Looking back at Lawrence

Illinois has hater’s club; may spread to Lawrence

From Vol. XXXI , no. 22, Tuesday, March 16, 1915Dear Dad: – Ples kan yu kom akros with my allowance? I need it. I hav become a woman hater so as to econmize.

Your loving son,


The above letter is not one found in the campus but similar ones will in all probability be found if a certian philanthropic movement started at the University of Illinois reaches the realms of Lawrence College.

Young men may become efficient thru total abstinence in more ways than one. Evidently that is what the students at Illinois think, for they have just recently organixed an “Anti-fussin” club. The organization has announced the following schedule of fines for infraction of its rules:

Speaking to a girl — 10 cents
Speaking to pretty girl — 5 cents
Talking about girl — 50 cents
Writing to girl — 75 cents
Thinking of girl (honor system) — 15 cents
“Fussing” girl — 87 1/2 cents

Your fellows who wish to attain the highest degree of efficiency do not want to take too drastic measure in reaching the goal, for according to the above schedule of fines adopted by such a club, it will make your pocket-book look sick in a very short time. Consider it, fellow Lawrentians. Look before you leap! How would you like to join such an organization and thru your great zeal in becoming a member, and not realizing the vow you are taking, you “wake up” to find yourself financially ruined? The shortest yet the most effective piece of advice is “Go easy Mable.”

Imagine, if you can, that you have feverishly sought and secured membership into this club. Then, Spring comes. The birds are gaily singing in the old elms which are just bursting into foliage, the silver Fox below you ripples and glides lazily along beneath the warm rays of old Sol. Strolling alone along the campus walks between the rows of trees, you see coming a pretty little Lawrence maiden (emphasis on Lawrence). Some freshman coming forth from the portals of “Old Main Hall” is siftly whistling “O’er the Fox.” You meet her, you speak – there goes a nickel already – then you ask to “accompany” her. She consents, and before you realize it you are “fussing” the rest of the day. When you get back to your rooms you realize too late that in all you have spent enough to take you to the movies fifteen times or more.

Were this a school of millionaires’ sons such an organization would beat a fraternity all hollow as a device for spending papa’s accumulated fortune. However since we are all not millionaires’ sons let us make the best of our condition and use our means to the best of our ability in giving the Lawrence Co-eds (the best things on earth) a “good time”.

The Beta porn library

From Vol. LXVII, no. 17, Friday, Feb. 23, 1968

At a time when the merits of the fraternity system are being questioned by all members of the academic community, it is reassuring to know that the members of the organizations involved are extending a concerted effort toward making their groups a factor to reckon with in the cultural life of campus.

Undoubtedly the most significant action in this area to date is the social library established and operated on a voluntary basis by the brothers of Beta Theta Pi.

This facility, which reaches into every aspect of the lives of the Betas—to which anyone on campus can attest—is known in Lawrence literary circles as the Beta Porn Library. It is nearly as celebrated as the East House cat.

Operating on the principle that the appreciation of literature is essentially a personal, contemplative experience, the Betas have established the reading and stacks room of the porn library in the booths of the basement and second floor lavatories—possibly the only true sanctuaries left on this campus.

In the casual, relaxed atmosphere of the booths, the Betas can truly appreciate any of the illustrated art journals or novels in the fraternity’s extensive and growing collection.

According to Rick Denemark, the cultural life of the house has been greatly improved since the inception and wide use of the porn library.

“There have been a lot of interesting literary discussions around here about why a character in a particular porn book acted the way he did,” Denemark said.

Another Beta said, “It’s remarkable the amount of work you can get done given the proper incentive. Today, for instance, I read sixty-five pages of Sex Thief in my religion class alone.”

The Beta library is built around a hard-core collection of classics in the genre such as Candy, Peyton Place, and a number of Henry Miller’s epics including Tropic of Cancer and Sexus—reportedly a favorite with the brothers.

For those who find the classics too ponderous, a collection of light reading, which includes new and untried works, is maintained. Titles include That Kind of Wife, Ex-Virgin, and Twice with Julie.

According to Denemark, the novels in the collection circulate a great deal, while the periodicals usually remain in the reading booths.

“You can judge the merit of a book by how often it’s missing from the stacks, sort of like a review: if it stays on the windowsill, it’s just not worth reading,” he says.

Periodicals in the collection get very little response from the Betas, according to Denemark, but “the gadget advertisements are usually good for a few laughs,” he said.

On the subject of periodicals, one Beta remarked, “Every once in awhile I like to read a good torture article, but other than that I stick to the book collection.”

Titles in the journal collection include Rogue, Sir, True, Nylon Jungle, and Escapade. Occasionally, a Beta will contribute a current edition of Playboy or Cavalier from his private collection for the general use of the brothers.

The high quality of the porn library is insured by the fraternity’s Office of the Porn Librarian. For the past two years, this bureau has been headed by Denemark, whose job it has been to carefully screen additions to the collection and stamp “Verified and Approved” on only that literature which meets the Betas’ rigid standards for stimulating and reading.

Though the porn library is maintained to give the Betas a common ground for discussion, a spokesman for the group announced that the brothers would be willing to donate some of their more obscure and esoteric journals to the periodical bank being established by the ACM.

“We feel we have an unusual, almost unique, contribution to make to the ACM library,” he said.