Declaration of Principles
Set forth by our International Grand Chapter Offices and Officers
We, the members of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, hereby
declaring our strict adherence and unswerving fidelity to what we believe to be
the basic principles of true friendship, do ordain and adopt this our
Declaration of Principles.
The object of this Declaration is to codify the settled
convictions of this fraternity into abiding form to guide fraternal action and
conduct for all time to come. And to the principles hereinafter enunciated, we
individually and collectively pledge our unreserved allegiance.
Man is a social being. Our whole structure evidences the
absolute interdependence of man. Reclusiveness is dwarfing to man's best
qualities. Intimate and frequent contact with our fellows is necessary to
symmetrical development. As a consequence, organizations whose purpose is to
promote these ends are to be fostered and encouraged.
We believe that at no other period in the life of a man
is the time more opportune for the fostering of such qualities than during the
years of his college career. Then mind and heart are in their most receptive
condition, for it is the formative period of life.
We regard mental development as of vital importance, but
of equal consequence is the acquisition of a knowledge of men and a proper
conception of their relation to one another. This is not obtained from texts and
lectures, but from actual and intimate intercourse with men. To promote these
ends is the avowed and earnest purpose of this fraternity. Fully realizing the
burdens of this duty, we enter upon its performance with the conscientious
purpose of adequately meeting its demands.
We maintain that exclusiveness is the direct antithesis
of a true fraternity. We condemn the un-American policies of some of the leading
college fraternities of the country in their attitude of contempt to all who are
without the bonds of fraternities, regardless of character, ability or personal
merits. Such policies we seek to avoid, as they are destructive of the very ends
of true fraternity.
We believe that a fraternity should be a brotherhood in
conduct as well as in name. "Faith without works is dead." Pledges of
brotherhood not succeeded by observance in conduct are as "sounding brass and
tinkling cymbal." By the tenor of our daily action we should evidence our
devotion to the principles we have solemnly obligated ourselves to observe.
The duties and obligations that subsist between the sons
of the same mother should subsist between brothers in the sacred bond of this
fraternity. The instinct to the observance of mutual duties that common blood
supplies, must be furnished by the pledges of our ritual.
We believe that the essential elements of
true brotherhood are love, charity, and esteem; love, that binds our hearts with
the sturdy chords of fraternal affection; charity, that is impulsive to see
virtues in a brother and slow to reprove his faults; esteem, that is respectful
to the honest convictions of others and that refrains from treading upon that
which is sacred to spirit and conscience; these are the triple obligations of
every brother in the bond.
We believe in secretism in so far as it enables a
fraternity to protect the confidence of the brotherhood. Secrecy that is
promoted for selfish purposes or utilized to cloak fraternal wrong-doings we
unsparingly condemn. We uphold this policy in so far as it is necessary to
insure the dignity of our ritualism and the privacy of our internal affairs. As
secrecy is employed to protect and perpetuate the sanctity of the family
relation, so we enlist the advantage of secrecy to preserve inviolate the
confidences and sanctities of the brotherhood.
Toward other fraternities we believe we should maintain
an attitude of dignity and respect, recognizing their merits and studiously
avoiding their evils. We believe our relation to them is, in a measure,
competitive, and that we should endeavor to excel them in the fields of college
We maintain that competition may become detrimental to
any school. When healthy rivalry is followed by competition in which honorable
methods are employed, it is a boon to the fraternity, and a benefit to the
school, but when groveling and unprincipled means are employed, when school
spirit and interest are subordinated to fraternal prejudice and selfishness, it
becomes "a snare to the feet," and a detriment to the fraternity and to the
school. Competition in such form we condemn, and pledge every effort to avoid.
Finally, above all else, this fraternity stands for Men.
We believe in their equality in those things which the Creator has decreed they
should equally enjoy. We consider no man from the standpoint of those qualities
and advantages he has not attained by personal effort. We stand for men whose
manhood has withstood the test of trying conditions. We deem sterling character
and staunch uprightness to be necessary qualifications to membership in this
fraternity. All else, though desirable, is secondary to these.