Battling Back

In the new century, Carleton had to battle more than its own systemic weaknesses.

The chapter also had to struggle to come to terms with significant trends in the larger world of the General Fraternity.

The most significant change here was the adoption of the Men of Principle initiative at the General Convention of 1999.

This initiative was a challenge to every Beta chapter to live up in practice to the ideals which Beta had so long professed.

Put simply, the initiative was a demand that, as Betas, we had to bring our actions into line with our words.

The initiative began with three partner chapters that voluntarily agreed to participate.

They received significant support from the administrative staff in Oxford as they worked on the key requirements of Men of Principle.

Most contentious of these rules to many Canadian chapters was the requirement to hold dry recruitment.

It was only too easy to dismiss these stringent requirements as the outgrowth of American law,

Battling Back which forbids drinking alcohol until age 21.

With the lower drinking age in effect in Canada, these requirements need not apply to them – so many Canadian undergraduate Betas reasoned.

But this line of thinking got them nowhere with the General Fraternity, because the requirement was about something much more than just conforming to law.

The Fraternity was also concerned about damage to houses, about the fast-rising cost of public liability insurance

Battling Back and about public health issues potentially arising from excessive alcohol consumption.

As the Fraternity steadily recruited more chapters from large American campuses, the average chapter size was rising.

It made sense for delegates of these larger chapters, voting on policy proposals at the General Convention,

For Carleton, though, these requirements verged on a demand for the chapter to do the impossible.

The chapter had not managed to find a single house which it could continue to occupy.

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Author: ปราณี