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places, but the step is an undoubted advance, the more welcome as it is taken by the fraternities themselves, and is to be enforced by them.
I come now to a consideration of what should be the attitude of the college authorities to fraternities. There are three possibilities, all of which have been tried. Prohibition, to my mind, is not desirable in the first instance, and it is now so difficult as to be almost out of the question. Equally undesirable is the doctrine of laissez faire. There are some who believe that this policy develops self-reliance, self-control, self-government. Some people even rear their children on this principle. None the less, it seems to me fundamentally wrong. Young people are thoughtless, impulsive, regardless of consequences. Thank heaven they are. Enthusiasm, generous impulse, exuberant life are delightful to see, but that is no reason why the young should not have also the benefit of the experience of the old. We do not permit a man in the delirium of fever to do himself hurt; why does not external control make for the ultimate good of those also who have not yet reached the full measure of their wisdom or power?
The third policy remains of regulation. This need not be by printed rule. The most efficient regulation is often exercised by the president individually, by personal counsel, pointing out faults and leading to reform. But regulation of another sort is quite possible, and has been found in practice helpful. It has taken two forms, one of fixing the terms under which fraternities are admitted to or allowed in an institution, the other of passing laws regulating their conduct. The first answers to the charter granted corporations by the Secretary of State in accordance with principles laid down by the Legislature, the other to laws passed by the Legislature after the charter is granted. Constant interference by the college authorities is likely to be more productive of irritation and hard-feeling than of benefits. Charter regulation, however, seems to me well nigh essential. To begin with, it relieves the student's mind of any idea that his fraternity is independent of, or beyond the jurisdiction of, the college authorities. In the next place it enables the college to control to a certain extent the character of men who become members of fraternities. Again, it establishes a relation between fraternities and authorities that makes easy and natural the frank discussion of matters of mutual con
Most important of all, it enables the authorities to get rid of a fraternity that is objectionable. Exactly what conditions should be incorporated in the fraternity charter would be a matter requiring the most careful consideration. They should be precise, but certainly not petty. Among them I should put first perhaps the prohibition of too early initiations. I am attracted, too, by the suggestion of applying to fraternities the principle that governs in many of our colleges the choice of student representatives in athletics, music, and oratory. By this no man is allowed to stand for his institution on public occasions who is deficient in scholarship. Why not make scholarship a criterion of fraternity membership? President McFarland, of Iowa State University, some years ago reported that the plan had had good results there. It certainly seems worthy of consideration.
Whatever rules are adopted, they should be rigidly enforced without fear or favor. Speaking generally, few things are more demoralizing than failure to enforce law. In a matter of this kind, there can be no dallying. Real restriction may be helpful, pretense at it will only serve to bring the college authorities into contempt. I have spoken thus far of fraternities chiefly as regards their effect on their own members. Despite their possibility of evil, I have registered my conviction that on the whole they are beneficial. How is it from the point of view of the institution? Do they do any good? Decidedly, yes. Aside from the attainment of their professed objects in the improvement of their members, and the influence of these members on the student body at large, aside from the help in discipline which they may be made to render, fraternities seem to me to do much to make college life attractive, and thus to retain students who would abandon academic training too early; they seem to me to help in the creation of college spirit, they seem to me to do more than any one agency to keep alive the affection of alumnus for his alma mater. If this be true, from the standpoint of the college as well as their own, fraternities deserve encouragement rather than reprobation.
Once more, and this is the conclusion of the whole matter, fraternities are the expression of a natural instinct. They exist. They are powerful. If they do harm, they also do good. To repress them will put an end to the good they do without certainly preventing the evil. It is, moreover, a herculean task, and if
accomplished will alienate from the college the affections of many of the most loyal and influential alumni, to say nothing of the active members of the suppressed chapters. On the other hand, wise regulation promises good on many accounts. Which policy is it the part of wisdom to take?
THE TRUE SPIRIT FOR INDEPENDENCE DAY.
YANCEY LEWIS, PROFESSOR OF LAW.
