Talk:List of Fraternities and Sororities at the University of Minnesota
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Page creation notes
I created this page in June of 2014, modeling it after similar pages existing for Cornell, Dartmouth, MIT, Illinois, Arizona State, Georgia Tech, UC Santa Barbara, etc. Some are better than others. I had earlier worked on the Cornell page extensively, which was the inspiration.
This version is intended to be a model for other large Greek system list pages, stylistically, and with that in mind provides a historical profile as well as current Greek system status.
These list pages are the inheritors and continuation, in a way, of William Raimond Baird's life work in development of his "Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities", considered for its 20 successive editions as the seminal reference source for lists of all such societies on all campuses in the US. Following his precedent, the professional, service and honor societies are also listed on this page. As explained, they follow a similar national hierarchical structure, they use Greek letters as identifiers, and they are/were intended by their founders to exist for many years beyond the college years of their original members. Over time, there has indeed been some mission shift in the ranks of these societies, where professional groups become honor societies, or vice-versa, or where professional societies may for all intents and purposes position themselves as academic and social societies. Alpha Gamma Rho is a great example of this, having originally been a Professional Fraternity.
Stylistically, I attempted to add color blocks to the list of honor societies, indicative of the colors of their honors cords or tassels. However, this format became messy, and I abandoned the effort. Instead, I linked to the Honor society page that has these color swatches, should a reader be interested. I left a single example of this in the paragraph introduction, noting Phi Beta Kappa's colors, as a hat tip to that fraternity's status as the first collegiate fraternity in 1776.
Chapter names are rendered in both Greek letter and English formats, to allow easier searching. Addresses are visible in the references, to help generate web search hits. Chapters are listed by order of founding, rather than alphabetically, which follows Baird's convention and is a fairly common method of listing chapters around the nation. I have divided the chapters by their self-selected conferences, and listed multiple conference membership where appropriate. For example, most of the traditionally black fraternities are now members of both the NPHC and the NIC.
Graphics are used in several places to improve readability and make the page more interesting. It would be entirely appropriate for someone with a better camera or access to University file photos to place low-res versions in the public domain and edit them into the page, replacing mine. For example, the photo of the graduating students now used in the Honors section is informative, but it shows (ahem) Missouri S&T students. I couldn't find a photo of Minnesota students, with tassels, handy. Several of the 1930s era Minnesota Gopher Yearbook etchings are wonderful, but would need to be scanned and released into the public domain. Maybe a University staffer can do that? The best ones are mostly after 1923, which is the cut-off year, prior to which content is public domain and simple to use and scan. Jax MN (talk) 15:43, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
Your Chapter's Photo
The chapters photographed were profiled in the cited Architecture Minnesota article as highlights among fraternities at the Minnesota campus, with the exception of an architectural fraternity in the international Modernist style that had been torn down since publication. To this short list I added the former Acacia building and neighboring Gamma Eta Gamma, both exhibiting the Richardsonian Romanesque style, of which Pillsbury Hall is a more formidable example. Are they all beautiful? To each his own; but what they are are examples of specific styles, as noted by a working architectural historian. We all have our preferences as to style, and as a campus Greek, I have mine. So I thought that adopting the list from the article was a fair way to treat the subject. In addition to the dialog, I took my own photos and submitted them to Wikipedia, releasing them permanently to the public domain. If you have a nice photo and add it, but it isn't yours to give, don't be surprised if it gets deleted quickly by the copyright patrollers... They're 'aggressive'.
The intent of this section is to show the broad range of styles. Not to promote one house over another, or to point to every single beautiful building, of which Minnesota's Greek System has many, many, many. There are elements in each house, too, that would be notable in a longer treatment, and might have been photographed to call out specific detail. But to add them here would be to expand the article beyond its scope of a summary history and list of chapters, and would require a separate page and its own WP:hatnote. Jax MN (talk) 18:26, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
Corrections to make?
When I first posted this article, it already had 321 references and notes. As obsessively comprehensive as that may be, still, there are going to be errors - missing dates, like "19xx", incorrect dates and addresses, even a missing chapter or two. So, even if you are not a practiced Wikipedia editor, let the world know if you see an error by filling in a missing date or fact. How? You can click on my user name below and send me a note, or post a correction yourself. This kind of page will generate a lot of readers once it takes off, if the examples from other schools are any indication. Many readers will doubtless come up with great new information to add.
If you add something and then it gets re-worked or deleted, please know that that's how Wikipedia is intended to evolve over time. Don't take offense. Good editors will explain clearly in the Edit Summary line above the "Save Page" button WHY they make changes. If you create a user ID and log in before you make a change, you and other editors may indeed collaborate on changes; anonymous edits typically aren't as 'respectable' in the Wikipedia world, but facts are facts, even if they come from an anonymous user. Just look at the page, and consider if your new factoid helps clarify or if it just muddies up the theme of the page. IF you have a question about it, simply click on the "New Section" tab at the top of this Talk page, and discuss it here. When there is consensus, we can make an edit to the main page. Jax MN (talk) 18:36, 12 June 2014 (UTC)