This brief introduction to Chapter Four explains why it is vital to understand the history of fraternities before making conclusions about the type of male bonding that goes on inside of them. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Chapter 4 - History’ Category
Although fraternities are most common in the United States, the “Greek” system originated in European colleges. This section explores how students formed guilds for their own housing and protection. These student held a great deal of power over their teachers, but, by the 18th century, the power of students declined as municipal authorities took control (more…)
Fraternities have existed in the United States ever since 1776. However, during the Civil War, student groups began to purchase real estate on a large scale and with this change came many complications. Questions were raised about initiating female students and creating sororities. Since then, fraternities have experienced many times of crisis — from anti-Masonist movements, low enrollment during times of war, feminist opposition, and civil rights movements. (more…)
This section focuses on fraternity history at the Oregon State University, where I was enrolled as a graduate student from 1994-1997. It follow fraternities from their origins as humble “student societies” to their powerful financial investments in prime real estate. Locally, there has been many struggles by the university institute to control fraternity growth via housing policies and social codes. (more…)
Male Bonding can be used very constructively to overcome oppressive social condition. This case story explores one fraternity’s attempt to break the racial barrier in 1966. (more…)
Male bonding can be used very destructively as a force for seizing power and taking control. This case study explores the actions of a highly secretive “fraternity” that has existed nationally in the United States for decades — Theta Nu Epsilon. This secret society has often conspired to place its members in charge of university judicial committees and campus newspapers. From this position of power is has protected its own members from punishment while dishing out retribution to rivals. Its alumni includes former presidents of the United States and supreme court judges.
As an interesting side note, while conducting this research, I discovered that Theta Nu Epsilon had reformed and already established several chapters across the United States. They were actively recruiting once again and even set up several websites for their cause. I was able to interview several confirmed members of Theta Nu Epsilon. Unfortunately, I was threatened with legal and “other” actions if these secondary interviews ever made it into print.