The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 19, 1962, Page Page 2, Image 2

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Page 2
Consistent With Fraternity Goal
"We, the member Fraternities of the
Interfraternity Council of the University
of Nebraska recognize our responsibility as
a leader of the fraternity world to set forth
8 new training creed. We recognize the
need for a program that trains pledges to
carry out effectively their responsibilities
whei. they become actives, one that is
consistent with modern thinking. This pro
gram must recognize the difference be
tween today's highly Independent youth
and those of thirty years ago while re
taining the ideals of gracious living, char
acter development, and scholastic achieve
ment. "We therefore recognize that mental
and physical degradation, personal servi
tude, and such programs that hazard the
health, well-being, and scholarship of an
individual are inconsistent with the afore
mentioned ideals ..."
Fraternity pledge training is once again
in the public eye. During the past week,
several chapters on this campus have
been engaging their pledge classes in
Hell or Help week, in most cases the same.
Last week, Alpha Gamma Rho managed
to get particular attention.
We do not plan to dwell on the AGR in
cident for other than a few short com
ments. First, we feel the act was com
pletely ridiculous. Secondly, we feel it is
in direct violation of Interfraternity Council
legislation and certainly not conduct be
coming a University student or organization.
AGR and too many other fraternities on
this campus are still reiving on the pledge
training tactics that were used 30. years
ago. Too many Fraternity men set back
and say, "well, I went through it, he can
too." Too many Fraternity men encourage
their own chapters to violate University,
Interfraternity Council and even their
own national fraternity rulings which out
law and condemn hell weeks or activities
which are degrading and inconsistent with
the ideals of the fraternity.
One would think that a fraternity would
learn after being prosecuted once before
for its pledge training. AGR was cited
and fined $300 two years ago for violation
of IFC legislation.
But the question is not whether boys
will be boys and kill rabbits to prove it.
The question here is, what has been done
to eliminate Hell weeks on this campus?
What has been done to promote the nec
essary change in pledge training that
must be made?
We would like to quote from an anony
mous letter received by the Nebraskan.
It points out quite well what the situation
is within the chapters on this campus.
"I am not a quitter. I finished their
'hell week' and then told them where
they could go. I slithered mi my belly; I
ate their eggs; I bared nvy buttocks for
their paddles; I let them organize me,
tfe-apathize me, chastize me, but after
four days of agony, when the rest of my
so-called brothers were ready to become
actives I stated that it was no longer my
desire to Join their select group . . .
"If they think that I would like to be on
the other end of the paddle, they are
wrong. I would not even want to be the
grocer who sells them the eggs that slide
down the gullets of their pledges. If they
glory in making a group of men crawl and
scream and vomit, then they do it not
me . . .
"Unity, fraternity, social ability bosh
Panhellenic Re-Evaluation
Panhellenic is to re
evaluate its activities, or
ganizational pattern and
responsibilities today.
Ve feel that the campus
will be interested in what
some of the decisions are
iii regards to this organi
zation. Panhellenic is one
of the major "power" or
ganizations on this cam
pus. Its program and pol
icy effect the lives of
over 2000 co-eds.
It Is interesting to note
that the sororities have
all elected new represent
tative. It is also inter
esting to note that the in
formation sheet given to
the representatives urged
that they appropriately
consnlt their houses, the
old representatives and
officers in the house. It
is also Interesting that
each was Risked to talk
to the alumna Panhellen
ic adviser from their
It is lso very interest
ing to note that supposed
ly the representatives
turned in their evaluation
sheets Friday so that
ample time could be giv
en to preparing a Pancl
for the Monday session.
Three cheers. This
makes one ask if the ma
terial will be cut, edited,
abridged or altered to
give a picture of nicey
nice? We . are certain
that the panel will know
all the answers, too. It's
about time that the Pan
hellenic Representatives
stood np and opened their
This situation is not unique only to its
writer. It is, in full or in part, fairly
, prominent across the campus. Parts of it
can even be tied into the sorority system's
infamous Hell Night or fun and games
Some people thought that legislation
passed four years ago was strictly public
relations. Some people thought and still
think that Hell Week is tradition and must
not be altered at any cost. Some people
feel that amusement for the active chap
ter should take tncedence over character
We are aware that fraternity is going
through a change. A period of evolution.
We are told that expansion of the system,
and rededication to our ideals and prin
ciples is of necessity.
We are also aware that the Fraternity
picture on this campus has rapidly
changed. But one aspect has completely
been neglected. Freshmen training. Can
the fraternity develop character, personal
ity, individual leadership and citizenship
without fun and games? Without personal
servitude? Without regard for individual
human dignity? Without killing rabbits?
