Part III

Their Role in a Changing Campus

Panhellenic Council 1997
Panhellenic Council 1997

Two developments during the 1960’s, one national and the other local, were to account for such revolutionary changes that the campus, particularly fraternity life, would be irretrievably and forever altered. One was a national phenomenon–the upheaval in college student life. The second was the new administration under Dr. K. Roald Bergethon (1958-1978) and a new order that took over the Board of Trustees under Messrs. Felmly, Gottshall, Grazier and kindred spirits. Within the Board, the disappearance in 1966 of a separate standing Committee on Fraternity Houses and the absorption of its functions by a newly formed Athletics and Student Affairs Committee of the Board was indicative of the broadening of the concern of the trustees about fraternities to more than just ‘houses.’15

During the administration of Interim President Guy E. Snavely (1957-58) the faculty, because of its perennial concern about the average academic records of the members of fraternities (persistently lower than all college averages) tried again to gain a further delay in Fraternity rushing. The upshot was a directive from the Board that rushing be scheduled between the first and second semesters of the freshman year and that the College abolish Greek and/or hell-week activities while classes were in session. The Board also observed that delayed rushing could not be instituted until there was a college commons for freshmen.

Such a facility was soon available. In 1960 Marquis Hall was opened, providing some student residence units, some activities areas and a satisfactory commons. The College, in cooperation with the fraternities, worked out a plan for second-semester freshman rushing which went into effect in 1960-61 along with the opening of the dining facilities in Marquis Hall. A freshman could spend the first semester sizing up the values and deficiencies of fraternity life and, if he so desired and was invited, pledge a fraternity early in the second semester, eating his meals in Marquis Hall for his entire school year. (See Appendix III.) This system survived until 1994-5.

By the early 1960’s the fraternity houses had lost their monopoly over room and board. With no intention of placing the fraternity in jeopardy the college had indeed provided decent alternate life styles for the student. However, the number of housing facilities added since the end of World War II were just about the same as the increase in the number of students when student enrollment stabilized at 1500. Marquis Hall housed fifty six students. New McKeen Hall, which replaced “Dorm Row” in 1955, provided housing for 178 students. The “social dorms” housed thirty six in Soles Hall, 133 in Watson Hall and seventy two in Kirby House. Rebuilt South College housed 252; McKelvy House, acquired by the College in 1960, provided an intellectual atmosphere for about twenty undergraduate scholars.The number of fraternities remained until the 1970s (see below) at what it had been–nineteen–with a much larger pool from which to recruit members. The number of Independent students had grown but were still a minority.

At the very first faculty meeting presided over by the new President in 1958, the administration recommended a policy intended to resolve a campus problem that had persisted since the beginning of the Institution. The faculty accepted it. At social functions alcoholic beverages could be served, but only to those legally entitled and non-alcoholic beverages (in addition to tap water) had to be served as well. It was the sensible and correct thing to do. Frankness and honesty replaced subterfuge and duplicity. But the question might well be asked: At what social function in a fraternity was the consumption of alcoholic beverages indeed limited to the guests and students of legal age? Bars appeared openly for beer on tap. The beer kegs began to pile up in fraternity back yards. The misuse of this regulation is backdrop to much that was to happen. And much was to happen.

These changes in college facilities and college policy were taking place at the same time as an alteration in the nature of fraternity life, real or perceived. If there are causal relationships between these two courses–the changing college and the changing fraternity–no attempt will be made here to examine them.

Changes in the life style of the active chapters in the late 1960’s, when almost all college students seemed happy to emulate the so-called Hippie (clothing, hair styles, earrings, personal hygiene, and attitudes toward sex and toward older generations–Don’t trust anyone over 30!) more than strained relations with the college, the public, the chapter alumni and most significantly with the Greek letter fraternity spirit itself. These changes were occurring at the same time as the college campuses of the country were in revolt over the involvement of the United States in the conflict in Vietnam and seemed to become hot beds of sedition–a sentiment antithetic to the Fraternity Spirit.

