Campus Unrest Ushers in the 1970s
The turbulence of the late 1960s experienced on college campuses across the country continued into the 1970s. The University of Illinois was no exception, and Nabor House felt some spinoff as did almost every residential group.
Effects on Nabor House
Nabors were not involved in rebellions or demonstrations, but unrest and changed values and actions were manifested. The polarization that began in the 60s lingered and perhaps was even stronger for a short while in 1970. By fall, the unrest began to subside, and most of the men were beginning to concentrate on their studies, recreation, and activities. However, not all of the problems had been solved. Some individuals were challenging Nabor House's ideals as archaic and outdated. They were not in harmony with many of the trends and practices occurring the 1960s and 70s, nor were they harmonious with all of the principles and practices of 1939.
As the June 1972 Nabor Nubbins stated, "Nabor House standards are high. They are our source of pride and esprit de corps. It is a challenge to every Nabor to adhere to these standards if it means standing apart. This is what will keep Nabor House from being just another fraternity. Times have changed, and many changes have been made at Nabor House...additional changes are needed. Neither is a change in the spirit by which the ideals are carried out needed. Nabor Hosue was founded on the basic principles and depends on them for its unique status."
Corrective action by the Fraternity Board in cooperation with the Chapter's leaders began to alleviate the problems .Within the next year or so, polarization was minimized and things were settling down. Chapter programs and activities were progressing well.
Almost ever since the Fraternity bought 811 W. Oregon, members of Nabor House, and in some years, non-Nabors were permitted to live in the house while attending summer school. Various approaches were taken, with a Nabor being appointed summer manager some times and the group living without a manger some summers. Frequently, there were problems, such as poor housekeeping, lawn care, and security. So, the Fraternity Board chose to have roomers sign a contract for the summer. In the 1970s, the contracts were made more inclusive and stringent. That helped, but it did not solve all the problems. Some continue today.
House and Yard
A lot of building maintenance was needed in the 1970s, mostly small, gnawing, recurring types of things. The shower rooms on both the second and third floors leaked. Professionals were brought in to correct the problem, and for a time the leaks would be stopped. Then, the leaks would appear again. Corrective action seemed to stop them, but it didn't last. It would be well up into the 1980s before the problem was really solved. While the actives were home between semesters in 1978-79, the heat had been reduced to hold down the utility bills. Severely cold weather occurred, and the water pipes froze and broke. With early detection and prompt action, the plumber was able to have the heating and water systems functioning normally by the time the men returned to the campus.
In the spring of 1973, the northwest corner of the yard was landscaped and shrubs placed to stop traffic on the lawn. A complete landscape project was planned in 1977. It was originally to be done over a five-year period. But the Fraternity Board chose to go ahead and complete it in 1977.
When life memberships were made available in 1956, only a few individuals invested in them. As the total membership grew, billing for annual dues and accounting those received took a great deal of time. In 1971, the Fraternity Board planned a drive to get more life members and during 1972 succeeded in securing many life memberships.
For some time, the Board had recognized the need for improving the budgeting procedures, earmarking and preserving funds for building, repairs, capital purchases, and memorials. To keep the Directors abreast of the current financial situation, the Business Agent prepared a budget-cash flow summary for each Board Meeting. Then, the Board began to set up accounts and budget for special funds. Life Membership and Building Funds were already in existence. In 1972, a repairs/furnishing fund was started. That was replaced in 1975 by two separate accounts; repairs reserves and capital purchases. A Memorial Fund was begun in 1976. Although these steps were not a complete solution, they did improve money management procedures.
When the Fraternity's Board of Directors began to meet on a frequent basis in 1946, no provisions were made for expense payment. However, at the Fifth Annual Meeting, Nov. 1, 1947, payment of three cents a mile for travel was approved. The rate was increased to seven cents sometime in the 1950s and remained at that level until the 1970s. Increased to 10 cents on an unknown date sometime after 1977, the rate was revised to 15 cents by the Board in 1979. Travel reimbursement is no longer taken advantage of by Nabors.
Nabors Continued to Excel
Nabor House continued to excel in scholastic efforts and activities even though studying was more difficult early in the school year starting in 1973-74. The University initiated the "early" calendar that year and thus the school year started in August. For the first time, two classmates, Garry C. Martin, '75, and Richard B. Nightingale, '75, made Bronze Tablet. In the spring of 1976, Nabor House teamed up with Presby House to win the first place trophy in the choral division of the Atius-Sachem Sing before 2,000 people in the Auditorium on Mom's Weekend.
Study Room Visitation
The introduction in the 1960s of the lounge bill that permitted women to visit unchaperoned in public areas of the house was the forerunner of a study room visitation plan. In the early 1970s, the Fraternity Board approved visitation on a modest basis in study rooms.
A Pledge's Thoughts
As the 1970s advanced, the pledge program was strengthened. That the effort was successful is attested to by the following article from the Fall 1975 Nabor Nubbins. The pledge or pledges who authored it did so anonymously.
A Pledge's View of Nabor House