These Preposterous Secret Societies

These Preposterous Secret Societies
Anthony Harris
Opinions Section Editor

I read the first page of last week’s paper the same time as the rest of the campus.  In fact, I read it briefly after everyone else.  My normal routine on Wednesdays is to see if someone is reading the newspaper on the second floor of Brawley, then run to the cafeteria to get a few copies.  Imagine my surprise to see the entire front page plastered with stories of secret societies.

Reading MT16 (that’s what we call the issues in the journalism biz) was an experience.  I devoured article after article about the entrenchment of the SGA by 2TO and their battles with Sons of Thetes.  As I read, I found myself asking many questions about how poorly planned these endeavors were.

Why in God’s green earth were these organizations taking notes?  Have we learned nothing from Malcolm X’s West Indian Archie?  Memorize everything.  Don’t take notes.  If you’re going to take notes, write them down.  Don’t type out minutes from your secret meetings.  Don’t make a constitution.  Don’t make a membership list.  Keeping notes is like proclaiming that you want to be caught.  Notes are meant to be read.

What kept me on edge for the whole afternoon were the grooming procedures.  Who in the middle of their secret meeting addressed the group?  Who was it who said, “I believe that the best means to lead the students of Morehouse College is to keep our armpit hair and pubic hair neatly trimmed.  I believe that a successful government is run by wise men with clean colons.”

There are even more pressing questions related.  How did he convince them to agree on the armpit hair and colon cleaning resolutions?  Did they vote using Robert’s Rules of Order?  Did the recording secretary feel a tad silly typing this out in the “secret” notes?  Who checks to make sure the colons are cleaned and the pubes are cut?  Who wants that job?

My last set of questions was about the Sons of Thetes.  In a school of 3,000 students, how does no one recognize that “secret” SUV?  There has to be some Son of Thetes right now, cruising the Spelman parking lot, impressing girls with his “secret” SUV.  Does it use “secret” gas?  Is it someone’s job to take it to a “secret” car wash?  Where does it get its “secret” oil changes?

And I really do want to know, what is truth?  What was the right answer?  How do these black clad, self-important people know something philosophers have spent centuries pondering?  How was some poor college student supposed to answer that under duress?

I could not have been alone reading last week’s paper thinking about how silly all of this is.  Didn’t qualified, charismatic people win elections?  We need to group up now for a school election?  Am I just being over-idealistic?

I’m not the first and I’m certainly not the last to say: it’s not that serious, you guys.


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