The traditions of Theta Sigma Tau
Borrowing the name from the weekly radio addresses broadcast by President Roosevelt, Tau is well known for their own Fireside Chat series. Faculty, administration, and other guests are invited to come to the House and hold informal discussions, usually preceded by some form of prepared opening presentation.
Recent guests have included: then-President of Ripon College Paul Ranslow talking about campus atmosphere; Dr. Robert Wallace of the Ripon College Biology Department giving a pre-spring break presentation, complete with slides, on STIs; and Dr. Brian Smith of the Ripon College Religion Department whose chat was called Why Religion? (and was the biggest crowd-drawing chat of the year).
The Fireside Chats are popular amongst the faculty and administration as they offer an opportunity to meet with students in an informal setting. It is also a forum in which the presenter can address topics that may not fit in with or be appropriate in the classroom setting.
The Fireside Chat series tends to range from highly successful years with many chats to years where no chats may be held at all. This is usually dependant upon the character and ambition of the person holding the office of Fireside Chat Coordinator.
Up until the early 90s, when the fireplace in the lounge was bricked up, the Fireside Chats were often held at the side of an actual fire. These days a video-tape of a fire in a fireplace is sometimes played on the television in the lounge to attempt to give things a similar atmosphere. A cardboard fake fireplace was also donated to the House for this purpose, but it's too small and cheesy to do more than emphasize the fact that there is no fireplace.