David Keller's Chapter History For 1968-69
This exists in one typewritten copy
in the "Springmann Administration" file and bears the title
HISTORY OF KAPPA SIGMA CHAPTER PHI MU ALPHA SINFONIA From March 21,
1968 to March 21, 1969. [--Patrick Feaster]
In writing this history I must decide
what material I want to include and how to arrange them--in order to
keep my words from flowing out chaotically. I decided to include only
events happening during the 365 days following my induction as
historian. The material will be restricted to events pertaining to the
fraternity as a body as recorded in my notebook. In order to keep this
material intelligible, I am going to subsume it under categories of the
various standing committees. I don't want to advocate burocracy [sic]-
-it is just a convenient way to arrange things. Additional material
may be found in the archives, scrapbook or by [sic, "my"] notebook.
Music--the logical place to begin
In the beginning Tom Schmidt was music
chairman--quite a good place to begin. Besides being the beginning it
was also the Week of Challenge. Tom Palozolo (a friend of Jeff Daehn
from Chicago) showed two of his films "O" and "The Theorist's Room" and
Dave Gouker playing horn, Dave Schack on temple blocks and celeste and
Tom Schmidt playing piano played a planned improvisation congruent to
the films. The Great Hall was packed for this demonstration of the new
super art--probably the biggest audience we'll ever have. We had
gotten to know Palozolo and Grant Bulganin, another Week of Challenge
speaker, earlier at a dinner at the house. And it was the evening and
the morning of the 21st day of March.
At that time we were also preparing for
our big spring concert. The chorus was working on songs by Bartok and
on May 13 began practicing the last of Donazetti's "Lucia de
Lammermore" with Tom Janson and Brother McCall. (Kroeger on piano) The
brass quintet which had more or less been formed that year, Paul Wolf
being the prime mover in its formation, was also preparing for the
recital and doing a number of other things, practicing a peice [sic] by
Obata, some Arthur Harris, Gabrielli, and a number of 16th and 17th
century motets. They did an improvisation at the lenten vespers
service on the 18th of May. June 2 was the date of Al Julseth's
Renaissance and Baroque concert in which the quintet also played.
Gouker, Wolf, Stohs, Hannewald, and Edwards were members of the
During this year, our composer in
residence, Tom Janson, had not been inactive either as he was working
on a piano sonata and a cycle of songs for soprano (Carol Cook) and
woodwind quintet on Japanese haiku.
May 17 was the highpoint of many of our
musical efforts that spring. In the early evening over an excellent
meal cooked by Vera and her two sisters we got to meet Al Adams, the
executive secretary and our governor Bob Marsh, both of whom had been
invited to the concert on Eich's suggestion and surprisingly enough
accepted. After dinner Adams gave a short speech about how nervous he
hot [sic, "got"] every time he recieved [sic] a letter from Kappa
Sigma. And then--the concert--maybe one of our best. One of our
biggest reasons for being pleased was that Janson's peice [sic] (that
won him $100 and first place in an Indiana composing contest) came off
exceedingly well. After the concert Marsh and Adams hung around a
while to discuss with leading Sinfonians before returning to Lembke
There were quite a number of other less
noted events that spring. A rash of piano and organ recitals by Tom
Schmidt (and Beethoven's third piano concerto played on a week's
notice). Prante's historical recital with Suzy Zorn (Bill promised
that if 33 brothers showed up he would go to the formal with Miss Zorn.
Only 27 did show up, but he went anyway.) Also: Mozart's #2 with
Gouker playing horn, a first place for Schmidt and a second place for
Prante in the Indiana State Music Contest on April 27, the "Quoniam"
from Bach's b minor mass done by Gouker Schack and Janson in the chapel
on May 12, and much else.
Bill Prante was the music chairman for
the enitre 67-68 year. His administration had a definate [sic] aura of
experimentation and innovation. The "Experiment in Music" form [sic,
"from"] the previous semester was mainly his idea. The Palozolo
concert, exploring the relation between the visual and audio arts, the
appearance of music written by one of the brothers, Mangle Wurzels and
Jangel Wurzels were all things of the Prante tradition. In his
farewell address on April 29 Prante said that he would like to see a
more profrssional [sic] attitude toward music, informal choir
rehearsals, and a system of teaching music to the less musical
Dave Schack, being Prante's assistant,
was chosen music chairman b y [sic] the new executive board. He began
his job in earnest in the fall of '68. There was some question already
in spring as to who should be the new chorus director--there were many
qualified men. It was decided that Schack was to appoint the director
(with the approval of the board) and Schack, with his usual insight,
chose himself, with the added stipulation that there were to be four
sectional directors: Janson, Daehn, Brown, and Schack. The four
sections often met separatedly for parts of the song practice, although
this custom fell into disuse toward the end of the year. Schack also
instituted a new place for song practice--Kinsey Hall, the previous
locus having been the house--finally in the spring we decided to have
practice at the AMB which combined the desirable features of the house
One of the features of the Schack
administration has been in increased involvement of individual brothers
or small groups of brothers in more diverse activities. The brass
quintet with Rick Overgaard replacing Hannewald was quite active. They
added to chapel services with their music: Locke, Corelli, Purcell,
Pezel, Bach, etc. Their art was not limited to the sacred. They
played such profane things as "Camptown Races" at the homecoming dinner
on Oct. 18, Tom Janson's own "Stately Plump Buck Mulligan" at his
concert, played things at various gatherings of local Republicans,
contributed to our big workshop weekend extravaganza, and even
organized a pep band for a pre football game ralley [sic]. Perhaps
their finest hour was the time they spent working under Ehemann, the
famous German director, for the Church Music Seminar. Unfortunately,
the flu prevented them from ever playing. These fellows surely are
most serious musicians.