The loss of this spirit in the old-fashioned sense of the term was evidenced on the Lafayette campus in 1972 when the Interfraternity Council disbanded. The semi-annual Interfraternity Ball was dropped in favor of rock concerts which left the IFC in debt. Its response was to dissolve as though there were no other interests common to all the fraternities–not even Rushing Agreements. The individual chapters were assessed to pay the debt. A few years later in 1974 the Association of Social Living Groups (ASLG) was formed, embracing the fraternities and the “social dorms” to organize rushing and engage jointly in some social services.16 The “fraternity” as such no longer seemed to mean something special to the members, no lifelong commitment to certain ideals signified in the Greek letter title. The rituals were questioned, ridiculed and even in some cases dropped.

The public image of the Fraternity became tarnished. The campus was not spared the problems of drug use. The names of any students apprehended by the college authorities or the police on drug charges were withheld. Yet, if a fraternity house was raided and a few students found with controlled substances for their own use or for sale, the name of the fraternity was released (probably not with prejudicial intent) and of course the chapter incriminated. The public image of fraternity life was not much different than the image of Haight Ashbury or some Hippie commune in California or the southwest. Some chapters of course did not fit this stereotype. But those that did gave the entire system a bad reputation. Insofar as the fraternity undergraduate chapters were identified with this image, justly or unjustly, they lost the support of their alumni at a time when it was most needed.

In 1966 another effort was made at getting the fraternity alumni groups more involved. The Alumni Interfraternity Board (AIB) was organized through the initiative, again, of Joseph E. Bell, then Director of Alumni Affairs, an officer in the college administration.17 Rather than direct its attention to the signs of inner decay in the active chapters, the AIB seemed to be more concerned with representing and defending what it considered to be the Fraternity Interest, sometimes in the old adversarial spirit toward the College. The College rejected the proposal that a representative of the AIB sit on each committee concerned with matters that might affect fraternities. The Dean of Students, though, kept the AIB fully advised of developments that would affect fraternities and invited AIB comments. Its relevance to fraternity and sorority life on campus has been increasing.

One objection to delayed rushing was the fact that it took contact with the seniors away from the freshmen. Insofar as that more mature group had an influence on the freshmen as guides and models when they were adjusting to college life, this separation was to be lamented. The objection was met in 1970 by a return to one of Dr. Hutchison’s aborted proposals. The college ended separate freshman residence halls, mixing the first year students in with the three upper classes in all living facilities and placing student Resident Advisors in all groups. These trained residents counseled the students in their assigned area and organized them at least to agree on visiting hours. From their first days freshmen could be associated with all three older groups and get as much peer advice and counsel as they wished. The role of these RAs has also been increasing in significance over the years since they were first established.

As a radical demographic shift took place at Lafayette College during the 1960’s the Board of Trustees found itself drawn into areas of fraternity life it would at one time have considered unthinkable. Already in the 1950’s the undergraduate members of some local chapters of national fraternities were growing restless under the yoke of discriminatory clauses. One fraternity, Phi Kappa Tau, severed its relationship when its national chapter objected to an African-American it had pledged in 1956. The chapter became a local as Delta Sigma until the national yielded on the issue two years later. The Trustees applauded the action and supported Delta Sigma. At the time, however, it did not occur to the College to raise the general question of discrimination in the fraternity system.

Beginning with the first year of the Bergethon administration the college dropped a never articulated but always understood policy when it directed the Admissions Office to stop limiting the number of qualified Catholic and Jewish candidates to be offered admission. Also, in response to the Civil Rights movements of the 1960s, the College deliberately attempted to attract African-American students. The discriminatory policies of the national fraternities were no longer consistent with college policies. Upon recommendations from the faculty and cautiously in order to give each local chapter opportunity to work out its destiny with its national, the trustees took action to bring about the end of the discriminatory clauses of the national Greek letter fraternities on Jan 5, 1962 (See Appendix IV) and the end of the black ball practices of the local chapters on April 19, 1969 (See Appendix V). Sigma Chi went local as Sigma Phi Chi in 1966.18 The Board did not have to order the chapter to do so; the actives took the initiative.19 In theory at least, by the end of the 60’s neither the college nor the individual fraternities practiced racial or religious discrimination. In principle the pool from which fraternities could draw was further enlarged since they were presumably excluding from consideration no one because of religion, race or ethnic origin, frustrated by no national control over whom they initiated and no longer allowing one negative vote to deny membership.