We honor ourselves by celebrating this day. We prove that we are not insensible to a heroic chapter in human history, nor lacking in gratitude to those by whose calm wisdom and supreme fortitude we have been blessed. But we do not, we cannot, add aught of honor to those who made this day memorable. High above our feeble tribute, their works do honor them; and their works endure. They endure in the thrilling story which shall not only inspire us and our successors after us, but shall strengthen the hearts of men who, in distant times and under other skies, shall strike for freedom. They endure in the wise policies by which the administration of justice is simplified, the rights of womanhood enlarged, the rights of the family and the home safeguarded. They endure in this University, reared by courage joined with wisdom, broad-based upon a people's will, consecrated to the education, without price, of all those, whether low-born or powerful, who aspire to be free of the shackles of ignorance and to walk in the glorious light of knowledge. They endure in this great commonwealth, marked out by area, by climatic condition, by physical environment and by the indwelling spirit of its people, for empire-in this huge leviathan among the states, not yet articulate, not yet having the unity of its highest purpose, nor wrought to its best hope, but destined ultimately, in my view, to speak with the strongest and most individual voice of all our States and to be the most potent and controlling factor in our civilization.
If, then, we cannot honor the dead, how shall we make the observance of this day acceptable to them and serviceable to ourselves? The loud acclaim, the patriotic song, the studied oration,
the deep-throated cannon's roar-these may be an empty pageantry, an idle hour's diversion. How shall we make them vital and significant? Shall I tell you? By laying hold of the virtues of those who, on this day, declared their independence, by imbuing ourselves with their thoughts, by moving ourselves with their motives, by consecrating ourselves to their firm purposes and their high resolves, by declaring this day our independence of all low motive or sordid desire or narrow view or ancient prejudice or hoary error; by avowing this day that the ends we aim at shall be "our country's, our God's and truth's."
Is there needed incentive to this obligation? Let me ask you: of those millions who during the ages have lived, labored and died upon the earth, who have helped its progress or added to its freedom? I answer: those few, the immortals, whose names the world will not let die, who in some supreme juncture did, in the face of God and men, proclaim their independence. In geography, Columbus; in theology, Luther; in astronomy, Galileo; in government, Hampden and Washington; in religion, that strange divine Man of Galilee, gentlest and tenderest, most heroic and most independent of those who have walked upon earth. Is there need of this quality of independence now? Always, everywhere there is need of it. The earth's prayer well might be: "God, give us independent men." Never was there greater need of it than now. In our cities corruption enters into league with vice, takes with equal facility the name of either of the great parties, and boldly essays to rule. A race problem of appalling magnitude hangs over one section of our country, and beclouds the judgment of the other sections. Stupendous combinations of capital, vast armies of laborers, moved, marshalled and directed like troops in the field, reverse old economic laws, present new and strange problems in our polity and seem equally to threaten the rights and independence of the individual man. In our social life, still goes on the world-old struggle between the material and the spiritual elements of our existence. Still is felt the invitation and the strong temptation, still is seen the fierce endeavor, to put matter above mind, money above manhood, social position above social virtues, gain above knowledge, gold above God.
Let us, then, my friends, students of the University, on each recurring anniversary of this day, here in this University of Texas,
whose site, as has been told you, was dedicated by the founders of the republic, and whose muniments of title are such act of dedication, the declaration of independence this day read and the result at San Jacinto let us in this University strike hands with the ancient and goodly fellowship of University men of all time, with Stephen Langton, graduate of the University of Paris and leader in the movement which wrung from John the Great Charter whose guaranties still are vital in all our institutions, and whose phrases still ring in the ears of freemen like the marching of armed men to battle, with Hampden, son of Oxford, who gave his life to save the liberties which the Great Charter granted, with John Hancock and his majority of University men who signed our American declaration of independence, with Rusk and his majority of college men who put their names to the declaration read today-let us strike hands with them and pledge ourselves, as University men and Texans, to love the truth and seek it, to learn the right and do it, and, in all emergencies, however wealth may tempt or popular applause allure, to be sole rulers of our own free speech, masters of our own untrammeled thoughts, captains of our own unfettered souls.
In this spirit, to these ends, may we worthily celebrate this day.