In reviewing musical accomplishments of
the year, I certainly cannot leave out Hahn and Stohs. Phil
singlehandedly and at his own initiative arganized [sic] a highly
successful trip to Evanston to hear the New York Pro Musica. Earlier
in the year he had been interested in sponsoring busses into Chicago in
order to enrich the cultural possibilities of V.U.--we considered
seeing a Verdi opera, Finnian's Rainbow, or a pop concert. None of
these panned out, however, and Hahn saw his chance when the Pro Musica
concert was announced at the fall workshop. He talked to Dean Baepler
and got CC to underwrite two busses. In the end 103 people from VU
attended what had to be one of the most unique concerts I have ever
seen. Stoh's bag was drum corps (he is a member of one during the
summer) and for him advancing the cause of music in America meant
trying to drum up enough support to hire the St. Pat's Drum Corps from
Milwaukee to play at a football game. He worked with Ron Koepke from
the UB, soliciting money from fraternities, sororities, the athletic
department, etc. Thanks to his efforts, a drum corps was heard at VU.
The zeal of these two brothers is indeed an inspiration.
And Phi Mu Alpha was beginning to let
itself be known to the people out there. I already mentioned the brass
quintet's performances. The male quartet, which made its public debut
the year before, also entertained the Republicans singing "Stay in the
Middle of the Road" and "Ainch mytee sorry LBJ" Janson, Schneeweiss,
Esala and Springman are members of this infamous bunch. The Christmas
season saw the usual outings to sing carols at various places (Vera's,
O.P.'s, Hannewa[l]d's, and Evergreen Nursing Home). The Locus Street
Community Center was also a locus for advancing the cause of music.
Schneeweiss tried to get brothers to play their instruments for the
nursery school kids in order to expose them to real music.
Although there [are] a number of other
individual efforts I could mention, I must be a bit laconic and confine
myself to Tom Janson's recital. This was indeed a highpoint for the
fraternity as we were able to tune in on Janson's spirit. The concert,
held on Dec. 8, was heard by one of the biggest crowds of brothers ever
assembled under one roof. This concert meant an especially [sic] lot
to many of us--we had seen many of the works through their conception
and birth. Dave Schack played the Sonata and the brass quintet played
Fraternity music may have declined a bit
as a result of the rise of interest in individual music. But this is
not to say the chorus was totally inactive. Beginning the year with a
ragtag version of "Rapple Te Rouch", our old standby at a "Hawai[i]an
Party" at the house put on by SAI we went on to bigger and better
things: "Motherless Child," "Rocka My Soul," and "Deep River," all of
which we performed at our concert. We also worked on Dan Pinkham's "Te
Deum" with Resch and Stohs and Schenk. All four of these pieces were
performed at the workshop.
Early in the second semester interest in
music began to decline. The chorus was doing two pieces it was not
particularly fond of: "Super Flumina" and "Songs of Praise" by Alice
Parker. The Locust Street projects seemed less successful. The
quintet was quiet for a long time. In the middle of this slump we
began to hear some things about a popular music concert. Dave Gouker,
new music editor of the Torch and music chairman to be, was the
originator of this novel idea. A brass band was to be formed, a barber
shop quartet, a folk group perhaps. These vague mumblings started to
become a reality when the chorus began working on "Vava la More" [sic!]
and "Gigi" and Gouker began compiling his 76 trombones. There did seem
to be some increase in spirit.
Kappa Sigma and the Rest of the Fraternity--excuse the
The interest in national affairs has its
roots in the provi[n]ce 49 workshop at Ball State in the fall of '68,
where the voice of "Ed Eich, Kappa Sigma" made itself heard quite a
bit. It was there that we put in our bid for the '69 workshop and by
some struck [sic, "stroke"] of luch [sic, "luck"], the brothers of
province 49 decided to have their next workshop at Valpo. It was at
this workshop that we began to notice that Kappa Sigma was somewhat
different from other chapters.
In the spring of '69 our first real
contacts with national were established. Ed Eich thought it might be a
good idea to invite governor Bob Marsh and executive secretary Al Adams
to our spring recital. The two gentlemen accepted the offer and the
big recital-dinner was held on May 17 as described earlier.
The following fall found us involved in
working through a new set of by laws. As a result of long haggling
over various articles, we bagan [sic] to realize some of the
inadequacices of national by alws [sic] especially in the area of
rushing. Steve Helmreich had been circulating a petition during the
previous year to bring up a motion at the next national convention to
change the vote needed to balckball [sic] a pledge from five brothers
to 20%. The ritual also came under sharp criticism. Some brothers
were opposed to it on religious grounds. Most, however, felt it to be
irrelevant and ridiculous. Dave Gouker, the new vice president in an
attempt to make the ritual less offensive cut out a number of boring or
controversial sections. It was also felt that Kappa Sigma was too far
removed from most of the chapters in province 39 to be an effective
participant in province affairs, therefore, we requested that we be
transferred to province 4 which includes most of the chapters in the
Chicago land area.
Marsh met with us again on Oct 2 in
order to "give us a clean bill of health for our transfer to province
4." Previous to his visit Gouker had circulated a petition urging that
if any radical changes were forced upon us we would withdraw from
national. There was one big change which came out of thi[s]
conference. Marsh said that national was taking the hard line on the
ritual. Any chapter that didn't perform it in its entirety would be
considered fair game for expulsion. He also let on that there was a
good possibility that our ritual this fall might be inspected. Another
big question that had just recently come up was what does national
really do for us (after all, we pay $2.00 per brother). Marsh
enumerated a few things: some connection with other musical people,
insurance, loans, machines that could compile lists of brothers and job
opportunities etc. A few brothers were not satisfied.
At this time we imagine that Al Adams
was getting fairly nervous about Kappa Sigma. He received a rather
sarcastic letter from alpha rho chapter in South Carolina about
"brotherhood in action" being right under his nose in Valparaiso. This
was initiated when Ed Eich answered a letter from this new chapter
requesting information about housing and finance. Anders, the
treasurer, also sent a poison pen letter to Adams saying in effect that
it was none of his business what the state of our treasury was.