Whether the trustees and faculty approved of fraternities or not, the reality was that the fraternity house was still factored into student residence planning. That some few might fold as a result of altered conditions was expected, but the main block of houses had to be sustained as room and board. The Board of Trustees therefore discovered that in its traditional area of concern–housing–its functions were being expanded. Every chapter house on and off campus was an old structure. Only one was relatively new, the KDR house, built by a local, Tarms, in 1928. Perhaps the mortgages had been paid off on most of them but they all needed repair. The college-owned structures, former faculty facilities, were almost all frame structures that were not in very good shape. All–the palatial houses or the former faculty homes–probably needed safety and fire-prevention updating. The fire at the DEKE house December 3, 1959, and the fire at the Theta Delta Chi house almost a year later, November 20, 1960, brought the Board into action on the questions of fire prevention and fire insurance. Surveys showed that only two of the old structures met minimum fire safety regulations and none of the fraternities that owned their own houses carried replacement value insurance. Periodic inspections of at least college-owned fraternity houses were initiated. The fire at the Phi Gamma Delta house in April 1975 was a grim reminder that more had yet to be done.

When discussing safety and insurance policies with fraternity presidents in the early 1960’s, the trustees discovered that the undergraduate chapters would welcome guidelines in many areas–finances, insurance, occupancy, health and safety standards–areas, as has been noted, the board had not in the past considered under its jurisdiction but rather the concern of chapter alumni corporations. The Trustee Committee complied with the expressed wishes of the undergraduate fraternity presidents by issuing “Fraternity Guidelines” in 1964. (See Appendix VI.)

These Guidelines covered finances, bill collection, audits, occupancy, inspections, fire and health regulations, housekeeping, diet, grounds maintenance, and even garbage collection and house conditions during holidays and summer vacations. They give some indication of the material status of the fraternity system on the Lafayette campus in the early 1960’s. It was not good. The trustees should concern themselves with housekeeping? with diet? with garbage collection? The Guidelines were advice. Soon the Board would be giving instructions in these many areas.

As important an event for the College as the day the citizens of Easton decided they wanted a college in their community (December 27, 1824), or the day its doors opened (May 9, 1832) or the day the Pardee Scientific School opened in 1865, was the admission of women to degree programs. The first class was admitted in September 1970. At its meeting, May 31, 1974, the Board of Trustees approved the graduation of the first full four-year class of women, those who matriculated in 1970, and ended the period of transition to coeducation.

The Board also at that same meeting gave even more significance to the date. It approved for dissemination two documents which would set the course for fraternities in the new coeducational environment, almost as revolutionary a step as the admission of women. One statement was entitled “Report of the Committee to Study the Fraternities,” the second “Policy for the Continued Recognition of Fraternities.” The first contained some recommendations as to what should be done to save the fraternity system. The second turned the recommendations into instructions. If the recommendations were not followed a chapter would lose recognition. The policies were in fact already being applied. At that same meeting the Board reviewed the status of one fraternity in accordance with them.

Two years earlier, 1972, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees had appointed this Committee to Study Fraternities because, it was felt, the 1964 “Guidelines” had been only read and filed and not acted upon. This committee’s report echoed many of the recommendations in the earlier report but was specific as to who should be responsible for what–undergraduate chapters, chapter alumni corporations, the college administration or the trustees themselves. (See Appendix VII.)

The recommendations to the undergraduates were obvious: scholastic excellence, responsible management, and closer relations with their alumni, with their national organizations and indeed with the college community. The recommendations to the college administration were specific: do not encourage new fraternities or rescue weak ones; allow sororities when the women students are interested; don’t do service repairs for fraternities that own their houses and don’t purchase furniture and equipment for them to avoid sales taxes; work with fraternity presidents since there is no IFC; arrange for three inspections of the physical plants each year.

The recommendations to the trustees themselves give clear evidence of the changes that had taken place: authorize three mandatory inspections a year; require the alumni chapters to maintain maintenance reserves and report to the administration annually; suggest a Sinking Fund for maintenance and repairs; require satisfactory insurance coverage and annual reports. At the time the Board set aside for further study a recommendation to authorize an administrative staff member to work with the fraternities, but this would follow.

Recommendations were also made to the autonomous Alumni House corporations: actively support the AIB; require the active chapters to abide by national rules; hold four meetings a year with the chapters; counsel undergraduates on scholarship, social and extracurricular activities; assure day-to-day maintenance; arrange for custodial service and reserve funds; adopt a budget; require the actives to pay for all housing spaces each semester; require satisfactory billing procedures; hire an accountant; assure that the active chapters adopt the recommendations directed at them.

