A four year ebb in the membership of Harvard's only fraternity reversed itself with a flood of new members last Fall, as sophomores seeking beery fellowship discovered Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
"I felt like I was being deprived of part of my college experience," John Bennett '75, an SAE member, said last week of his pre-fraternity days. While students in the previous four years seemed to prefer politics to frat parties, he said, "The situation now is that people are looking for relaxation rather than activity."
The fraternity offers a range of diversions at reasonable cost. For an $85 lifetime membership plus $5 a month in dues, regular parties, pool games, TV, and cardgames presently enliven the social lives of nearly 30 undergraduates. Two-thirds of the members are sophomores who were impressed by a "rush" party held last October in SAE's home on 85 Putnam Ave.
Members of the fraternity attribute its survival to its "exceptional financial stability as well as the brotherhood's persistent desire to maintain a chapter." Most Harvard fraternities collapsed when the House system began and off-campus living was limited.