The 1960s: A Busy Decade
The momentum that had built up in Nabor House during the 50s continued into and increased during the 1960s. Roger L. Higgs, '60, in his message as Illinois Chapter President said in the Feb. 16, 1960, Nabor Nubbins, "The 28 of us have been working, studying, and recreating..." And, indeed, they had, as the record showed. They were involved in an almost unbelievable array and number of activities, their scholastic performance was at or near the top, and they were participating actively in social events and intramural sports. But the subject that was uppermost in the minds of both actives and alumni was building or finding a new home for the Illinois Chapter.
Campaign for Another Building
Ways to get the necessary funds for another building were explored in the 1950s, but a final plan had not been decided upon. So the financing method remained open, and the Fraternity Board continued to look at the possibilities. Whether to build on the present site or try to find an existing suitable building were being explored. The preference of most was to build at 811 W. Oregon. Eventually, the concerns about raising the money and deciding whether to build or buy an existing building were answered when a building that suited Nabor House's needs and financial means became available. So on July 1, 1965, the closings on the sale of 811 W. Oregon and the purchase of the house at 1002 S. Lincoln were finalized. Nabor House had a new home. Some details on the fundraising campaign, sale of the old property, and purchase of the new are in another section.
Some Actions Taken
While societal changes were creating some negative reactions and results, others were beneficial to the students. One of these was that students were being given more voice on various College and university committees to air the students' viewpoints. Nabor House had a goodly number of men named to some of those committees and continues to have at the present time.
Over 250 faculty, students and other friends of Nabors viewed the new Nabor House home at an Open House on Sunday, Oct. 10, 1965. In the latter half of the 1960s, study room phones made their appearance at Nabor House. The crest was approved in 1967. William W. Allen, who had worked with the active chapter, was given associate membership on Oct. 14, 1967. The Big Sister Program was started in the fall of 1968, a major comprehensive revision of the constitution was completed in 1969, and the Loy-Reinerd Memorial Library was dedicated Nov. 1, 1969.
In the early 1960s, a problem arose when a Greek Ag fraternity sought to pledge a member of one of the cooperative Ag houses. It was not the first incident of this nature. So the Dean of Fraternity Men and the Dean of Independent Men called a meeting of the four Ag houses to address the problem. Discussion centered on points creating tension among the houses. The cooperative houses felt that the fraternities should have a hands-off policy toward the men in cooperatives. The fraternities thought that the cooperatives' practice of pledging in the spring hurt them in fall rush. Nevertheless, the fraternities were directed to not approach members of the cooperatives to try to pledge them. This incident sparked anew the long-standing debate over "how much the man needs the house" vs. "how much the house needs the man."
About the mid-1960s, the Men's Independent Association began to change some of its directions. As a result, Nabor House found that MIA satisfied its needs less and less. However, after careful consideration, the men decided to remain in the organization in hopes that the program direction would be reversed.
In the first decade of Nabor House's life, talk emerged from time to time about starting Nabor House chapters on other campuses. Although the talk continued occasionally, no action was taken. Talk about it surfaced again at the 1966 Annual Fraternity Meeting, but again no action resulted. The advantages and disadvantages of other chapters can be debated, but whether one outweighs the other probably rests with the individual's feeling and emotion. Although the constitutional mechanism exists for other chapters to be started, the lack of manpower, finances, dedicated commitment, and depth of interest appear to have been the deterrents.
How to handle junior college transfers who apply for admission to Nabor House needed to be studied because the frequency of such men applying was increasing. With the junior college system growing, the number of students transferring from them were expected to increase in the 1970s and even more in the 1980s.
Two questions concerned the active members. One was whether a man could get a full understanding and appreciation of Nabor House's philosophies, standards, and principles in two years. The other related to whether junior college transfers being older would be interested in this type of housing arrangement or whether they might opt for an apartment or other independent living, thus reducing the number of potential rushees. The Fraternity Board of Directors appreciated these concerns and advised the Active Chapter that thorough evaluations and objective judgments of each junior college transfer applicant provided the best approach.
The societal changes caused largely by the reactions to America's involvement in Vietnam were creating tensions and problems on the U of I campus just as they were all over the nation. Student unrest and protest actions were upsetting. While Nabors were essentially free from involvement in these campus actions, they nonetheless exterted negative effects on the actives. Tensions built and pronounced polarization occurred within the group. And on campus, students lost valuable potential knowledge through cancellation of some courses.
Restrictions on housing, women's hours, and house visitation were changing. In the late 1960s, sophomore, junior, and senior women no longer had definite curfew hours. A lounge bill permitting women to visit in men's residence lounges and vice versa without chaperons was approved. Soon, a similar bill regarding study room use was introduced. Since landlords had the authority and responsibility for granting, managing, and controlling of co-ed visitation, the Fraternity Board opted for a somewhat conservative visitation plan. The visitation program also had some polarizing effect on the men, with some of them wanting 24-hour visitation in all areas of the house and others preferring limited visitation.