Hardly ever, if at all, had the trustees in the past concerned themselves with any of these issues except the payment of loans the college had made to one chapter or another. Now it was issuing instructions. Many were obvious. But the critical innovative instructions were the establishment of three inspections annually of all fraternity houses, not just those owned by the college, and the instruction not to encourage new fraternities nor rescue weak ones and to support sororities if and when the women students were interested! These instructions have not been altered in any serious way by the trustees, who reaffirmed their support of them in 1982. And in due course an administrative staff member whose time was to be dedicated to fraternity and sorority activities was authorized.

The trustees not only considered all aspects of fraternity life within their purview but stated explicitly for the first time the authority it implicitly always had to discipline a student group. The second mandate of the Board issued on May 31, 1974, the policy on recognition, contained the teeth. (See Appendix VIII.) Although the statement contained several significant criteria for continued trustee recognition, a critical one was size. As already indicated, fraternity housing capacity was an integral part of college planning for student accommodations. Not only did the college expect a fraternity house actually to hold as many students as had been planned, but as landlord of quite a few it also expected full occupancy so that the anticipated rent would be paid.

Also the board recognized that a fraternity with a less than full house was faltering in rushing and therefore probably in everything else. The Athletics and Student Affairs Committee of the Board gave careful attention to housing figures, called low rosters to the attention of delinquent chapters, and after due consultation and delay, if trends did not reverse themselves, recommended the withdrawal of recognition. Women students could move into the empty house.

The college anticipated that the admission of women to undergraduate degree programs in 1970 would affect the fraternity system. But the changes that took place were not the expected ones. As part of the introduction of women, the college increased student numbers to 2000 on a three to one ratio. In time the number of male and female students about equalized. At the time the Board authorized the admission of women to degree programs, no thought seems to have been given to the relationships between fraternities and this influx of women. The college opened coeducational residence halls and residential suites. Today only four residence halls accommodate men only or women only: Blair Hall provides housing for thirty men and Kirby House for seventy two men, Soles Hall for thirty six women and Marquis Hall for fifty six women. The Black Cultural Center houses either three men or three women. But the Board frowned when one fraternity, Theta Chi, long before there were sororities, wanted to establish a “little sister” chapter. Even though coeducational residence halls were opened, the proposition of one fraternity, Alpha Chi Rho, to lease a floor to women when the number of active brothers fell too low was also rejected.

Although none of these developments–living groups, delayed rushing, resident advisors, the end of discrimination, new residence halls, coeducation, and regulations that included the full house requirement and inspections–were considered to be anti-fraternity in motivation, several fraternities lost Board recognition and were closed down mainly because of waning memberships. The first, Theta Xi, lost recognition in 1972, then Phi Kappa Tau in 1974, Pi Lambda Phi, no longer meeting the need for which it was originally established, in 1983, Alpha Chi Rho in 1985 and Kappa Sigma in 1986. Though these chapters lost trustee recognition mainly because of waning memberships, others lost standing for more serious delinquencies–Delta Upsilon in 1988, Delta Tau Delta in 1989, Phi Delta Theta in 1993 and Sigma Nu in 1995. Delta Upsilon was permitted to reactivate Nov 2, 1993. This past year, 1997, two more chapters, Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Sigma Chi were closed down. (see below)

While these fraternities were losing recognition, the college was welcoming sororities in an atmosphere quite different from the suspicion and distrust surrounding the origins of fraternities over a century earlier. When several local sisterhoods had formed, the Board surveyed the national Sororities for interest in forming chapters at the college. Delegates of those approved by the Board then met on campus with the local groups, who then chose the national of their preference. Today in 1998 there are six sororities.20 These sorority chapters rent houses from the college (some are those vacated by fraternities that lost recognition), but they do not, however, offer board.

