Fraternities 415
Society building, the division of each Society into two or more if need
be, cooperation with the Societies in providing for the social life of
their members, well equipped recreational rooms, and so on―were
not acted upon. No concerted effort was made to find the money for
such improvements, which would doubtless increased interest in
student life of this kind and have kept fraternities out.
In view of the disturbed condition of the Societies and the dis-
satisfaction with them, the faculty, February 27, 1922, voted to make
membership in them optional. The Trustees, at the next meeting, in
May, 1922, voted to legalize fraternities at the College. The next
catalogue, that of 1922-23, had a heading "Fraternities." The
catalogue of 1940-41 names eight social fraternities, and thirteen
professional fraternities and honor societies, one of them being Phi
Beta Kappa which was established in 1941.
The fraternities began under adverse conditions; they had no houses
of their own and had to rent such quarters as they could find or take
sections of the dormitories when available. This disadvantage was
partly removed on the construction of Simmons Hall, in 1936, which
until 1942, provided sections of rooms for fraternities, to a total
number of about one hundred men.
The presence of fraternities at the college has had a marked effect
on the college life. In social matters they have the dominance once
belonging to the Literary Societies, and have introduced social ideals
and practices in accord with those of the national fraternities and
much at variance with those of the College and denomination before
their introduction. They seem to have been expensive chiefly to their
own members, not to their fellow students. Though select groups, they
have affected the democratic life of the institution very little. The
various groups go their way and the other students go their way
without friction and with the good will of all concerned. They have
brought new problems of discipline to the administration. Though
many of the ablest
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