Comments from a Member of the Class of 1977
From an Adel from the Class of 1977. Have been reading all of the comments about the "new" Adels and the Grove. During my years there, the three most important things to me above and beyond the education itself and my girlfriend Beth who I later married, were the fraternity, the rifle team, and the Outing Club. The school disbanded the rifle team when the old field house was demolished and sold off all the weapons and gear before we alumni could propose an alternative. You know what they did to the Adels and the Outing Club took a few lumps as well although it is prospering at the moment despite a decreasing pool of normal guys to rush.
The Outing Club was the Adel Cabin in the woods when we were there. We (the Alumni) own the land and the Cabin and have a strong and organized Alumni association. It was the thing that saved us. The fraternity, while producing numerous alumni, never really had an alumni organization. Divided we fall! And they have picked off the frats one at a time. The Kaps just got butchered, the Pi's had their charter pulled, and the Betas just voted to let themselves die out (although they won't go out in a blaze of glory with all the paddles and composites in a big bon fire in the Quad like the Chi Dels did). The only way the fraternity system could have survived was with the combined strength of ALL the fraternity alumni with all the money we could threaten to cut off from the school. And make no mistake - it will take nothing less than a combined letter writing campaign threatening to cut off funds and tell the world what the school has been turned into to take the heat off the few frats that are left. Understand, there are more fraternity men shown in the 1975 Adel composite (about 50) than there are frat men on campus as we speak, combined. The lack of communication between different year groups among the Adels AND between the different frats/frat alumni associations doomed us.
The situation on Campus was tolerable through 1983 and then the war really started between them and us. If you have not been back to Campus lately, go on back and talk to some students. I have read some of the other comments the last couple of days and do not think everyone realizes how far over the edge they have gone. The school has two breathalyzer machines on campus now. Anyone caught on campus under the influence is suspended for a week although you get to pick the week. Because the frats are all targets, the few normal people that are left are forming their own groups. An Alpha Sig was just suspended because it was alleged he was at a party off campus and was only 20 even through the party occurred two months prior, he was off campus, and did not return to campus under the influence. You have to sign a Contract with the school when you are accepted giving up most of your rights normally guaranteed to Americans in the rest of the Nation. You agree not to drink off campus unless 21 and then can not return to campus under the influence AND can not be in a group of more than three students (eg. four of you are 21 and 22 and you go to a bar in Slippery Rock and the school finds out, you are suspended AND if you are a member of any type of group, they get hammered as well as four members of any group that do ANYTHING together will be construed as participating in a group activity.
Furthermore, the school has changed the screening process. People like us generally do not get in to Grove City any more. If you do not pass the religious inquisition upon application, you are rejected. The Campus isn't what it is today so much because of what the School does to students when they arrive, rather, the students are like that when they are accepted. Our kind of people would be shunned at best and persecuted at worst.
And there is no real pledging anymore. Any form of distinctive dress which would distinguish a pledge from an active is forbidden. All types of servitude are forbidden Throw a trussed up senior pledge master in his underwear in the west lobby and lose your charter. When we did that to Mike Mader, the fine was $10.00.
I had emailed Gary Brook that I would go up to the Adel floor in Lincoln over Homecoming and check them out and send him my thoughts. I was so depressed after meeting them that I did not write and thought I would give them another chance. Had all sorts of religious signs on the doors. And they did not have a clue. Oh, they built a float and wore colors and had the sign out on the wall but they were merely an independent mens group. One of our brothers wrote that he would probably take them out for a beer. Well, he might ask them now but they would decline. And we would not have associated with one another when we were in school. Not to say they are bad people. On the contrary, they appeared to be very nice people. They just aren't our kind of people. As far as they are concerned, we might as well be from Mars and they would probably appreciate it if we went back.
A number of us tried to arrange a meeting with the "Adels" the weekend of 15-18FEB02 to tell them about the disaster. I agreed to go for moral support although I pledged as a sophomore. Even dug out my mug, a spring party mug, a couple of shirts, a blanket, Beths Lavalier, my paddle, some "mimeographed " handouts about the Adels and a list of songs I wrote down from memory (while plastered on the porch of the Plaza 07AUG77 right before leaving for law school). Apparently, saturday and sunday and monday were inconvenient although we were told that someone might be on the floor if we showed up.So much for an interest in the history and traditions of the frat.
I wrote to Tom Gregg (Adel '80) who works for the administration and is their advisor in June 01 and got no response. Wrote to him again in August when we had spoken and he said he never got the email and he acknowledged receipt of the second letter but I never got a response from that one either. I suppose no response was my response. I had some serious questions about the Adels and what the school was up to. I'm afraid that Tom Gregg has gone over to the dark side. Would suggest that he not be trusted should it later be determined that there are any normal guys in the frat who genuinely want to learn about the history and traditions of the Adels (over a few beers naturally or some everclear with punch).
Anyway, the whole thing depresses me. If you go on campus today, you will literally come away fearing for the well being of the Republic. There are no more Fred Krings or Dale Smocks or Dean Smiths or Al Browers to run interference for anyone even if a few normal people squeaked in.
And bottom line, I truly think the whole new charter thing was a ruse by the school to try to get money out of alumni. If you read the alumni letters on donation percentages, from 1983 on, they plummet. From what I gather, even the 12-15% levels are inflated and the school is taking it in the shorts for grants because of it and all the people from the 30's, 40's, and 50's are joining their ancestors and now they want the people from the 60's, 70's, and 80's to start dishing it out and after giving us the religious finger for 25 years, are shocked when they find that we hate their holier than thou guts. Well, people donate money to perpetuate a life style that they themselves enjoyed and particpated in and when you murder an 80 year organization, what you are saying is that you don't approve of our life style. Well fine. But then don't ask us to subsidize a life style that we found oppressive. You did not want to associate with us then, well leave us alone now. The feeling is mutual.
I truly loved the fraternity and joining the Adels was one of the best choices I ever made and when I think of the bonds that were formed and the good times and the parties and experiences that these new guys will never know. What a travesty! When the school started this crusade with MacKensie after Harker left, they must have known about the backlash and I guess decided to just write off 30 years of us. But think of this - when we were there, and the campus was 50/50 us and them, who ran everything on Campus? We did! They have written off the shakers and the movers. Hope they saved a lot of money because mine will go to the Outing Club.