Georgetown Has Secret Society Scandal, Hilarity Ensues
Has Georgetown University's Ivy League envy reached an all-time high? Emails leaked today reveal that students who are members of a secret society called "the Stewards"—a sometimes-menacing, sometimes-comical group that surfaces every few years at the school—have thrown student government elections into turmoil, the Georgetown Voice reports.
It might be easy to dismiss the affair as so much undergraduate intrigue, except for one headache-inducing complication: the appearance of a splinter faction.
The email screenshots, posted on the blog Free Georgetown by the pseudonymous Steward Throat, out the names of the so-called "Second Stewards" involved in a group listserv. The leaks also reveal that a nonprofit associated with the Second Stewards has a hefty $147,966 in assets. The email chains are innocuous if preppy, discussing whether the Stewards should buy themed cufflinks or opt for Brooks Brothers ties instead, and whether the university's presentation for prospective students could scare off conservatives.
Among the Stewards members outed are Student Association presidential candidate Jack Appelbaum and former student Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Jake Sticka. Sticka and Appelbaum later confirmed that they are members of the Stewards, prompting controversy when other candidates in the Student Association elections denounced the participation of "secret organizations." Meanwhile, "Chief Steward" Sam Schneider, apparently the society's leader, denies that his group is "interested in king-making."
But things aren't so simple! The Stewards, it turns out, are also facing some internal dissent, with at least one splinter group also currently operating. The inter-Steward chasm seems to center on whether members should lie about being Stewards. Georgetown blog Vox Populi, which I edited for two semesters when I went to Georgetown, has this update:
A member of the Second Society of Stewards has alleged to Vox that GUSA vice presidential candidate Adam Ramadan (SFS ’14) is a member of the Third Society of Stewards. Ramadan hasn’t yet responded to Vox‘s request for comment and the distinction is between the “Second” and the “Third” Society is still unclear...The possible political intentions of each tipster remain unclear.
N.B.: The first Stewards emerged during the 1980s. Their fate remains unknown.
As for these Third Stewards and Second Stewards—maybe these guys can get over their differences at Smith Point.
Photo by Kevin H. via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution Generic 2.0 License