5 March, 2000
I am taking several quotes from the Bairds Manual
of American College Fraternities to try and explain why I am spending as much
time trying to renew Greek Life on the Campus of Montana Tech.
“The good Fraternity chapter follows the principles, traditions, and ideals on which America was established by her founding fathers under God, the good fraternity man and good fraternity woman being cast in the pattern of the good citizen. It is an entity of Freedom.”
“Every President and Vice President of the United States born since 1825, when the oldest existing social fraternity was founded, except two in each office; 100 members of the President’s cabinet during the previous 60 years have been fraternity men; and 40 justices of the supreme court since the Civil War.”
What have those men known, that is missing at Montana Tech now? Fraternity life cultivates leaders, and leadership skills. Working with men of different disciplines offers new insights to problem solving. I personally experience the differences on a daily basis, as a Registered Nurse. Men and women solve problems differently, but the end is the same, it is solved. I alluded to this in the meeting the other night when I talked about the X section of disciplines a professional fraternity opens to its’ members. The ability to contact a brother, and bounce a question off of them is invaluable. What I see here at Montana Tech now is a cluster of the disciplines staying to themselves and not crossing, and meeting people in the other fields. Look around you. The classmates you are with right now are your greatest resource in the future. A fraternal bond lengthens that resource to SEVENTY years of knowledge, and broadens it across the span of degrees available for Sigma Rho brothers. It will extend for the life of your career, with the upcoming pledges, and members accessing new information, and technology providing you that resource out in the future to 2045 or so. Don’t limit your resource base to just one department/discipline. The opportunity to tap this resource is fleeting. IT IS NOW. Many of you are student leaders now, lead once again. When you graduate, having been a member of one club or another on campus is expected. Fraternal affiliation is not.
“Many a Dean has stated that he would not undertake the work of his office without the fraternities, each of which is a Family and a bloc and as such forms a powerful lever for molding public opinion and bringing about action.”
As I told some of you on the 22 of February, there is a school loyalty, or spirit lacking on the campus of Montana Tech now. The parking lot has cars with MSU, UM, and other commemorative license plates on them. That plate supports THOSE schools scholarship funds. I see students wearing shirts from the same schools, which are in competition with Montana Tech for scarce resource dollars, again supporting the programs we are competing with. I totally understand Butte kids taking their first year or two at Montana Tech, then transferring to another unit of the system to finish their degree. I personally feel that they don’t have to be comfortable wearing our competitors clothing at Tech though. Maybe I’m a bigot, but I feel that Montana Techs’ reputation far surpasses the offerings of the other schools in the state, and I am offended by the examples listed above. I feel that rekindling the Greek traditions on campus will be a start toward the school spirit, and loyalty that Tech deserves.
There is a certain amount of faith involved in my effort. That faith is shown physically by the checks that my brothers have sent me for restoration of the fraternity window, and to try to get the chapter restarted. By the help and confidence accorded me by the faculty advisors, who have agreed to serve in the role and by the young men who have already pledged the fraternity. Their faith is the heaviest on me in that I have the responsibility to show them what I feel is the route, and hazards ahead. I have a lot of resources though. I have my brothers to call on, the other chapter men, and the resource within myself, which was partially developed, through my affiliation with the fraternity.
You may share this with any one you wish, who asks about Sigma Rho.
Ken Liston RN # 487 Delta