HISTORY OF PHI KAPPA TAU BETA:
-1905: The Barbarian "Movement" begins at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.
-Feb 1906: The Barbarian newspaper, "The Side Lights," was first published.
-2 May 1906: Birth of the BARBARIANS at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.
-Jun 1910: Birth of the OHIO UNIVERSITY UNION at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.
-22 Oct 1911: The merger between OU Union & Miami’s Phrenocon Association was signed.
-27 Oct 1911: Birth of the NATIONAL PHRENOCON ASSOCIATION as merger ratified. THIS IS THE DATE WE CELEBRATE AS OUR TRUE BEGINNING!
-1912: The Phrenocon newspaper, "The Side Lights," is replaced by the "Green & White."
-1 Feb 1917: Birth of BETA CHAPTER of PHI KAPPA TAU.
-7 Jun 1986: BETA CHAPTER 75th Anniversary.
-20-22 May 2011: BETA CHAPTER Centennial Celebration in Athens.
Our beginnings stem from the formation of the BARBARIAN movement which sprang up at Ohio University in 1905, a group that shared many of the same beliefs as the NON-FRATERNITY ASSOCIATION founded a year later at Miami University. The "Barbarians" is the name given to the greater part of the students at O. U. Sometime after the discontinuance of the college publication, the “O. U. Mirror” in 1905, realizing the need for a college publication and desiring some medium through which to express their sentiments concerning various phases of college life, the “Barbarian” non-fraternity students met in a body, and chose a staff to make arrangements for such a publication. This publication, the “Side Lights” published its first issue in February 1906 and continued until 1912.
While the first Barbarian Banquet was during the Barbarian Movement held at Ohio University in 1905, the loosely formed Barbarian Organization was officially founded on May 2, 1906. Their common interests are vested in an executive committee of some twelve members by the whole Barbarian student body. This executive committee exists for the purpose of directing affairs and carrying on business when a reception or banquet is being given by the Barb Students.
One of the purposes of the Barbarian movement at O. U. was to bring about harmony and unity, and develop a closer bond of fellowship among the students. Another was to encourage and aid all proper manifestations of college spirit so far as the same may conduce to the best interest of the University. In short they aimed to do what they could to make Ohio University extend her influence as one of the leading institutions of learning in Ohio. Truth is the principle for which the Barbarian stands. He is ever ready and anxious to do for his fellow students the thing that elevates character and that leads to a life of truth and righteousness. Truth is his motto because it is one principle that lives never fading but ever brightening. It is eternal and survives when all else has passed away.
The "Ohio University Union" is the successor of the Barbarian movement. It was the feeling of the leaders of the old Barbarian movement that a closer and more effective organization was necessary to adequately represent the non-fraternity element of O. U. Consequently, at the close of the school year 1909-10, a constitution was drafted and later adopted by about 75 charter members. The O. U. Union set forth a constitution “To foster a spirit of democracy and equality among students; to encourage participation in the educational, religious, social and activities of the University; to maintain a high standard of scholarship and morality; to promote the general welfare of the University; and to perpetuate the bond of union between the students and their Alma Mater.” The constitution provided for the usual officers and an executive committee elected by the Union. The social, house, membership, and athletic committees were appointed by the President. The policy of the social committee has been to retain the three annual functions of the old organization--a reception for the non-fraternity students at the beginning of the school year, a banquet in the Winter term, and a picnic in the Spring term. The merger between the Ohio University Union in Athens and Miami's Phrenocon Association, was ratified on October 27, 1911, marking the birth of the Phrenocon Association as a "National Phrenocon" organization, which eventually became known as "PHI KAPPA TAU".
The members at Ohio University retained the Phrenocon name until 1917, when the organization was chartered as Phi Kappa Tau, a Greek letter fraternity. With the exception of the first chapter at Miami, there is no group who has had more influence in the formation of Phi Kappa Tau. It was the chapter at Ohio University who helped to start the national movement which continues today.
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