The sororities have created their own Panhellenic Council and the fraternities have revived the Interfraternity Council. They meet jointly from time to time. In 1984 the Association of Social Living Groups changed its name to the Presidents’ Council. It includes the Fraternities, the Sororities and one Coeducational Living Group.21 It meets regularly. These groups do more than arrange social affairs. They have an office in Farinon where any question about a fraternity or sorority can be answered. One great concern is with social service in the community, and at least annually some important event benefits the disadvantaged. Individual fraternities and sororities, sometimes in groups, also sponsor social service activities, fulfilling one of the original ideals of the first secret societies in the early nineteenth century and one of the clauses in a Fraternity and Sorority Mission Statement proposed by the faculty in 1989.

An undergraduate being rushed by a fraternity in the 1970’s or 80’s might well have been asking himself: Aside from the obvious camaraderie over too much beer, what significance is there in joining a fraternity? And many a brother would probably not have had the answer. Just what was the mission of the Fraternity or Sorority? The faculty, working on a Mission Statement for the College, decided also to give the living groups some hint as to their mission and where they fit into the larger college goals. It endorsed a Mission Statement for Fraternities and Sororities, prepared by its Committee on Campus Life in conjunction with the Greek living groups. (See Appendices IXA and IXB.) The living groups are expected to state their own goals within the parameters of this Mission Statement and to report on their degrees of success in living up to them.

The administrative officer authorized by the Trustees was established as Assistant Dean of Students and Advisor to Fraternities and Sororities, effective July 1, 1981. The present occupant of this position is Tracy Garnick. She is on location to advise and possibly oversee the extent of implementation of the wishes of the trustees stated in 1974. She advises the chapters in meeting their stated goals and makes annual assessments of the status and trends in each group. This, one might observe, is not exactly what the nineteenth-century founders of Greek letter fraternities, nor the Board of Trustees of the College at any time in the past, had in mind.

The Advisor to Fraternities and Sororities also has the Mission Statement as the basis for her advisory role. She works with each living group, helping it develop a Steps Toward Evaluation Progress Systematically (S.T.E.P.S.) Manual. Manuals considered unacceptable to the Faculty Committee on Student Life22 may lead to disciplinary action and possible withdrawal of recognition.

When implementing the Mission Statement, the faculty also proposed to the trustees a policy for the organizing of living groups. (See Appendix X.) While including criteria and procedures for organizing a fraternity or sorority, the statement also includes provisions for organizing alternate living groups. A number of students can agree they would like to live together around some theme, some “specific purpose of interest.” Four such groups have been approved: C.H.A.NC.E. (Creating Harmony and Necessary Cultural Equality), El Piso Español (The Spanish House), L.O.S.T. (Lafayette Organization of Science and Technology) and Straight Edge (Fun without alcohol). They live as separate groups in Ramer Hall. Additionally four homes on Parsons Street have been set aside as Arts Houses. About sixty students are part of these living groups. They eat in the College dining facilities. Additionally the college is experimenting with a First Year House. Freshmen enrolled in several First Year Seminars live in the former Theta Xi house with a faculty advisor. Their seminars meet on the premises.

The College has also been doing something about underage drinking, probably a futile task given the traditions on American college campuses since the early days of college life, inherited from the Medieval University. When second semester rushing was introduced, the fraternities held what were called pub nights during the first semester–free beer for the freshmen. These have been discontinued. Also the college recently forbade “beer in bulk” –no more beer kegs and no beer on tap. Both the IFC and the Panhellenic Council appreciate the implications of Pennsylvania’s laws concerning the consumption of alcoholic beverages by minors and the responsibility of adults and adult institutions for such consumption. Strict rules have been established for social events. Guests bring a limited supply of their own beer or stronger stuff. Entrance to an event is monitored, as is the quantity consumed by any individual. There is no longer an advantage to joining a fraternity if one’s main concern is the flow of beer. Or is there? The autumn of this academic year, the Trustees authorized a Task Force to examine the current status of alcohol and drug consumption on campus and report to them in May, 1998.

Competition for membership need not be considered a cause of the failure of any fraternity. Today the college contains a total of seventeen organized social units housing about 600 students– nine fraternities, six sororities and the one Coeducational Living Group.23 Affiliating 600 students from some 2000 students should be easy enough even in face of competition from a new attractive Student Center (Farinon Hall), attractive eating facilities in Farinon and Marquis Halls, single sex and coeducational Residence Halls with Resident Advisors, “Independent” status or association with a special type of living group approved by the College. The sororities pledge many students. The fraternities still seem to have difficulties. In the 30’s nineteen fraternities could house close to full complements–even with discriminatory and blackball practices–from a student enrollment under 1000. Today about the same number of male students–without discriminatory prejudices–do not fill nine. Yet, the six sororities are still overflowing with sisters.