We think so. We urge the IFC to discuss
Pledge training. We hope they will investi
gate their pledge training creed which was
passed only a few short years ago. Yes,
the fraternity must change and is changing.
Fraternity does have a significant posi
tion on the campus community. Fraternity
does have high ideals and purpose.
But it has flaws and problems. We hope
that this incident with AGR, which could
have happened or could still happen to a
dozen chapters, was not necessary to pro
voke an investigation into how to devetop
men. It is not only a black mark on the
system, but one on the Usivmity.
mouths that they (aid
something worth while,
that they accomplish
We feel that one of the
major faults of Penhellen
ic is its system of elect
ing, if one can call it
that, their officers. Their
undemocratic system of
rotating leadership does
not consider the fact that
an undynamic person
could assume leadership
and easily be "rail
roaded" out of her ideas
and swayed to take those
of other "conductors"
While they might argue
that "the rotation system
gives every house a
chance to have officers,
"we counter with the ar
gument, "why sacrifice
quality in leadership?"
One of the points listed
cn the Panhellenic infor
mation sheet was: "What
about the committee sys
tem are. there any
new ones for which you
see a need?"
ir i i,
The question might
have been, "What about '
the committee system
could it be more effective
and get broader participa
tion and interest if com
mittee memberships were
selected from without the
body itself and from girls
who have a genuine in
terest?" The more people who
participate in an organi
zation; the more people
Monday, March (9, 19621
- - 1
the objectives of the fraternity have be
come either 'be subservient to the active'
or 'be superior to the pledge.'
". . . The advance information that I
had (about fraternity Hell Weeks and
pledge training) talked about scavenger
hut.ts and games and a work project of
some kind. Well, we had all that ... but
that game only' took an hour. The rest of
the time we would be jumping when they
said jump, sitting when ihey sit and eat
ing when they said eat. Our games were
exercises, and our work project was our
minda and our bodies. Everyday we would
clean the house, only to watch them ex
plode the next night with more fun and
filth . . .
"Hell week ended with cleaning, but no
matter how much soap and water we
scrubbed into those walls the stagnant
odor nearly turned your stomach when you
entered the house. Everything ended with
that final cleaning including me. That is
when I told them goodbye.
"... I think it took guts for a man who
had just subjected himself to four sleep
less days and nights of physical and
mental maltreatment to refuse a cold beer
and leave the house that had been a part
home-to him for four months . , . I have
no desire tc play the role of Simon Legree
to the new pledge.
". .'. I am glad that I quit, and my pur
pose in writing this letter is to explain
that I am not a quitter in the cowardly
sense, but to explain that I just did not
sign up for the next course a course in
fraternity exploitation of the body of a
man a temple of God."
who work for an organi
zation because of desire;
and the more people who
participate in an organi
zation because they have
the qualifications of lead
ership, knowledge and in
terest, the better off it
will be.
' it
Another phase of Pan
hellenic that we question
is its method of voting.
The representatives are
virtually powerless. We
question if this is indica
tive of the type of people
that sit as representa
tives. The theory which
should prevail is that the
girl elected to Panhellen
ic is their representative
and should have the au
thority to make a decis
ion for that house. Run
ning back and forth with
legislation makes one
more cog in the area of
Or is the underlying
reason for this voting
method that the organiza
tion itself does not do
anything of major im
portance? Are its decisions
made by its alumnae or
other person(s)? If this
is the case, we wonder
then, why even have a
One of the major pur
poses of Panhellenic and
the entire Greek system
is to develop leaders.
Panhellenic might ask
itself if its operational
procedures are contribut
ing to this factor.
One view of the educa
tional implications of
Francis Gary Powers'
Moscow trial is offered
few by Raymond Eng.
lish, professor of political
science at Renyon College
in Gambler, Ohio:
"Q. Defendant, did you
1 realize whether by intrud-
ing into the airspace of
I the Soviet Union you were
I violating the sovereignty
of the USSR?
I A. Yes, I did.
I Q. Do you think now
you did your country a
good or bad service?
I A. I would say a very
g bad service . . .
I Q. Did it occur to you
that a flight might pro-
voke military conflict? '
A. The people who sent
I me should have thought '
of these things. My job
s was to carry out orders.
I I do not think it was my
responsibility to make
g such decisions.
I Q. Do you regret mak-
ing this flight?
A. Yes, very much."
I This evchange, in which
U-2 pilot Francis Gary
Powers exposed his lack
I of political sophistication
before a 1960 Russian tri
ll bunal which sentenced
him to 10 years in prison
1 for spying, was abruptly
I recalled last week when
the 32-year-old airman
I was dramatically released
in exchange of convicted
Soviet spy Rudolph Abel.