Some of the brothers were in the mood
for a fight when the province workshop rolled around and essentially
that is what happened. Dave Gouker and his committee had been
fastidiously planning the affair since the spring before--so it was
well organized. On Sat. Nov. 9, a busload of brothers from Evansville
arrived here at 10:30 amid flying banners etc. After eating a light
lunch and watching a football game, they returned to the house for an
ofternoon [sic] of piano playing and discussion. Topics that were
dwelt upon were: the value of a house and finances. Then came one of
Clifford's famous light dinners and our concert. The visiting brothers
were all duely [sic] impressed with the concert which included our
three spirituals and the Pinkham "Te Deum", numbers by the brass
quintet (Gabrielli, a Bach Contrapunctus, and a peice [sic] by Arthur
Harris), and Bach's "Quoniam" done by Janson Schack and Gouker-- "Music
The Poor Man's Parnassus." A keg party then took place back at the
house[.] The next morning after Eucharist in which Janson's propers
were used, Vera and her sister really put out the old feed bag: turkey
with dressing etc. etc., a mean [meal?] you couldn't duplicate
anywhere. At this time there were 52 people present. Up to this point
things had been fairly pleasant, but at the meeting which followed, a
number of the differences came out. After calling the meeting to
order, Marsh dwelt for a while on a number of insignificant topics.
Gouker had scheduled a ritual discussion next in which he, Pleuss, and
Esala took part. The main issue involved was that the present ritual
did not reflect what actually went on in the fraternity. A number of
rather heated discussions followed:
Ritual: What you get from the ritual is just what you put into
it. The ritual itself is just a tradition, hence the details are
fairly unimportant. The spiritual and symbolic content is much more
important. [..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....
..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... .] we are a
professional music fraternity and music ought to be the main part
of our life and our god at the moment when we take part in the
ritual. A number of people were uncomfortable about these sayings,
feeling that [..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....
..... ..] was not the description of their situation. It was
emphasized that there should be much preparation for the ritual--
pledges should be prepared for all of this "vomitry" and brothers
should be prepared to put on a good [..... ..... .] production.
Following this discussion, Gouker moved that the NDRA be recommended
to change the word "M[..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....
..... ..... ..... ..... ..... .] The only chapter voting for this
motion was Kappa Sigma.
Rush: Brothers at this meeting talked about the advantages of
having a house for rushing. Some thought however, that a house may
tend to diminish the emphasis on music. Here we found out that
only three or four other chapters had houses.
Pledges: There was quite a big hassle here. Some advocated the
"worm" policy: making a pledge feel lowly, subjecting him to
all manner of humiliating proceedures [sic], in order to build pledge
class unity, and make pledges feel a part of the fraternity.
Most of the brothers from Kappa Sigma advocated a less severe
policy: the pledges were made to feel more equal with the actives,
the emphasis being put on creativity.
Following this, the meeting adjourned.
It seemed that one thing that came out of this meeting was a lot of
division. The rest of the chapters seemed to doubt our musical prowess
and I sensed a lot of hostility when we wone [sic] the province award.
The constant emphasis on the difference between Kappa Sigma and the
others, mostly played up by our own brothers, greatly increased their
alienation as did the disastrous vote on Gouker's motion. Luckily no
one lost their temper.
The week before this about 15 brothers
had gone to the province four workshop in DeKalb. We were warmly
welcomed by Dr. Loessle, our new province governor. After being shown
around the NIU campus we ate dinner at the student union and had our
meeting. The meeting was relatively tame. Epsilon chapter from
Northwestern won the province award. Loessle explained a number of the
activities they were involved with, one especially exciting, a plan for
bussing Wouth [sic, "South"] Side youngsters to Northwestern for a
Saturday afternoon of group and individual music lessons. Their
president also put in a plug for their latest Price Doyle Memorial
Concert, a performance of the New York Pro Musica. The proceeds of the
concert are going to be used to establish a scholarship fund. The only
other item of business that had to be discussed was communications
between chapters. Someone suggested the idea of a province newsletter,
Rider suggested that Kappa Sigma be responsible for collecting articles
and putting out such a newsletter. And so it was. The chapters in
province four seemed much more amenable to our own style of life than
province 39 had been.
Just a note about the fate of the
newsletter--Gouker, who was chosen as the editor of the paper put out
one issue in the spring. It was composed mostly of articles by
brothers from Kappa Sigma. Only one other chapter Mu Pi responded to
Gouker's entreaty to send news. After this first issue, only one other
one was put out, after the end of the spring term, and that one was
composed entirely of articles written by our own brothers. The main
reason that it ceased to exist was lack of response from other
By Laws -- the means to the end
One of the great accomplishments of this
year was the passing of a complete set of by alws [sic] and no history
of the year would be complete without an account of their passage.
Stechholz had been put in charge of the
by law committee in the spring. he and his valiant committee,
Helmreich and Rider, worked diligently to formulate an equitable set of
rules. They first presented them to the brothers on Sept 16. The old
by laws (nobody quite knew what they were) had to be annuled first.
The following is a summary of some of the discussion that went on:
Article I establishment: passed
immediately. One of the implications of this article that was
discussed a bit was that it made national by alws [sic] part of our
Article II elections: passed
Article III officers: The main issue
involved the use of the fine system by officers.
Article VIII fines: There are many moral
issues involved here, the most common objection being Helmreich's--the
fine system deprives brothers of their autonomy. There should be no
reason why we should need a fine system. Then there is the technical
problem of whether it works or not. Some say that people never pay
fines anyway. Others say they need a fine system to compell them to do
their duties. Eventually the article was passed, but as a sort of
experiment, it was suspended for a week following the next workshop.
Since it was generally agreed that the week during which fines were
suspended was a week of chaos, the brothers peacefully returned to
fines. Helmreich later, in protest of this, made a special motion that
he be exempt form [sic] fines. It was defeated.
Meal Plan Co-Op: The details of this
article were worked out in a special meeting of the co-op on Oct. 2.
