From the monthly archives: July 2011

This story is a prequel to the excellent series of the early ‘50s recently penned by Brother Don Ayers.

First let me set the scene. I was among 86 high-point, combat veterans to enter a special class which Lafayette started in early November, 1945, to catch up with the freshmen of the already formed Class of 1949.

Pre-WWII, Lafayette had been a small men’s school, closely oriented to the Presbyterian Church, of some 1500 students. But, when we arrived, the Campus was almost deserted after being relinquished by the Army’s pre-training program (ASTP) for Air Cadets earlier in the year. Frankly, the school was starving for students, or practically none of our Special 1945 Veteran’s Class would ever have qualified for admission.

Soon after settling in on Campus, I started meeting other high-point Marines. Among them was Andy Olinger, who asked me to join him and several other Marines as Zete (Zeta Psi) pledges.

However, my first room mate at top of Old McKeen Hall was Joe Trickett, who had already pledged Deke. Although a recent high school graduate, Joe was a very mature football player and had already met a number of the newly-arrived veterans. He soon introduced me to several other good guys–combat veterans–who were already members of his pledge class. They included Marine Jim Schultz; Air Force Pilot, Charlie Brownie; and Navy Blimp Pilot, Jim Mott. So, after being invited, I decided to join them as the newest member of the Deke pledge class. The four of us soon became such good friends that we roomed together in a first floor suite at the tiny, old dorm: Newkirk Hall. Over looking the, then, much larger Quad, this delightful living experience couldn’t have been much different than veterans of that time saw in the days immediately following the Civil War.

Our large pledge class of some 12-15 recent prep/high school grads, mixed in with about an equal number of older combat veterans, was the first group of Dekes to open up the Old House after it had been evacuated as a barracks by the Army ASTP program.

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In an email sent out by the Executive Assistant to the President, news was posted about the KDR and Chi Phi chapters on campus.

The Kappa Delta Rho House Corporation, in conjunction with alumni of the fraternity and the national office, decided to close the Lafayette Rho chapter last month in advance of a Student Conduct Committee hearing scheduled to address violations of fraternity and College policy. The fraternity retains the right to apply to the Board of Trustees to consider allowing the chapter to re-colonize at Lafayette in the future.

Also, the Rho chapter of Chi Phi has recently submitted an application to the Board of Trustees to consider allowing the chapter to re-colonize. The Board plans to review the application and render a decision after it also has reviewed and considered the findings and recommendations of the Working Group on Greek Life and Campus Community. Chi Phi closed the chapter in 2005 in advance of a disciplinary hearing scheduled to address violations of fraternity and College policy.

 

This afternoon Jim Krivoski, executive assistant to the president, sent a letter describing the College’s 18 month study on Fraternities and Sororities on campus. This study was conducted by the Greek Life Working Group in order to figure out how Fraternities and Sororities fit in Lafayette’s strategic plans. They came up with

31 recommendations in five categories: (1) improving relationships between the College and the Greek community, (2) the Greek community as a center for academic excellence and innovation, (3) supporting a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming Greek community, (4) promoting personal integrity, responsibility, and well-being in the Greek community, and (5) the College’s recognition and assessment of Greek organizations.

Additionally, there is a new position created by the school, the Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life. The Director will devote all of his/her time to the advising and support of fraternity and sorority chapters, and replace the current position of Assistant Director of Residence Life and Adviser to Fraternities and Sororities.

The Alumni Executive Board has received both the executive summary and full report. They are currently reviewing both for the impact they have on DKE. Anyone with questions or suggestions can contact the board (provide e-mail webmaster@rhodke.org as the contact) or leave comments directly on the blog.

An Executive Summary of the Greek Life Working Group report is available in PDF format at http://sites.lafayette.edu/greek-life-wg/

 
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