Among other things,
I Americans who remem
'I bered the trial recalled
I that Mr. Powers (a) ex
s posed his unawareness of
I any reasons which h i s
i government might have to
I suspect the aggressive
preparations of a totali-
tarian dictatorship confes-
sedly dedicated to burying
I his own country; (b) ad
I mitted that he knew noth
i ing about politics, and (c)
s confessed that he was
I principally motivated by
the desire to earn money
I on a fairly lavish scale.
1 Pews Is Not an Exception
Most of us, in similar
I circumstances would
probably have behaved as
unheroically as the pilot
of the U-2. We are an un-
f heroic lot, the spineless,
latter-day generations of a
civilization upon which
the barbarians appear to
i be closing in. And, no
doubt, even if the pilot
had possessed vigorous
moral and political loyal-
ties based on real Intel-
h lectual conviction, the
I Russians would not have
i brought him to trial until
they had thoroughly bro-
I ken his spirit.
I But the disquieting evi-
dence, for Americans and
for the whole world was
that little pressure was
needed to make this man
I appear as he did as a
I mercenary, rather than a
1 free citizen serving with
affection and honor. The
I episode was crimsonly
Unfortunately, the inci-
dent must be brought
back to mind. We must
i keep bringing it back, just
I as we must keep remem-
bering the revelations of
I self-like political indiffer-
I ence in many prisoners-of-
war of the Korean conflict.
We must remember these
things, and ask: Why does
I the country which is the
leader of the "Free
World" produce citizens
who appear to know
I neither the meaning of
I freedom nor the impera-
I ft-
I rAutlA J v. 'J
'Nmc, we don't have a HELL WEEK
You Teach Democracy?
tive loyalty which free
dom demands? The cap
tured intelligence report
from a Chinese interroga
tor in Korea can hardly
be repeated too often:
"The American soldier
has weak loyalties: to his
family, his community,'
his country, his religion,
and to his fellcw soldier.
He is ignorant of s o c i a 1
values, social conflicts,
and tensions. There is lit
tle or no knowledge or
unde r s t a r. d i n g, even
among American univer
sity graduates, of U.S. po
litial history and philos
ophy; the Federal, state,
and community organiza
tions; states' and civil
rights, freedoms, s a f e
guards, and how these al
legedly operate within his
own decadent system." .
The Problem of Cynicism
The indictment is pain
fully near the truth. Con
ceivably, the young men
and women of 1960 are
less cyniaal and ignorant
than those of 1950. Yet a
short while ago a student
a frank, manly, like
able 20-year-old chose
in an examination to write
an essay in answer to the
question: "What would
you do, if you were a
prisoner-of-war in Coin
munist hands, and saw
that your fellow prisoners
ere being affected by Com
munist propaganda?" His
answer, excruciating as it
is, deserves to be quoted:
"Now what could I do?
I can just imagine the
situation, stuck in some
hole for two years, eating
a half cup, of rice, hardly
any clothing, and my fel
low prisoners treating
each other worse than the
Communists do. My wid
owed mother back home
not collecting her pension
because some politican,
who is a cheat or a crook,
thinks that if you hold
any job after 65 you don't
get pensions , . , The of
ficers in the army getting
the warm clothing 10
miles from the front while
we freeze doing the dirty
"And after taking
American history and po
litical science courses I
know that our whole con
stitution is a farce ...
And the minority groups,
Negro, Catholic, Jew, are
being held back. Most
Americans are greedy
and money hungry and
don't give a damn about
the guys in the p r i s o n
"What would I do? -I'd
keep my mouth shut."
This is an unusually
honest if rather bad-tempered,
statement of a le
gitimate and perhaps
fairly widespread point of
view. Granted the right of
the young man to have
strong opinions of his
own, we cannot repress a
certain revulsion not only
at his failure to grasp the
real and profound con
trasts between a rel
atively free social and po
litical system (with all its
imperfections and a to
talitarian system, but at
his conscious rejection of
any personal responsi
bility in the predicament
If he can feel so totally
irresponsible in an ima
ginary situation, one won
ders how he will react in
a real one. Above all, one
searches for indications of
the idealism of youth
for a trace of love, faith,
chivalry; and self-sacrifice.
These are extreme il
lustrations of a social
malaise which troubles
the free societies in vary
ing degrees. Comparable
cynicism and worse ignor
ance doubtless gnaw sec
retly at 'the totalitarian
societies, but the diseases
of slave-states can hardly
comfort the free. Nor can
the remedies used by
such states censorship,
narrow Indoctrination,
heresy-h u n t i n g, brain
washing, and terroristic
inquisitions be usefully
This point must be un
derlined since many of us
are periodically tempted
to take the short-cut of
indoctrination instead of
the long rough road of ed
ucation. We fail to notice
that the short-cut does not
lead to the same destina
tion as the long road.
