What is FarmHouse? || History of FarmHouse || Our Founding Fathers || The 4-Fold Building Process || The Central Attributes || Organization of FarmHouse || Honorary Members || Master Builders
THE 4-FOLD BUILDING PROCESS
Universities have as their primary purpose the intellectual growth of the student. They provide faculty, classrooms, lectures, laboratories, and study areas all designed with this primary objective in mind.
They bring into the university communities cultural opportunities to enrich; men and women of excellence in the arts, science, political science and myriad areas; they arrange exchanges with other university communities in similar areas. These diverse opportunities provide for the students, each of whom has a different need, experiences unattainable anywhere else in such orderly form.
Intellectual growth is usually the prime objective of the student, too, and so we believe it becomes a primary responsibility of the Fraternity. It is the aim of FarmHouse to amplify the cultural and intellectual atmosphere and environment of the university, by providing surroundings conducive to study, by offering counseling to students who require assistance, by helping a man to plan his time, by encouraging each man to apply himself to his primary goal with diligence.
Some chapters embark upon programs of intellectual enrichment by inviting well-known philosophers, theologians, and educators to speak to the chapter, and by then engaging in dialogue with these men and others in an attempt to understand not only the visitor but also themselves.
The Fraternity provides the arena for discussion of current topics, related to areas of common study, to politics and current events, all within the boundaries of friendship and brotherhood. It provides for this same exchange with faculty members, often invited to the House for an evening; with members of the Faculty Advisory Committee, who are concerned with the smooth operation of the chapter, with the relationships of the men with each other and with their relationships with the community and with the university.
In our chapters each pledge is assigned to a "Big Brother," an upperclassman, whose responsibility it is to give counsel and guidance in areas where the pledge experiences difficulty. In some of our chapters the men work as teams of two evenly matched gradewise, competitively, to improve their study habits and to sharpen their minds. Some of the chapters have embarked upon a program of art appreciation, renting paintings on a monthly basis from a local art gallery to adorn the walls of the chapter house.
Talented young people in the chapters are encouraged to perform individually and in small groups within the chapter as well as to share their talents in all-campus activities.
When a young man goes to college he is usually taking a first major step toward independence. At this time his religious convictions and his feelings toward the morals and customs he has shared with his family undergo a major step. He may build on these foundations, or he may, consciously or unconsciously, drift away from his religious convictions. FarmHouse chapters, however, encourage their members to grow in their faith and in their ties with their church.
In the words of one FarmHouse man, "The very essence of fraternity is the bond of the spirit. Conciliation and reconciliation are the sine qua non of that bond. A spirit fabric consciously and subconsciously woven of confidence, helpfulness, forgiveness, joy, respect, trust, and all the rest, represents the material of which fraternal life is made.
"Religious faith, while an intimately personal thing, is to be nurtured, not diminished, by the common life of the brotherhood. It is ever an object of concern and respect; never one of ridicule or of superficial pretense.
"Depth and diversity of conviction lend richness of color to the spirit fabric of the chapter's life. And, if that depth and diversity are not consciously nurtured, both the chapter and the member will have been severely deprived.
"A fraternity has profound influence upon the health of faith and spirit. That influence should be responsible influence. It should never be left to chance. Health of spirit should be attended to at least as zealously as health of mind and of body." (Kleis, page 6)
...Socially & Morally
Society demands of us that we live within the laws, which it has written. It demands that we look at every act we perform in relationship to its effects on those with whom we live. As our communities grow in size and as we become even more aware of the greater community the demands become more and more frequent, and immeasurably larger.
Additionally our love for our fellow man demands discipline and concern for our every act, that we do not blindly step on others on the way to the top, that we do not sweep aside unconcernedly the basic truths with which our families endowed us as children.
Respect for ourselves and each other demands that we behave with intelligence and with regard for each other, to the best of our abilities, in a controlled and considerate demean.
We are judged in society by our manners, by our attitudes and by our behavior. As members of a group we have come to realize that the group is often judged by the actions of the individual, as the group with which he associates judges the individual.
It is the aim of FarmHouse to create opportunities for its members to develop social refinement. Chapter functions often include dances, exchanges with sororities and fraternities, Parents' Weekends, Founders' Day celebrations, and Homecoming festivities.
A majority of the FarmHouse chapters employ a housemother who is experienced in working with young people and is generally an excellent resource person for advice in social matters.
Friendly and constructive criticism is part of the plan of FarmHouse living and is designed, in part, to help each man to achieve ease and poise at social functions. It is recognized that the ability to accept constructive criticism and to profit by it comes with maturity.
To be mentally alert, productive, and a contributing member to the Fraternity and society, a man needs to be in good health.
It is essential to his well-being that he eat well balanced meals, have an adequate amount of rest, receive a proper amount of exercise, and that his emotional status be healthy.
FarmHouse is opposed to hazing and harassment and any and all activities designed to degrade the individual or cause embarrassment.
There is a saying in FarmHouse, "One cannot build men by tearing down boys."
A major lesson that every university man must learn is how to plan his time so that he is able to study, to rest, and to pursue recreational interests in proper relation to his responsibilities to the university, his chosen field, and his family. Members of the Faculty Advisory Committee and upperclassmen will assist those young men who find difficulty in planning their schedules.
Most of the chapters actively participate and compete in their campus' intramural sports program. In addition, a number of the chapters have, or are acquiring, recreational and physical fitness equipment such as a small basketball court, ping-pong table, weightlifting equipment, etc.