One of the main issues here was the relationship between the meal plan
and the chapter. The meal plan uses the electricity, gas and kitchen
space of the corporation, yet meal plan affairs are the exclusive
business of brothers on the meal plan. It was finally decided that the
meal plan be autonomous: it is to have its own books and bank account,
any decisions pertinent to the plan be decided by a specail [sic]
meeting of the co-op. Fines levied by the co-op however would go to
the chapter treasury. Some discussion ensued about what would be done
with excess monies at the end of the year since this very problem had
to be faced last spring. The article was adopted as presented by the
Invitations and Pledging: Some concern
here was shown about the grade point average needed to pledge. The
most liberal settlement we could come up with was a one point average
either cumulatively or from the previous semester. Steve Helmreich
made another amendment, changing the number of people needed to
blackball a rushee to 20% rather than five brothers. The main argument
in support of this was that as the fraternity grew in size, the number
needed to blackball should also grow in size. Others felt that the
fraternity should be more selective, and that we couldn't afford to
grow in size much. The article was finally passed when the rule
requiring a 2/3 majority was momentarily annulled.
Seniority System: This article was
purposely made vague. Helmreich wanted to amend it to read that all
committee heads have priority and furthermore that as far as house
assignments are concerned, people are urged to have their housing
contracts in on time.
These by laws were finished up on Jan.
6. Rider wrote the preamble in order to define the status of the alws
[sic]. He wrote that the laws were a framework for accomplishing our
ends, not the ends themselves.
Meetings--our weekly service
These meetings are held in dimly lighted
underground catacombs with walls painted with fantastic designs. The
chief priests and scribes sit at the head alter [sic]. The brethren of
the congregation are assembled around them. The rite begins with an
opening hymn. Then there is a confession of sins, frequently a sin so
dreadful is committed that the offensive brother must do penance. Then
the scribe intones a lengthy reading and the money changer responds
with a brief response. Following this, the various high priests
deliver brief homilies, most are not so brief. Usually exhortations to
righteousness--do your duties! Finally there is a section reserved for
general petitions. Arguments about doctrine and dogma usually develop
here. The brethern [sic] become emotional; some become posessed [sic]
by evil spirits and try to tempt the chief priest, but he refers to the
scripture which is interprested [sic] by a prophet, and settles all
arguments, on accasion [sic], however, the evil spirits win out and
cause destruction and chaos. It is not unusual for these rituals to
last long into the night. When the disputes are at an end, or
exhaustion wears the assembly down, the list of unfortunates to whose
lot the condemnation of the assembly has fallen is read and the high
priest issues a benediction, the brothers respond "aye" and quickly
leave the place.
It has been noticed that attendance at
our meetings has been falling off. Schack introduced a motion to have
song practice and meeting changed from Monday to Sunday so that
brothers with Monday evening class might attend. One of the big
concerns all year was meeting attendance. Often wh [sic] didn't have
enough brothers present to pass by laws (2/3 of total) At one point
Rider introduced a motion to the effect that the by alws [sic] could be
passed by 3/4 of the quorum, in hopes that this could induce brothers
to attend. The motion failed.
The exec board usually met on Sunday
night at 9:30 or 10:00. (which was of course changed to 6:30 when song
practice was moved to Sunday.)
Early in the year Ed Eich challenged the
exec board's practice of having closed meetings. He thought any
brother who wanted should be allowed to attend the meetings. The board
felt, however, that it often needed to discuss personal matters, fines
etc. which didn't concern the body of the brothers. The board decided
it would call in brothers who requested to be able to discuss certain
There were 18 fines appealed to the exec
board plus a general appealing session in the spring of which I have no
In the spring there was some question of
exec board elitism. Truebenbach suggested that the members of the
board be requited [sic] to do house duties. Springman with his usual
tact, said that he would consider the proposal. As it turned out, the
president, secretary, treasurer, and milk mixer were the only people
exempt from house duties. After this, no question of elitism ever
arose. Perhaps one of the ways the board was able to avoid this was
through the infrequent use of "exec. board recommendations."
It has generally been agreed that in
cases of suspension or expulsion, the brother involved will appear
before the board. This was only necessary once in the case of
Sokolowski who requested and was granted expulsion.
The exec board often served in an
advisory capacity to various committee heads, and as a forum for
batting issues around and deciding how they might best be presented to
the brothers. Toejam presided at the meetings but usually tried to
remain in the background. Toward the end of the year, Rider's voice
became most influential.
The Chapter and the Corporation
When we took office, Ed Ekch [sic] was
the corporate representative to the chapter. Shortly thereafter there
arose a bit of trouble abou[t] the exact status of the exec board of
the corporation and the relation of the chapter to the corporation.
Eich announced that the corporation would charge $15 a month for
brothers living in the house over the summer. There was a question
whether the corporation could do this, and there was even some doubt as
to whether there ever really had been a vote on his issue by the
corporation exec board. This touched of[f] a number of questions: just
what were our obligations to the corporation, what had happeded [sic]
to the money budgeted for the fire escape? Eich met with the exec
board and cleared up most things. The relationship between the chapter
and the corporation wase [sic] somewhat vague because there hadn't been
enough time for precedents to arise. Eich expected precedents to be
established in time, sort of like English Common Law.
The corporation was established because
of insurance matters and ease in getting loans. All brothers are
stockholders, but the board of directors manages the assets--this means
it has the power to charge a block rent for the year. The chapter is
responsibel [sic] for raising the money. This satisfied most of the
brothers. It was pointed out, however, that brother Eich might have
been more formal in his voting procedures.
The next time we heard about the
corporation, it was Oct. 19, the day of homecoming and the annual
meeting of the corp. A few alumni were here: jacobs [sic], Schnack,
Stevens, and of course, Eich and Siebert. Kroeger presided at the
meeting and passed a complete set of by laws with the least wastage of
time. Ed Eich talked about a few of the things that needed doing
around the house: rewiring, replumbing, installation of a fire escape,
and perhaps rugs. Pleuss said that he had gotten an estimate for
rewiring, $1659.00, so the corporation passed a motion to have Demott
Electric rewire the house. It was decided to forgo the fire escape
since we only had $600 left in the treasury. Eich announced that an
alumni fund had been started and that the corp. would take care of
insurance. The last order of This demonstrates that the report was
made by Richard Kraemer.1 and Daehn were elected to serve on the board
of directors. Jeff Daehn was chosen as active representative.
