Individual Training in Our Colleges

By Clarence F. Birdseye | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXXVI THE IDEAL CHAPTER AND GENERAL ORGANIZATION OF THE FRATERNITY

No attempt will be made to claim too much for the Greek- letter fraternity. There is no new discovery set forth, but only ancient history to tens of thousands of alumni. That which is here described has been done in thousands of cases, in hundreds of fraternity chapters, in scores of colleges, during the past half- century or more. Those who have known the beneficent influences of a good chapter will say amen to all that is written, and they will speak from the knowledge of experience. Those who have not felt these influences must take them on our word, for ten thousand alumni will confirm it.

Facts well known to many.

It is not important whether the Greek-letter fraternity is the ideal instrumentality which, if the coast were clear, we should evoke to solve our students' problems; but if these are nearly as imminent or as prevalent as is herein suggested, then we must at once avail ourselves of every helpful instrumentality, -- "Any port in a storm." But if, in addition, we find that our strongest college alumni, now in the fraternities, have often done the kind of work that is needed, that the fraternities themselves are well organized, powerful and rich, already embrace a large proportion of the students, and are enthusiastic for anything that will help their undergraduate members, then we certainly ought to consider what they are capable of and make use of them so far as possible. Even their most strenuous opponents admit their power and that they could do much good if they would. Those who know personally the prominent members and their spirit feel assured that they will do good work -- better than any other one influence now available -- as soon as the way is pointed out to them. This conviction is founded on long experience and intimate knowledge, and cannot be shaken unless disproved by evidence that wipes out the past.

Need of work. Admitted power of fraternity.

-304-

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