Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Let's Get Traditional: Secret Societies

Let's Get Traditional

Secret Societies 

If you have ever been to UVa and walked around grounds, you have probably seen several letters or numbers painted on buildings, stairs, and other areas. These are the symbols of some of the secret societies that we have at UVa. The most commonly seen symbols are those of the Z Society, the 7 Society, and the IMP Society, but there are several other societies on grounds-- in fact, UVa boasts the second-highest number of secret societies of any university in the country! Many of the secret societies that exist at UVa date back to the beginning of the 20th century, or even earlier into the 19th and 18th centuries. These societies function mainly as philanthropic groups that give back to the UVa community in a variety of ways; for example, they often donate money to the administration and sometimes write letters addressing the student body or the administration. 

The secret societies at UVa will also perform smaller acts of kindness for the students at UVa. One of my personal interactions with a secret society was last year during finals week of the fall semester. I was working hard in Clemons Library with several of my friends and before we knew it, it was past midnight. All of a sudden, four people in black cloaks and white masks entered the library carrying two dozen Domino's pizzas. They set the pizzas down on some tables without saying a word, and then walked out of the library. Given the fact that there are so many secret societies here at UVa, even to this day I can't be sure which society it was. What I do know is that it was an incredibly kind gesture that everyone in the library really enjoyed that night. Secret societies aren't guaranteed to be a huge part of every student's UVa experience, but many will be able to graduate with a favorite story or interaction with at least one!

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting. Love the pizza story!