If political education is
indeed one major remedy
to the problem, we find
three questions before us.
First, are we not already
doing a good job of po
litical education in Amer
ica? The answer seems
to be: NO! All along the
line, the institutions of ed
ucation family, church,
schools, colleges, service
clubs, labor unions, polit
ical parties,. the media of
mas s-communication
are generally doing a
fumbling job in the field
of preparing and main
taining the knowledge of
the values the facts, and
the personal qualities
needed by free men.
Vigilance Is the Price
The second question is
more tricky: Can yon
have political education
without turning it w i 1 1 y
nilly, into political indoc
trination? The answer
here must be that the
price of political educa
tion for liberty is eternal
vigilance, and that if we
cannot maintain the dis
tinction we deserve to lose
our freedom. The working
hypothesis of a free so
ciety must be on the fol
lowing lines: '
It is probably true that
the price of liberty is a
great deal of intellectual
confusion and much emo
tional suffering and rebejr
lion. In Russia or Com
munist China, as in Nazi
Germany, the Party cre
ates its prearranged con
. tradictions and imposes
hate, love, and suffering
upon the subject people
according to the calcu
lated requirements of the
regime. But in Western
European democracies
and the United States, the
individual citizen must
find his own way through
conflicting values and in
terests, deciding what-to
love, what (not whom) to
hate, and what to suffer
and sacrifice for.
This does not necessar
ily mean that there are
no social norms or no ab
solute ethical values fci
free, constitutional states,
but it does mean that in
such states no govern
ment or monopolistic par
ty will or may dictate and
indoctrinate such norms
or values. If the norms
and values are correct,
they must we assume
be fairly self-evident,
so that the free man or
woman will come to ac-
cept them thoughtfully,
securely, and voluntarily.
What Kind of Education?
So we come to question
number three: What sort
of education will help men
and women to choose
freely and rightly? Notice,
as a fundamental neces
sary assumption, that, al
though our working hy
pothesis is that correct
norms and values are vol
untarily discoverable, we
must also recognize that
they are not easy to dis
cover. On the contrary, they
are at least as difficult
as mathematics or phys
ics or the mastering of a
foreign language. They
call not only for hard
work and hard learning of
facts and ideas, but for
training in mental and
emotional self-discipline;
for the cultivation of the
imagination; and for the
steady and critical ac
quisition of sophisticated
personal and vicarious ex
perience of one's self,
one's social environment,
and one's relation to the
world, mankind, and to
Courage (moral and
physical ) , . s e 1 f-control,
self-sacrifice, loyalty,
kindness, honesty (intel
lectual . and economic),
and similar basic quali
ties of the free life do not
"come n a t u r a 1 1 y,"
although they are correct
and admirable. What
come naturally are self-
ishness, laziness, coward
ice, greed, dishonesty,
cruelty. Thus one tremen
dous task of education in
home and in school is to
expose the individual to
the full implications and
responsibilities of the fret
The process of exposal?
involves great efforts for
teacher and student.
Those efforts are not be
ing made. During tb
past four years, vast
hearings on the boot
straps of scientific a ad
linguistic education have
been seen. But in litera
ture and in history the
two areas where young
people learn most about
the great human prob
lems and the ideas, val
ues and errors of free
men aud free societies .
little toughening of cur
ricular or instruction has
been attempted.
Are we equipped even
to know how little we
know? How much so
called education in poli
tics at school consists of
visits to the waterworks
or the post office, or
preaching about the duty
of voting? How little ef
fort goes into revealing
the staggering problems
of power-politics, moral
decisions, strategic c a 1
culations, geographic re
lationship, economic and
ideological factors, mass
hysteria, racial tensions,
emotional catchwords, the
nature of propaganda,
patterns of reeent history,
and so on? ,
The liberal education
ought to be part of the
business of the schools,
and the liberal education
is a grim and exacting
business. There is little
enough of it left in the
universities and tolleges.
We ought to try it again
--National Observer
About Letters I
S The DiOt NlW.A
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Member Associated Col
lerUte Press. International
Prest Representative: N
tioaad AdvertisJai get-rice, '
Ineorportted. Published at:
Koom SI. Student Union.
Lincoln. Nebraska. x
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atarlac aaoaUaaa mai nia aoiaaa.
fc ataaaaai at tka CahrenKr af Na
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Febraarr I, Wit.