Individual Training in Our Colleges

By Clarence F. Birdseye | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXVIII THE GREEK-LETTER FRATERNITIES: THEIR WEALTH, POWER AND CUSTOMS

IN many colleges the faculty, recognizing the power and good points of the fraternities, do not hesitate to use them to help control student affairs. In such cases the fraternities have done more than anything else to bring the students and faculty together again.

Faculties now use them.

There are no Greek-letter fraternities at Princeton, relatively few at Harvard, while at Yale, except in the Sheffield Scientific School, the fraternities are conducted on quite a different principle from that of the other colleges.

The changes of their last period have really made students' college homes out of the forbidden secret societies, and in the seclusion of these beautifully located abiding places, often splendidly built and finely kept, the members pass their college family lives for four years, largely relieved from the former intimate association with and control by classmates and faculty. For many students, especially in our larger institutions, the home life in their fraternity houses is the only substitute for the paternal care which the faculty formerly exercised in study periods and classroom over their pupils' personal lives.

Forbidden secret societies now students' homes.

The present members are little more mature than their predecessors in the secret societies, and therefore surely need some restraining and guiding influence outside of the classroom, since with the freedom of their college family life and the lessening of faculty and parental control, have come great temptations and constant distractions from study in connection with the ordinary social, athletic, musical and other phases of college life. But the true meaning of the fraternity chapter house as the college family home of the undergraduate members has not been fully understood or worked out.

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