Rush and Social - excuse the unaesthetic treatment.
March 21 - We threw a dinner for Grant Belgarin and Tom Palozolo,
two Week of Challenge speakers.
April 21 - The official dedication of our basement. We invited Chi
Sigma Xi for the occasion. They provided the entertainment: a piano
peice [sic] and a song and dance routine. this [sic] was a sort of
reciprocal invitation for a time when they invited us.
May 3 - Greek orgy with the usual garb and finger food (chicken, bread,
fruit, and wine) and eating took place on the floor. Helmreich and
Esala put on a part of "Lysistrata" in Greek (because a number of
brothers felt it would be inappropriate for mixed company). I myslelf
[sic] put on a skit about the Trojan hourse [sic].
May 17 - the formal. It was held at the Lake of Four Seasons, a really
romantic place which was made available through the courtesy of Dave
Schmidt and his connections. A band called "Moonlight and Roses"
played and we had a fairly good dinner. The meal plan procured a huge
amount of liquor and raffled off the leftovers.
Sept. 20 - The SAIs put on a party in our house. All music majors and
minors were invited, and the them was "A Musical Aloha" This party
broke up fairly early.
Oct. 5 - A kindergarten party. We played Simon says and Gouker directed
a rhythem [sic] band, we had a show and tell session, and Al Julseth
read a nice little selection from "Don Juan" Right after this: blocks,
sandbox, finger paints, jumprope, and cookies and milk. Zechser's
party games saved the rest of the night. Unfortunately only one rushee
Oct. 13 - "Faculty Smoker" There were no faculty or no smoke, but a
lot of rushees, and a lot of popcorn and pop and congenial
Oct. 18 - A rush party with one rushee showing up again. There was
dancing and listening to records and food.
Oct. 19 - Homecoming. At noon we had lunch in the band room. Vera had
fixed a great dinner of ham, beans, and her potato salad. About 50
people were there. The brass quintet played "Camptown Racetrack" and
the historian read a short version of the history. Later on that night
we had another party for brothers and alumni with some dancing and
quite a bit of liquid refreshment. Fred, the bartender tended bar.
Oct. 21 - "Faculty" Smoker - Carter and Taylor showed up. There was
much acrid smoke, good things to eat and a fireside chat by Toejam.
Following this we decided which rushees to send invitations to (we sent
six). And then held a beer blast to wich farewell to Paul Truebenbach
who had been recently drafted. The brothers presented Paul with a
trophy that said "Most Valuable Coach" and a subscription to Sporting
Nov. 22 - Hayride. After wandering around the country a bit we found
the farm and boarded two hayracks. According to Hahn, there are three
ways to keep warm on a hayride: booz[e], blankets, and body heat. All
three were liberally used. Afterwards we had hot chocolate and heard a
musical written by a number of brothers organized by Esala. The
musical was about Martin Luther and the hippies and contained readings
from Elliot and Buber et al.
Nov. 24 - An open house for music majors and minors was held. About 50
rushees showed up.
Dec. 9 - Faculty Somker [sic]. Real smoke and real faculty (about 10).
Linda Shutter played the role of cigarette girl. A good number of
rushees showed up. Coffee and donuts were eaten.
Dec. 13 - The Christmas party, probably one of our most successful
parties of the year. An excellent folk group played, the famous three
plus two. Gouker played the traditional Santa Clause [sic]. A lot of
imprompteau [sic] singing took place (the Hallelujah chorus of course
was also attempted) and the trees were decorated. Cookies which had
been baked by Vera were refreshments.
Jan. 10 - We spent two hours out on the toboggen [sic] slides at Mink
Lake. The temperature was very low, but everyvody [sic] had fun even
Zorba who fell in the lake. Afterwards we came back to the house for
hot chocolate, dancing, talk, PDQ Bach, etc. 15 rushees were
Jan. 17 - The last supper. A final get together for rushees and
actives during finals week. Menu included cold cuts, jello, three bean
salad, Vera's potato salad, chips and pretzles [sic], relishes, etc.
etc. Things began to look up as far as pledging was concerned. There
were 34 rushees there.
Feb. 18 - A final smoker: Bach inventions, smoke galore, food (munching
variety), an enormously boring lecture by Toejam and 9 rushees.
Feb. 21 - A short induction ceremony followed by a beer blast.
Contrary to old bromides about changing
horses in the middle of the stream we did. Schneeweiss began the year
as rush chairman. He was plagued by lack of concern among the brothers
and dissention in his own committee. Feeling very frustrated at the
lack of success of the program he quit on Oct. 23. It was no fault of
his own that things went wrong, the fraternity needs a strong, dominant
personality in order to cempell [sic] brothers to do the sometimes
unpleasant work associated with rush. Phil Hahn, just that kind of
person was given the job. It was exciting to witness the change in the
spirit of the fraternity after Hahn took over. Let me describe a few
of the many activities he undertook. Somehow he was in charge of a
fraternity sponsored trip to Chicago. After a few unfruitful trys, he
finally hit upon the Pro Musica concert which through his promotions
was a financially sound venture. Around Christmas time he was able to
finagle the University out of a rug for the living room. Thereupon he
moved the dinner tables into the basement, transformed the old dining
room into a respectable sitting room, had Christmas trees put up in the
basement and sitting room, plus wreaths, lights and many other
decorations. It was quite an uplifting time. And I imagine his
Christmas party was one of the highpoints of the year. After Christmas
he was responsible for one of the more ambitious rush programs of my
time. One thing that may have helped Hahn was a hard working committee
which he ran like a tyrant. This year we were trying a new system of
preliminary blackball sessions which was Steve Helmreich's idea. The
prupose [sic] of this was to let brothers have a chance to find out
which rushees they didn't know or which rushees were possibly
objectionable. Also more emphasis was put on non-date functions than
there had been.
