414 History of Wake Forest College
abiding by the regulations but none of them was allowed to return for
the next session. There were some others in unorganized groups with
no fixed membership who nevertheless were warned, and took the
warning in good part.
During the years of war and turmoil that followed the thoughts of
both students and faculty members were on other things, and little
was heard of fraternities. Soon after the close of the war, however,
they were giving trouble again. There was much discussion of them in
the Biblical Recorder by able writers, nearly all of it strongly in
opposition. One of the best of these articles was that by President W.
L. Poteat, an address to the Southern Baptist Education Association,
Nashville, Tennessee, January 30, 1920. After mentioning some of the
usual arguments in favor of fraternities, he stated the case against
them: They were (1) expensive, (2) "unfavorable to the spirit and
work of the literary societies, which for the membership of the
fraternities, are practically little more than the field of opportunity for
the distribution of college honors," (3) they are unfavorable to
scholarship, in support of which statement facts and figures are given
from a dozen representative educational institutions, and this
quotation from Dr. Slosson, formerly a college president, in the
Independent of August 3, 1914: "I have often speculated as to what
the Greek letters stand for, but now I know: they stand for poor
scholarship," (4) they are undemocratic, a point supported by
convincing statements.
Soon after the close of the war a definite propaganda was begun
both at Wake Forest and in the State, by minority groups in each
instance, for the legalization of fraternities in the College. Their
undertaking was the easier because of the inadequacy of the two
Literary Societies to serve the constantly increasing number of
students. Though all of these were required to become members of the
one or the other of them the Societies could not minister to their
needs. As is told above, in the chapter on the Literary Societies,
nothing was done to meet this situation; the various suggestions
made―provision of larger halls in a new
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