Student Life 305
Phi Epsilon, and Theta Chi. Alpha Sigma Phi became the first fra-
ternity to break the color barrier by pledging two blacks in the spring
of 1967.
Non-fraternity men were quartered in the same dormitory complex
as the fraternity men, and the formation of a Men's Residence Council
provided a framework for competition and social activities that for the
first time gave to those who did not belong to a fraternity some of the
benefits of brotherhood without the expense. Taylor, Davis, Poteat,
and Kitchin houses became distinctive entities, and they created
lounges and had a full schedule of sports and other recreational
A development somewhat more revolutionary for Wake Forest was
the recognition of societies for women. Strings, the oldest, had been
formed in 1948, S.O.P.H. was organized in 1956, and Fideles in 1961.
However, they had not received faculty sanction. After fourteen
months of consultation involving the dean of women, the Student
Affairs Committee, and the Inter-Society Council, the societies
petitioned the faculty for official status in December 1963. A
concession made by the women during the negotiating period was that
any coed with a C average who wished to join a society would be
guaranteed a bid.
At the faculty meeting of December 21 a three-year probationary
period was approved, and in the next year two new societies, Laurels
and Les Soeurs, were founded. That brought the number of clubs to
five, with membership in each limited to sixty. In reporting to the
president on society status in 1964, Jeanne Owen, acting dean of
women, said that "much needs to be done during these trial years
to help the women see that Wake Forest has no need for petty,
cliquish sororities."3 The societies proved themselves responsible and
became an accredited campus fixture, binding groups of girls together
in sisterhood and promoting school spirit, team play, and social
interaction. By 1967 six societies were in operation, Cameo then
being a year old.
While Dean Owen expressed reservations about what the society
idea might portend, she had great respect for coed leadership. In 1963
she discussed the Woman's Government Association in her annual
summary. She said:
To realize that you are working with mature students who have a genuine
concern not only for themselves but also for the well-being of their
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