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That was a wonderful post. To me it said enough about the value of the societies to the Yale undergraduates, without saying too much... something that would breach the confidentiality from which value derives. As a young faculty member at Yale, I was very curious about strange student rituals based on what I assumed were motives of Yankee hegemony; as someone that loved to explore corridors and rooftops for photography, the forbidden nature of these interesting buildings added intrigue. The periodic many boxes of empty beer and liquor bottles outside of WH always seemed to amuse me.

Thanks for the post


I guess it just all seems a little mean.

To me, the criticism of exclusivity is not that some people don't get to participate (although I don't really understand why the number of societies can't increase), but that if one endorses exclusivity and secrecy, how to prevent that attitude from spreading to other, more consequential spheres.

I understand that I'm not going to talk you out of your endorsement, but it seems like you kind of blew off the potential for divisiveness by saying they weren't "disruptive". Might they have been divisive without being disruptive? I didn't go to Yale, but I have heard other alumni say they were in fact disruptive of their social relationship and that the time of year when people are joining groups was one of pain and disillusionment.


Speaking as an non-society alum who never had any interest in joining (though I had good friends who did join), I think most of the hype about secret societies comes from outside of Yale. Singing groups are the truly divisive element on campus, since everyone tries out and not everyone gets in. Plus, they're loud.

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