In Defense of Fraternities

This editorial defending the fraternity system was published in the November 1918 Purple, Green, and Gold, which was coming under increased scrutiny then as now.

In recent years fraternities have been put on the defensive and they have been so busy combating prejudice, unfairness, injustice, misrepresentation, and misunderstanding that they have almost lost sight of their rights, We must admit, at the start that our very existence depends on the college-- the home of our chapter and our field for new recruits. But through supineness or blindness our colleges have for half a century shirked a large part of their obligations to their students. By a natural law that a vacuum be filled, fraternities have entered these neglected fields-- and as a reward they find themselves forced to fight for their very right to existence.

Fraternities have cleaned up their houses, elevated their standards above those enforced by the colleges, corrected former shortcomings and striven in every way to cooperate with college authorities in all measures of benefit to the undergraduate. Many of them have through their national governing bodies an efficiency of organization, financial management, and discipline of members that puts the average college to shame. They assume responsibility for their members that the college dodges, supply advantages that the college cannot and render help, supervision, and encouragement that the college ignores. Has not the time come for fraternities to stop cringing, point to their records and demand from public and college-- a square deal?