Monday, September 24, 2007

New York Times Gets Fooled

This is old news, but I just saw the correction now (though I saw it in the original article):

An article last Saturday about Dartmouth College's governance structure incorrectly described a Web site congratulating Todd J. Zywicki, a trustee, for meeting with members of the Phrygians, a secret society, and discussing possible actions against the college administration. It was a hoax site, not an official Phrygian site. Mr. Zywicki says he met several times with the Phrygians, but did not discuss actions against the administration.

I can't believe that the Times a) fell for it, b) didn't check to make sure it was legit. What sort of secret society would not only have a website but put a photo of their members on it? I've heard that this is the work of the Jacko, but I don't think its been confirmed.


John Bruce said...

Well, C&G has a web site (pretty self-congratulatory, of course) and mentions some of its members, like Rocky.

If I wanted to make a phony secret society web site, I'd talk about what hot stuff all the members are, what an honor it is to be tapped by them, etc. etc., so it would be hard to tell the difference between real hot air and my hot air.

Anonymous said...

but C&G isn't secret

Friggin society said...

What sort of secret society would take a photo of its members and let it get published in the D?

John Bruce said...

7:08 -- as I understand it, there is wide variation in the practices of all the "senior societies" as to how they select members, whether the lists are secret, etc. However, my understanding is that CFS treats them all as the same sort of animal, and "secret societies" vs "senior societies" are the same thing.

If you can show a source that says otherwise, I'll be happy to consider it!

7:08 said...

Wikipedia says C&G is a senior society with a membership list that is not secret, which makes sense since anyone can see the members who live in the house. Their centennial book lists all members to 1987.

Most or all of the other senior societies attempt to keep their membership lists secret and try not to be seen entering their meetings.

F&S is or at least was comparable to C&G and was distinct from all of the remaining groups in that it was similarly co-ed, residential, and non-secret. Wikipedia says that it recently became "secret," however. That might be a sign that it is going down the tubes.

John Bruce said...

On the other hand, the College doesn't appear to draw a distinction. All senior societies are "senior"; none is apparently "secret".

Anonymous said...

If the college doesn't release the membership list of any group, whether frat or senior society (secret or not), to anyone, then it has no need to care about whether an officially-recognized group wants to keep its list secret. All senior societies have only juniors and seniors as members; some of them try to keep their rosters secret.