When the new order took over in the
spring of '68 we already had 15 pledges. Al jacobs [sic] was
Pledgemaster and Dave Gouker his assistant. Jacobs had intimated that
the spring pledge period was to be characterized by "creativity and
dialogue." Pledges were going to be made to feel more a part of the
fraternity. Weekly interviews between pledges and actives were to
increase this feeling of unity, and hazing was to be kept at a minimum.
Creativity was to be stressed in the pledge project they did and in a
special creativity session.
From the beginning this class was
plagued by disunity and disillusionment. The president, Dave
Bodenstab, music chairman, Larry Wallers, and Chuck Brodel depledged,
all apparently had erroneous notions about what Sinfonia life was like.
A number of others were ready to depledge and there was some doubt as
to the willingness of Kern to do the required work. The project was
going slow and few of the pledges ever showed up at the house. They
had been lax in getting their interviews dome [sic] and preparing for
their recital, moreover, they were scoring poorly on their dests [sic].
There was general discontent among the pledges especially about the
length of pledge meetings. The exec board declared a state of
emergency and called Jacobs on the carpet. He assured the board that
the pledges could finish the required work by April 3, the date set for
their initiation. The board, however, felt that this still did not
give the brothers enough time to get to know the pledges, so the
initiation was put off till after Easter. It was suggested that Jacobs
require the pledges to be over at the house a certain number of hours
per week, but this was uninforceable.
I hate to be so negative. Probably the
most creative project ever was done by the class: the painting of the
basement. The Mondrianesque design was composed by Jacobs and Brown
with the help of prof Caemmerer. This class also put on one of the
most musical recitals in my memory. Resch and Moehring both did organ
pieces, and Heitmann surprised many with his virtuousity on the
clarinet. And Fredrickson added something new - a reading from
Ginsburg's "Moloch." There were three insidious raids on the house
during the pledge period also. The first on Mar. 26 was a dud.
Someone took our sign and crossed wires on a few cars (this was
expressly against the rules). Exactly a month later they struck again,
taking faucets, silverware, toaster and painted the mirrors setting off
fire crackers to herald their exit. On the 29th of April Tom Schmidt
and Ron Oberla were given a one way ride to the airport (Dave Gouker
would have gone too had it not been for Dean Galow). Previously
Heitmann and Hahn had experienced a similar situation. Eventually they
did complete their interviews, their pledge paddles, lost the pledge-
active ball game, and finished their pledge period on May 1.
In the fall of '68 we took only two
pledges: Carter and Taylor. Gouker was pledgemaster then and was
following a program similar to Jacob's but even more so. We passed a
motion stating that all hell rides were subject to fines. Destructive
pranks were discoureged [sic]. There did arise a small problem once
when one of the pledges refused to polish the shoes of one of the
actives. Gouker made it clear that brothers could ask the pledges to
do work as long as it was useful work and didn't interfere with the
studies of the pledges.
The pledges actually pledged themselves
on Oct. 24. They chose as their project a number of odd jobs that
needed doing: painting the steps, washing windows etc. Due to the
samll [sic] size of the class everyone was able to get to know the
pledges well. The Monday after Thanksgiving was the day for "exposing
the innermost workings" of the mind. Gouker held a creativity session
that night. First the musical abilities of the pledges were
challenged. Carter had to improvise along with a swing band Gouker had
gotten together for the occasion. Taylor played musical impressions of
certain words: pious, almost asleep, spring Then in the verbal part of
the ordeal, both pledges had to give their diffinitions [sic] of
various words: life, honor, etc. Taylor's concept of life made the
biggest impression upon me: "a series of deaths and resurrections."
Tuesday, Dec. 10 was the date of the pledge recital. Taylor played
organ and flute and Carter played a clarinet sonata accompanied by
Taylor. One precedent shaking event that occurred was the presence of
two SAIs at the recital. Carter and Taylor were initiate[d] as full
brothers the day before Christmas vacation. The ritual was performed
As far as I know, this was the first
full performance of the ritual in the history of Kappa Sigma. It was
put on in its entirety because of Marsh's worning [sic] that we might
be inspected. No one had any objections to it since everybody was sort
of expecting all that vomitry, [..... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....
..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....
..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... .] Gouker organized and
directed the undertaking.
On Feb. 21 we took a spring pledge class
of 12 men (there was the usual beer blast afterwards.) It was apparent
that this was to be one of our most musically talented classes ever and
we also took an engineer and an artist. Being an extremely energetic
class they held a secret meeting to elect officers immediately
afterwards. Dave Deffner was president, Schultz was secretary,
Pinkert, priject [sic] chairman, Wheelock and Michelson were music co-
chairmen, and John Stechholz was athletic chairman. Gouker decided
that a more individual approach was to be taken towards these pledges:
those who wanted hazing would get it, those who were more serious in
these matters would be left alone.
The pledges decided to undertake the
remodeling of the TV room, the building of a cabinet for pop bottles
and tools, the patching of the cracks left by the electricians, and the
installation of the basketball goal -- quite an ambitious project.
John Pinkert was the mastermind of all these plans, Chris Michaelson
supplying the aesthetic know how. The only prank that had been done to
date is the pilferage of the composite and all the door[k]nobs. (This
lead [sic] to a number of inconveniences -- brothers getting locked in
bathrooms etc.) The pledge-active ball game took place on Mar. 9 and
were soundly defeated as has been the tradition.
House - be it ever so humble
John Pleuss was chosen as house manager
for the '68-'69 year. When it came time for house rules to be passed,
there arose some dissention regarding liquor. Someone moved that the
rule stating that all liquor be hidden be stricken from the rules since
the possession of liquor without special permission was against
university regulations, and it was so. Later Pleuss decided that
drinking was only to be done in bedrooms and studies and in the
That spring the usual hassle over who
was to be assigned to what room for the next year. The use of a little
diplomacy and compromise saved the day without having to resort to the
seniority system. All beds were filled for the next year andit was
decided that in the future there would be only 24 brothers living in
the house instead of the 25 who had previously lived there.
Major improvements accomplished in the
spring were: the painting of the basement and the reseeding of the
Over the summer the upstairs bedroom and
kitchen were painted and the parking lot was completed ($895.).
