by
the University, the student is charged
for the following: extra nursing, some
University hopsital services, dental
x-rays, physician room calls, non-
emergency operations, health appli-
ances, the repair and purchase of eye
glasses. The charges for these ser-
vices are devised to defray the ex-
penses to the University only.
The Health Service administers the
health examination which each en-
tering student the University must
undergo. The University cares for
any illness of a serious nature brought
to light in the examination, and ad-
vises students in the care of minor
ailments. These examinations are
provided but not required annuaslly,
High Standards Kept
The medical officials cooperate with
students in maintaining a high stan-
dard of living conditions. Physi-
cians conduct inspections of the var-
ious eating places in Ann Arbor
throughout the school year and in-
form the students through The Daily
of those places not meeting the rigid
An effort to orient students to the
athletic facilities of the University,
such as the Intramural building and
the Union swimming pool, is made by
the authorities.
In conjunction with the nhvsical




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