FROM READERS: Past 'taps' talk about secret society experience

Friday, April 25, 2014 | 12:02 p.m. CDT; updated 2:52 p.m. CDT, Friday, April 25, 2014
LSV alumna Deepika Parmar (left) unveils Zahra Rasool during the Tap Day ceremony at Jesse Hall on Friday, April 19, 2013.

Every year, MU’s six secret societies participate in Tap Day where they reveal their newest members. Each society is unique and operates differently. Members from five of the six societies shared a bit about their experiences. Tap Day 2014 will take place at 2 p.m. Friday at Jesse Auditorium.

Aaron Maassen is a member of QEBH’s 2013 class. QEBH is MU’s oldest secret society.

To me, all the societies have exemplary members. However, QEBH is unique in how Mizzou-centric the society and members are. Other societies have national origins. Some other societies started at Mizzou but have a global focus. QEBH’s works are centered on improving Mizzou and always being on guard for the Alma Mater.

The Columbia community should recognize that Tap Day demonstrates that today’s students are concerned about the world around them. Too often, older generations say that today’s young people are self-consumed despite research to the contrary. Tap Day is a concrete example of students working for more.

Shane Stinson is a member of Mystical Seven’s 2013 class. Mystical Seven is the second oldest society at MU.

Being under the hood is an incredibly surreal experience. You’re sitting there with a full range of emotions. The first thing I felt was honor. I was thinking about all the phenomenal heads that have been under this hood before my own. I was thinking of the footsteps I was walking in and the people who created this path for me. Second, I thought about how I could see nothing but gold and everyone else's eyes were tentatively on me. I could only imagine everyone thinking about any minor detail that would allow them to guess who I was in this robe. Being under the hood is humbling, exciting, and like nothing else I have experienced at Mizzou.

Keeping the secret was the most trying task I have ever had. Lying to people’s faces about commitments or schedules took planning! It was, and still is, difficult to come up with a lie on the fly. Keeping the secret is the most rewarding, though. It feels like you have played one huge prank on all of campus.

Emily Sylvia Colvin is a member of LSV’s 2011 class. LSV is the only society where members are kept secret for a full year from when they are invited to join.

Our society is distinguished by not only our mission, to improve the status of women at the University of Missouri, but also by our attention to minorities when selecting members. Also, we keep our involvement with LSV a secret for well over a year, a tremendous feat for each member.

Being in secret for so long is absolutely exhausting but exhilarating at the same time. The fact that I was not recognized for my efforts while it happened let me watch and see the genuine impact my sisters and I had made upon our community, which was absolutely fascinating. It also teaches how to do good work solely for the sake of doing good work.

Jordan Duke is a member of Mortar Board’s 2013 class. Mortar Board is part of a national collegiate honor society.

Tap Day 2013 was one of my favorite experiences at Mizzou; however, the experience starts well before Tap Day itself. Part of the fun of being tapped is keeping the secret leading up to the unveiling. All of the new taps are asked to provide a list of friends and mentors on campus that will receive an anonymous email that "someone you know is being tapped." The hard part is deflecting the questions when friends ask if it is you – but that is all part of the fun.

When tap day finally arrived, I vividly remember sneaking into Jesse Hall Friday afternoon to put on the black and gold robes and prepare for the ceremony. The entire time I had friends texting, asking me where I was sitting so that we could all sit together and I had to keep giving them cryptic messages about my location. Eventually, I ended up telling them that I would be late and to save me a seat.

Even though Tap Day is only one afternoon, the experience itself lasts for more than a year.

Theresa Mullineaux is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa’s 2013 class. Omicron Delta Kappa, or ODK, is also a national organization

ODK is different from other societies because we focus on the holistic individual through our five phases: athletics, creative and performing arts, scholarship, campus or community service (social, religious and campus government activities) and journalism, speech, and mass media. We have a diverse class full of people with strengths in these five areas.

While these societies might seem like "just" a Mizzou thing, I firmly believe that all societies promote lifelong skills. For example, ODK promotes high efficiency in collegiate activities and strive for conspicuous attainments. Striving for achievement and efficiency are lifelong pursuits. ODK is representative of students from all phases of campus life and exposed me to new things that I might have completely missed out on. 

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.

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Richard Saunders April 25, 2014 | 12:37 p.m.

Gee, I wonder what the value of persuading people to lie to their closest friends could possibly be?

How anyone could consider the undermining of personal integrity to be a social benefit is beyond me. I can't see it as anything other than sacrificing one's humanity for access to power-network.

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