The new school year began with a bang.
On Sept. 14 there was a general house cleaning -- the downstairs floors
were sanded and revarnished the basement floor waxed and the garage
clended [sic]. Pleuss was able to pick up a used carpet from Chi Sigma
Xi for $35. This was cut down to size and installed on the stairs and
in the upstairs and downstairs hallways. A sizeable chunck [sic] was
left over and was used in the "meeting room."
Before Christmas another burst of
activity began -- Hahn's preparation for the Christias [sic] party. We
got a rug from the university for the living room, and an antique couch
from Toejam and a couple chairs from the basement helped transform the
dining room into a sitting room. This was quite a wise thing to do
since it created much more living room. Eating in the basement (aptly
christened the WT) provided a slight problem. The temperature was
partially solved by putting plastic sheets over the windows.
Over the Christmas vacation one of the
major improvements of the year -- the rewiring -- was done by DeMott
Electric for $1659. This eliminated the fire hazard, the blowing of
fuses every time the toaster was operated, and the unaesthetic wires in
the basement, and created a much more convenient setup of outlets and
switches (even a rheostat in the meeting room) and many holes in the
The spring '69 pledge class decided to
do something about the awful state of the TV room, so they are
panelling it, putting in a ceiling, and somehow concealing the furnace.
They are also patching up holes left by the electricians, and building
a cabinet in the basement. About this same time we voted to buy a
carpet for the front room for $150.
There was some concern during the year
about the proliferation of house rules. Some thought that such rules
were legalistic and discouraged communications and brotherly
"reminders." At one time there was also some worry that "The
fraternity is the house." Perhaps too much emphasis was put on the
house, maybe this hurt us as a professional music fraternity.
Meal Plan - "The sun never sets upon the meal plan
I guess the two most important things
that happened to the meal plan were Zechser and Vera. LeRoy began the
year as meal steward, but when he announced that he wouldn't be living
in the house, CAZ was chosen in his place. Immediately Cliff began his
bureaucratic rule by organizing the files, books, pantry and printing
scads of inventory sheets, cook's reminders, etc. Throughout Cliff's
regime, the meal plan reports were the longest and most boring of all.
(Gouker even introduced a motion to limit committee freport [sic] to 10
minutes, aimed mainly at Cliff) For all this busy-ness, Cliff did make
the meal plan better than ever before, especially weekend meals -- no
more meatless weekends, and Cliff was able to compel brothers to do
their duties without having to resort to the fine system as much as
Schmiege had. He also added a number of delicacies to our menu:
instant bacon, juice, pot pies, and frozen vegetables. He instituted a
number of partial meal plan options for brothers living outside the
house and tightened up pantry regulations. All of these rules
alienated a few of the brothers.
The other half of this pair, Vera, the
cook, does more for the fraternity than many brothers. Her cooking is
full of TLC especially: corn fritters, home made pies, cookies, and
country style vegetable soup. She does much more than her job
necessitates: cooks on weekends, picks up groceries from the store,
makes extra lunches for brothers, is always willing to do extra favors
for brothers like sewing buttons on shirts, always willing to listen to
brother's problems, and in all of this rarely complains and is
forgiving when brothers forget to do their duties. Her husband, Fred
is a good fellow too. On a number of occasions he has tended bar for
us and he is always ready to get an estimate on storm windows for us
etc. The two of them game [sic] us a subscription to "Reader's Digest"
The only problem is, maybe they do too
much for us -- perhaps the brothers sometimes unconsciously take
advantage of their goodness.
During Cliff's term we procured a stove
(over the summer), a new custom built Crown which we had to
fastidiously clean every week. We also got a chest type freezer for
$50. from Toejam's parents again when our old one broke down.
A few of the new features of Zechser's
administration were: a food preference questionnair[e] and a system of
fines that required people who didn't do dish duties to do 1/2 of the
duties for the next night, and any other infractions to be worked off
over the weekend. The meal plan also became an independent entity
under the new set of by laws -- the chapter continued to pay for large
applieance [sic] like the new freezer and gas and water. With the
excess money remaining in the spring of '68 Cliff financed a dinner at
Wellman's for all meal plan brothers and their dates This was a year
of cooperation between the meal plan and other committees over dinners
and parties and a liberal attitude towards guests. The stove hood
which we had contracted was not forthcoming. As a result, legal action
was taken. There were 25 brothers on full meal paln, four on evenings
Athletics -- Wir eilen mit schwachen doch emsigen
We went through three athletic chairmen
in the year: Malanke, Gouker and LeRoy, but the spiritual leader of the
"Jocks" was usually Gouker. The athletic involvements of the
fraternity which had been begun by Coach Trueby were expanded by
Gouker. We began to make ourselves known through athletics.
The big event of the spring of '68 was
the track meet. Our first practice was April 20 when about seven of us
ran four miles (eu weh). The first meet took place on
May 10 and it turned out pretty bad for the music weeps -- only Bob
Frederickson won anything of note -- he took second place in the half
mile. At that same time, a tennis tournament was going on among the
brothers. Roland Jank beat Springman for the championship. LeRoy won
the Derebus award that year for all around best athlete and Fredrickson
won the Hg award for best track man.
Things looked promising for the
following fall -- last year we came in third in the cross country and
this year we had a number of new runners: Tom Lee, Paul Wolf, and Bob
Fredrickson who showed quite a bit of promise. Unfortunately none of
these panned out and we lost our best runner, LeRoy Christenson,
because of a foot injury. The meet took place on Oct 23. We were
somewhat handycapped [sic] by the fine weather (we usually run best in
hail and rain), but we did come in 6th of all organizations running.
The runners were: Esala 16, Gouker 29, Fredrickson 44, Stechholz 48,
and Keller 82 (out of 85).