In 1995 the faculty, despite all this guidance, still found something amiss and considered the cause to be second semester freshmen rushing. A statistical analysis over several years of freshman grade averages by fraternity revealed, with an occasional exception in one fraternity, a decline in the second semester. At its May 1995 meeting the faculty recommended to the trustees that fraternity and sorority rushing be postponed to the sophomore year beginning in 1995-96. The trustees accepted the recommendation and agreed to help living units that might be financially embarrassed by the lack of new members at the beginning of the second semester 1996.

Under the new provisions, sophomores may become affiliated with fraternities or sororities as pledges on fixed dates in the latter part of September. After a pledge period of no more than three weeks they can be initiated. Thereafter, contacts between the Greek societies and the new freshmen can take place. In effect, informal “rushing” begins sometime around Thanksgiving and can go on all during the freshman year and the first weeks of the sophomore year.

In the past, the IFC issued annually an information booklet about fraternity life and the individual fraternities at Lafayette. No such brochure has appeared recently. In 1995 the Assistant Dean for Student Residence issued a small leaflet on Greek System terminology. The Pan-hellenic Council issued an information booklet for the 2nd semester freshman rushing in 1995 entitled “Lafayette College: Formal Rush 1995.” In anticipation of Sophomore Rushing neither the IFC nor the Panhellenic council, nor the two combined, the Presidents’ Council, seemed to have planned any type of issue.

The PanHellenic Council still maintains a short period of formal rush in September. (See Appendix XI.) The IFC has continued to plan no type of Affiliation Agreement. Since 1972 each fraternity has been developing its own rushing or affiliation strategy within the parameters of the dates prescribed by the faculty and the Board of Trustees. If first year students are visiting Fraternity and Sorority houses throughout the academic year after Thanksgiving, it can be assumed that many informal understandings are already reached long before the official September dates for formal Sophomore affiliation.

Two sophomore “Affiliations” have now taken place, in September 1996 and September 1997. Appendix XII contains statistical summaries of the results. In one case the statistics are the results of Fall 1997 affiliation for fraternities and sororities and anticipated housing for the Fall of 1998. The other shows anticipated housing for the Fall of 1997 for fraternities only and contains an “Analysis of Fraternity Membership and new Member Affiliation” from 1987 on. Notice two sophomore figures appear — the number of sophomores and the number of “eligible” sophomores. Eligibility for fraternity affiliation refers to minimum grade averages. There is a large discrepancy in the numbers accepting chapter bids — in the Fall of 1996 from 4 to 24; in the Fall of 1997 from 2 to 20. Perhaps of more significance is the drop in the total numbers and percentages of students accepting bids. This drop has been taking place over the last decade. The Sorority story is different for numbers pledged. No sorority chapter should have difficulty filling its house under sophomore affiliation rules.

Why is there a decline of interest in the Greek experience on the part of male students? Are the sophomores as their name indicates wiser, more sophisticated and not as easily taken in as freshman when they first appear on campus? Or is it the result of the more positive role the college itself has been taking in fraternity and sorority affairs?

I think the record presented in this report demonstrates that the College has taken no actions deliberately to sabotage the Greek system. Had there at any time been an overwhelming intent to remove the “Greeks” from the campus, action would have been taken to do so summarily rather than to weaken the system step by step. Furthermore, it seems to this observer that actions and policy decisions of the College since the 1960’s have been intended not to weaken the fraternity and sorority community but rather to correct deficiencies when they become obvious and appear to be out of harmony with the overall mission of the college. The “Greek Experience” is considered–when at its best–to be an integral part of the Lafayette experience.

As indicated above, two fraternities have been dropped since sophomore affiliation began. It is difficult to ‘blame’ the postponement of affiliation to the beginning of the sophomore year for their disappearance. Their demise resulted from their failure to meet the STEPS provisions, one Sigma Chi for lack of membership, the other, SAE, at the recommendation of its national chapter.

