Slow and Steady Progress

With the coveted Charter safely in their hands

Guelph Betas were free to think of their future.

It’s hard to do when you’re working toward chapterhood; every last bit of energy has to be poured into the immediate task of winning the charter.

The men of a colony have little leisure time to think any further ahead than that.

At first it might have seemed as though the newly-chartered Epsilon Zeta Chapter wasn’t going to do

any more future thinking than they had done already. The brothers seemed content to mark time.

They showed no huge burst of enthusiasm to rush out and win a whole string of Sisson Awards.

They didn’t race full-tilt into competing for scholarship, newsletter or philanthropic prizes.

It might seem an odd comment, but the slow pace the chapter set in those early days might actually have been beneficial in some ways.

For one thing, this slack time seems to have taken the place of the more dramatic “post-charter slump” that many new chapters experience.

Epsilon Zeta spent a few years marking time, but nothing much worse.

The membership numbers didn’t tumble drastically; no huge debt to the General Fraternity was run up.

The chapter’s biggest handicap at the time of chartering was the lack of a house. As other chapters have found, both before and since, trying to operate with no central headquarters is difficult (although not absolutely impossible).

The Guelph Betas were fortunate to have the continued support and help of their erstwhile sponsors in Toronto, and so were able to use the Theta Zeta house for initiations and the like.

To try to solve this problem, the brothers agreed to set up a housing fund in the spring of 1987.

 Each member voluntarily agreed to make a donation of $100 at the time of graduation, with the money to go toward purchasing a chapter house for Epsilon Zeta. In the meantime, the chapter sought an interim house which could be rented.

In the fall of 1987, the chapter moved into a rented house at 60 Nottingham Street, a good location near the centre of the city.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t ideally close to the campus, but in a compact city like Guelph, this was not a major problem.

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