U.S. College Fraternities Launch Drive to Preserve Discrimination

The nation’s college fraternities launched this week-end an organized campaign to preserve racial and religious discriminatory clauses in their constitutions.

A report was issued by a committee of the National Interfraternity Conference naming 63 American college campuses on which it said anti-discrimination agitation is under way. The conference is meeting here and has undertaken to map strategy for a nationwide fight to preserve the present system of refusing fraternity membership to Negroes, Jews and others.

The report condemned what it termed “planned attempts to reduce Greek-letter societies to a position of impotence if not to eliminate them entirely.” It will be submitted for approval to the general assembly comprising more than 700 college students and alumni who represent 61 national fraternities.

The report attacked the Universities of Massachusetts, Oregon, New Mexico, and Washington. It also rapped Kansas City and Lewis and Clark Colleges as schools which have announced they will not permit fraternities which restrict membership on a basis of race, color, and religion. Amherst and the State University of New York were condemned for ordering social fraternities to revise charters or get off the campus.

Other moves were denounced, including the banning of new fraternity chapters which discriminate and “agitation” against so-called gentlemen’s agreements. The report said: “Probably the most vicious move of all (is) the definite threat at some schools to require fraternities to show by actual practice they do not select their members on the basis of race, color, creed or national origin.”

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