In any event, fraternities and sororities that are still on their feet should be able to catch up and fill their houses with larger sophomore pledge classes. If the Seniors remain in the chapter houses instead of moving off-campus, if Juniors are guiding Sophomore pledges and no Sophomores are mistreating Freshmen, and if the property the chapters rent from their alumni or from the college is no longer being savaged, if hazing and other acts of violence are got under control, if Alumni Chapters lend their guidance and support and national chapters, as some are beginning to, take action to cut out such abuses as binge drinking, then somewhat more mature Greek living groups may appreciate the Mission Statements and create again something like the original chapters of the nineteenth century. We may see a return of some of the fraternity spirit of independence, self-reliance, social service and academic maturity at a higher nondiscriminatory (inclusive rather than exclusive) level.

The historic irony, of course, is obvious. If these changes take place, they will all have come about through trustee, faculty and administrative initiative and a revival of alumni concern and involvement rather than through the spirit of self-reliance and rebellion that brought the fraternities into existence in the first place. The question arises: Can the Greek System as it existed before the 1960’s–self reliant in an atmosphere of institutional hands-off–flourish under the glow of all this benevolent paternalism? If it cannot, then it is doomed.


15. The functions of the newly formed Athletics and Student Affairs Committee as approved by the Board of Trustees, September 17, 1966 were as follows:

The Athletics and Student Affairs Committee shall have the responsibility to consider and recommend policies governing athletics, student housing including fraternities, extra-curricular organizations and activities, and student discipline. …
Two subcommittees were created, a Subcommittee on Athletics and a Sub-committee on Student Residence and Life. The latter shall be responsible for considering policies related to student housing (including fraternities), extra-curricular organizations and activities, and student discipline. …

In a revision approved by the Board November 19, 1971, the responsibilities of the Committee on Athletics and Student Affairs were spelled out in more detail:

…to consider and recommend policies governing conditions affecting health and social life of the students, religious program, athletics, student housing including fraternities, extracurricular organizations and activities, student discipline and student life in general.
16. The Association of Social Living Groups (ASLG) changed its name to the Presidents’ Council in 1984.

17. The Constitution of the Lafayette College Alumni Interfraternity Board adopted April 2, 1966, reads in part:

The Purpose of the board shall be to encourage Lafayette College fraternities to demonstrate sound self-government so that fraternity members may attain the highest values from their college experience; to encourage compliance with college fraternity regulations; and to consult with Lafayette College Board of Trustees and the administrative offices of Lafayette College in formulating and administering the college fraternity program.

ARTICLE III Relationship
A. The board shall be a direct function of the Lafayette College Alumni Association and have the status of a standing and permanent committee of the association.
B. The president of the board shall be a member of the executive committee of the Alumni Association.
C. The board shall be an autonomous body which shall work in cooperation with the Board of Trustee Committee on Fraternity Houses, the Alumni Association, and the Office of the Dean of the College.

18. Though Sigma Chi had no discriminatory clause in its Constitution, the national headquarters passed on all proposed initiates. In this instance it blackballed an Asian student the local had pledged.

19. The chapter rejoined Sigma Chi April 24, 1982 only after the national chapter made the appropriate changes in its constitution.

20. In 1980 Kappa Kappa Gamma and Pi Beta Phi were allowed to form local chapters; in 1981 Alpha Gamma Delta and 1982 Delta Gamma were chosen. Later in 1989 Alpha Phi and in 1992 Delta Delta Delta rounded out the list.

  • Kappa Kappa Gamma –1980
  • Gamma Tau Delta –1978
  • Pi Beta Phi –1980
    Delta Psi — 1978
  • Sigma Kappa — 1980; closed 1990?
  • Beta — 1978
  • Alpha Gamma Delta — 1981
  • Phi Beta Epsilon — 1980
  • Delta Gamma — 1983
  • Alpha Phi — 1989
  • Delta Delta Delta — 1992
  • Gamma Delta Theta — 1990

21. The men are housed in Kirby House. The women are housed elsewhere but participate in the Kirby House Dining Plan and in the other activities of the coeducational group.

22. In 1995 the Faculty Committee on Campus Life had its name changed to Faculty Committee on Student Life.

23. Two “social dorms,” Watson and Soles Halls, have been discontinued. Kirby House, now a men’s dormitory, also houses the Coeducational Living Group. The men in the group live there and the women are housed in other dormitories. The Group uses the dining facilities in Kirby House. It seems to be having membership difficulties and may be soon discontinued.