Frat Problem at Williams Causes Garfield Walkout

Harold L. Kahn, president of the Garfield Club of Williams College announced Friday the dissolution of that organization as of January 31, 1952. The Club has served as the social functionary for undergraduates who were not rushed by the fraternities.

Kahn announced that the action is a result of the administration's failure to act on the question of fraternities, which exclude 20 percent of the undergraduates.

The move followed a resolution of December 5 of last year stating that the "Garfield Club, deploring the continual inactivity and ineffectiveness of a person or a group to rectify a social system which we consider archaic, intolerable, undemocratic, and not in accordance with the liberal tradition of Williams College,...votes that the Garfield Club will dissolve as a social unit...unless positive steps are taken to institute immediately a plan of total rushing which involves the admittance to a house for any man who so desires."

Kahn stated that the resolution had prompted a college-wide vote on the so-called "straight bounce" plan of total rushing. The plan received only 43 percent of the undergraduate vote. Kahn indicated, however, that "such strong student sentiment in favor of a plan of total membership is indeed indicative of the growing support such proposals were gaining on the Williams campus."

He further commented that "the vote was not a rejection of the principle of total membership, and that many of those voting against the proposal were merely opposed to the specified "straight bounce" plan.


The Garfield Club has argued that the fraternities set quotas which did not include the total capacity of undergraduates that could have been accepted.