University activities provide many opportunities for young people to assume leadership roles. Additionally, FarmHouse provides unique opportunities for leadership within the chapter and alumni association.
Our FarmHouse chapter operates both as a family unit and as a small business. It has freedom to develop the pattern of living that members, as a group, desire to have. There are also responsibilities for operation of the house and for implementing group decision. There are bills to be paid, minor repairs to the structure and equipment, food buying and managing a budget. There are programs and projects which are decided upon in chapter meeting. All of these tasks fall to the members of the chapter, under the direction of the leaders.
The president is responsible for the direction of the total life of the chapter. The treasurer is responsible for the collection of all living costs, dues, fees and assessments. He is also responsible for the payment of all bills and for the bookkeeping.
The house/business manager is responsible for the operation of the house. He works with the association to keep the house in good repair and to maintain the grounds. He typically is involved in hiring and supervising the cook and other employees in the house. He works out the arrangement whereby the members share the daily routine work assignments so that each man shares a part of the responsibility.
Others are responsible for the social activities with in the chapter; still others make arrangements for chapter participation in all-campus functions. This experience of living as a community and working as a team for the mutual benefit of the members is a priceless experience. It is unique and is not offered by dormitories, private housing, clubs or other campus groups.
Members are encouraged to be selective in their activities so that they choose projects of merit and groups of worth with which to associate. They are urged not to join everything available for the sake of accumulating great lists of involvements. Members should recognize that some projects have merit; some have none. Some are appropriate for one man. Some for another.
"Progress is made by men and fraternities who set objectives, lay out courses of action, and move in straight lines rather than circles. There is a powerful distinction between business and busyness." (Kleis, page 6)
A man is encouraged to do no more than he can do well. The emphasis is on excellence of purpose, excellence of choice and excellence of performance.
Universities provide the atmosphere, the faculty, the staff, the classrooms, the libraries and references, and the laboratories where the formal learning experience may take place. They set the scene for the student, who wishes to learn.
The student enters seeking knowledge that will prepare him for life, usually in some specialized area or profession. The true scholar will consume the facts, probe the knowledge of the professor, and use the facts and opinions obtained to pursue TRUTH. He will accept the challenge to see for himself, to look beneath and beyond the facts and opinions acquired in the classroom.
FarmHouse places emphasis on excellence in scholarship and has established a record of high scholastic achievement. It is intended that the environment of brotherhood in FarmHouse will provide a home-base for the scholar while he searches for the truth, that he will be strengthened in his desires to seek the ultimate, and that his relationships will encourage him in no way to deter him in his goals.
Year after year FarmHouse chapters across the United States and Canada have remained at or near the top scholastically among all fraternities on the campuses where chapters are located.
It is important that every active member of FarmHouse consider the difference between "gradesmanship" and scholarship. In an effort to preserve one's scholastic standing, it is often easy to concentrate on getting the grade rather than pursuing knowledge that will be valuable later. As stated above, if one is to be a true scholar, a FarmHouse man should discipline himself to study for the sake of knowledge rather than memorizing facts to parrot back to the professor.
"True fraternalism means giving of one's self for the betterment of others through personal sacrifice," from the Charge, FarmHouse Ritual of Initiation.
"Fellowship is intrinsic to fraternity. Fellowship never truly grows if it is fed on the forfeited freedoms of honest and earnest individuals. Fellowship has its highest expression in volunteered conformity. It attains its lowest expression when likeness and uniformity are prerequisite to admission as well as requirements of day to day life in the chapter.
"FarmHouse at its best elects men of potential, varied and diverse potential, then contributes its utmost to the development, not to the containment, of that potential.
"It is the symbiotic relationship of men of varied talents, divergent backgrounds, and differing views, engaging in honest and earnest quest, sustaining and challenging themselves and each other, that the full meaning of fellowship can be known. And it is in precisely the same pattern of relating that the largest hope - in fact, the only hope - of man's ultimate survival on our spinning sphere is to be found." (Kleis, 1964)