Basketball occupied the Jocks for the
rest of the year. LeRoy had chosen Gouker as coach. Practice began
early in the year, right after track was over. We generally had one
practice a week on Saturday or Sunday until the season began. This
year we had been promoted into the fraternity league due to our good
record under coach Trueby the year before. This year, however, we were
not helped by forfeits as much -- in fact there were none, and many of
the teams were simply bigger and better We won only three games: two
against the Delta Sigs and one against the Beta Lambda colony. Since
we have no records of points scored or games won, I must refer the
reader to Gouker's summary of the year in the scrap book.
We did manage to beat the pledges in the
spring pledge-active game by quite a bit, in a game complete with
national anthem, a pep band and a commentator. At that game, Gouker
presentad [sic] a ball to the fraternity and awards to Hahn and Keller
for showing up at all the games and he himself was presented with the
most valuable player award -- he often was a sort of spiritual leader
for the team, and scored the most points also. At this time the
basketball net was being put up, so athletics turned more towards the
During the year there were also attempts
to start a swimming team and a water polo team, but these never
materialized. We participated in a tennis tournament in fall; our
star, Roland Jank, our star did quite well.
Brothers in Campus Affairs
Early in the spring of '68 Ed Eich sent
a letter to all the greek organizations on campus urging them to
support WVUR (the senate was contemplating doing away with it). Having
the permission of most of the brothers, the letter was signed "The men
of Phi Mu Alpha." (Whereupon there arose some controversy over the use
of that phrase.) This seemed in part to be a move to gain recognition
for Phi Mu Alpha as a fraternity. Since we are not part of the IFC
there is some reluctance on the part of the rest of the fraternities to
consider us a real fraternity. At times brothers had occasion to
question our non-membership in IFC, but others maintained that we
really ought to preserve our uniqueness -- after all we were different
from the others in that we had a common interest in music that held us
This first spring, Steve Helmreich was
the fine arts editor for the Torch. When a new Torch staff took over,
Dave Gouker became the music editor. Of course most of the music
reviews during the year were done by brothers. Interestingly enough,
there was a plot afoot in the fall to topple the establishment and make
Dave Gouker the new Torch editor.
In the fall, Erik Moehring became the
first student senator from the Sinfonia house. Our district consisted
of Stiles, Dodge, and De[a]coness Halls. Tex became our representative
to ASC. And I could not leave out Dave Stechholz either. although
[sic] he held no official post, he was extremely involved in senate
affairs and often urged brothers to take more interest in the senate.
At one time during the fall, a bit of
controversy came up about the opera "Carmen" which the community
concert and the union board had gone together to sponsor. The UB
backed down, leaving the community concert high and dry. A number of
the brothers were quite vocal about this issue
Steve Helmreich was made chairman of the
fine arts committee. This committe[e] was hampered from the beginning
by its lack of funds. Steve had to practically beg for $15 he
eventually did get. The FAC was responsible for a number of receptions
after reci[t]als. The only two I have records of were for Eifrig and
Gehring in the spring of '69. These receptions were usually well
know[n] for their exotic refreshments: cherries jubilee, raw ground
beef. Janson's mother provided the food for the reception after his
recital. It seems that in the past the SAIs often supplied the food
for the receptions. This year there was no such collaberation. This
may be evidence of a general alienation between us and the women of
The fine arts committee also sponsored
two other projects: procurring [sic] crocuses for the front lawn and
starting a collection of piano music.
On Sept. 30, two of our brothers, Pleuss
and Bossard attended a chaplain's retreat. They came back rather fired
up. The[y] had found out quite a lot about the concept of a Christian
university -- a university that offered a distinctly Christian
alternative. And one of the ways this could be done was through
residential ministry, a way of "living with religion through the week."
It was thought that it would be difficult to have daily or weekly
devotions in the house. A discussion group would be more our forte.
Rev. Keller visited our house soon after the retreat. After discussing
for a while we dicided [sic] to ask Eifrig to come to the house for a
few hours on Wednsday [sic] nights, just to discuss. He consented and
we had our first discussion on Oct. 9. The whole living room was
filled with brothers. The topics of discussion centered around music
and drifted to theology. The meetings continued, but attendance
dwindled sharply after the first meeting, until after Christmas, almost
It has been said of our advisors that
they have no interest in the fraternity. No, on the contrary, both
Kroeger and Julseth are extremely interested in the fraternity. For
instance, every time Kroeger sees someone from the fraternity -- in
piano lessons or just walking by in the hall, he demands a short
summary of what is going on in the fraternity, moreover, many a time he
has had a few of the brothers over to his house for a game of bridge
etc. Julseth is always willing to serve in the unenviable capacity of
chaperone at our parties etc. Both advisors have attended meetings on
occasion, but do not wish to speak too often for fear of being too
advisorly. Both seem to be willing to let us have as much autonomy as
Over the summer six of the brothers:
Schmiege, Tex, Daehn, Watkins, Melang, and Anders went on a camping
trip in northern Minnesota. The house was occupied by a few brave
fellows during this time.
Haritatos headed the radio committee.
We broadcasted our progarm [sic] in the 7 - 5 time slot which was later
changed to 3 - 5. The one memorable show was Tex's program, featuring
music from "Hair." Phil Hahn did a program on "Music of Valparaiso,"
broadcasting tapes from some of the previous Phi Mu Alpha concerts.
Phil Hahn was pop machine manager. At
one time the pop machine and milk mixing laborers were contemplating
forming a union and striking for a 100% wage increase. There was
usually friction between the pop machine manager and the meal stewards
because of pop kept in the pantry. This was alleviated when the
pledges finished the cabinet in the basement.
Spring - 2.02
Fall - 2.12
The alumni secretary was somewhat lax at
his job, but one newsletter did go out before homecoming. On occasion
we saw some of our brothers who had left the sheltering institution: Ed
Eich (enlisted in the army) and Al Jacobs (studying at RF). Tom
Schmidt was here once in March -- a pleasant surprise. We often hear
from Schmiege (studying at Springfield) and Trueby (a chap's assistant
in the army), the two brothers that became alumni in the middle of the
March 23, 1970
 "We hurry with weak but active strides" [--
translated by Joel Hahn]
 "Oh, woe!" [same as Yiddish "Oy veh" --translated
by Joel Hahn]