Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts HistorySauer, Anne
Sword and Shield, 1902-1970
|Sword and Shield, the sophomore honor society, was founded in 1902.The creation of Sword and Shield reflected the intense class rivalries of the day. It was intended to promote good fellowship and, more immediately, "the political and social interests of the Sophomore class."|
One of Sword and Shield's historic functions was to provide what might be called the student version of freshman orientation. When freshmen arrived on campus in the fall they were greeted with "posters outlining their privileges or lack thereof, and freshmen who disregarded the admonition received a summons to meet with Sword and Shield, which emphasized by methods painful to the freshmen the importance of observing the regulations established for their good and the good of the College." In later years, the society became the keeper of Tufts undergraduate customs and in the 1960s was officially known as the Sword and Shield Traditions Society.
The duties assigned to Sword and Shield by the student council were to act as welcomers of visitors, to run not more than five informal dances per year, to usher at athletic and dramatic functions, to encforce freshmen traditions, to act as vigilance committee for the college, including policing outdoor sings, and to assume responsibility for college song books in the chapel. The group also ran blood drives for the local Red Cross.
Election to the society at first was by vote of the faculty, but after the first class was elected, election was by the membership of the society, who selected the following year's members from the Junior class. During the academic year 1923-24, there was criticism as some felt that fraternity politics and popularity had undue weight in the selection process. A revision of the rules in 1929-30 changed the process and from that time forward the society nominated qualified members of the rising class, and the class as a whole voted to elect members of the society.
The last elections for the society were held in April 1969 for the 1969-70 academic year.
Source: LOH1; TN, Spring 1946, 143-44; AO14
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