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Fraternities

April 15, 1985

Your front-page feature article (March 10) on fraternities is dismaying and whereas the author attempted to weave fraternity history with contemporary attitudes, the article is woefully short of recognizing that the fraternal system in colleges throughout most of America is robust, and gaining strength each day.

The attack being made by educators is nothing new, as the system began as a threat to faculty dominance over students whom they physically whipped and humiliated 150 years ago. Now, of course, nothing of the sort occurs, but faculties have sought to dominate student life nevertheless.

Reformers should think long about what happens when sororities and fraternities were eliminated. Listen to George Keith Funston, former president of Trinity College and later president for 15 years of the New York Stock Exchange: "Those colleges that abolish the system either end up reversing themselves or by adopting a system that doesn't compare with the original system." For instance, Harvard University has reversed its policy three times within the last century.

ROBERT R. BARRY

Rancho Mirage

Barry is president of Alpha Delta Phi International.

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