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secret society at brown

Brunonian9Brunonian9 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
edited December 2004 in Brown University
there is a new controversy at brown, dunno if you all have heard about it... it's about "pacifica house" which is the secret society and a lot of people hate it for just being all around jackasses on campus. if you go to browndailyherald.com and do a search on "pacifica" you'll read a lot of columns against it. it's own website is


what do you think about secret societies on college campuses, esp. the ivy league schools?
Post edited by Brunonian9 on

Replies to: secret society at brown

  • dcircledcircle Registered User Posts: 1,846 Senior Member
    It is interesting that the first secret societies at Brown started in the 1700's (Misokomian Society in 1794 for example) and that the University even gave meeting spaces and libraries to such societies (The Philermenian Society, for example were given the entire top floor of Hope College). Yet despite their early presence and even administrative support on campus, most of the societies were done away with by the early 1900's because students found them distasteful.

    Though, societies like Pacifica House, attempt to do some good in their stewardship of the University, their exclusivity and closed meetings makes them loose a lot of credibility.

  • EclipsedEclipsed Registered User Posts: 152 Junior Member
    i tried searching pacifica, but to no avail
    umm mayb they got so many searches they decided to delete all pacifica related crap
  • XuperdominicanXuperdominican Registered User Posts: 76 Junior Member
    My suspicion is that your are a member creating hype for this group.
  • AequitasAequitas Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
    Actually, according to wikipedia, there are two secret societies. Along with Pacifica House, there is "Black Wednesday," which may be a dubious moniker relating to the British stock market crash.


    Click on the link for "clubs"
  • dcircledcircle Registered User Posts: 1,846 Senior Member
    It's not on wikipedia, but there is also another on campus-- Tempest Society. The fact that it is not mentioned is probably indicative of how little people pay attention to the secret societies here (unlike yale, which has multiple society buildings on campus)
  • AequitasAequitas Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
    Sorry, its under "Secret Socities." I guess you're right though. The only people secret societies really matter to are the people in them.
  • Brunonian9Brunonian9 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    aequitas is right--these secret societies really matter, esp. at brown, only to those in them. it's not like yale, where everybody tries to get into skull/bones, scroll/key, or berzelius. and it's not like dartmouth, where entrance into the dragon or sphinx is the key to acceptance by the alumni elite.

    at brown, there are two communities--one waspy, ivy league-typical one that pacifica locates itself in. no surprise that a prominent member of PH is also a member of the brown corporation, etc. the other community is the coutnerculture, anti-ivy crowd that disdains elitism and sees itself as "above" (or below, lol) hierarchical status. these are the ppl, faculty and students like, who hate pacifica and all that it stands for. because of the lack of campus consensus you either love or hate these secret societies. most outspoken voices tend to make fun of them, like at yale; a search of browndailyherald.com yields some interesting articles int hat regard.

    just thought it was interesting tho--at a school like brown, an open liberal ivy, you still have the closed-in, secretive groups you'd expect at older schools like yale.
  • brown07brown07 Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    You can't expect a school this old not to have a few little secrets in the closet, can you???? Up until the 1960s, Brown was as conservative and old-school as all the other Ivies.

    In reality, Pacifica and any other secret societies (though I don't know of any), keep a real low profile around campus. Apparently they were real involved with the curriculem reform in the 1960s and the push for more diversity in the 1970s and 1980s. Even from that, it seems to me like they're more focused on the school than furthering their members, although I have no doubt that happens as well.

    Ultimately, they're here, they're kinda cool to have around, and it seems to me like they've never done anything to mess up student life. If anything, they've only helped.
  • Brunonian9Brunonian9 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    >>>You can't expect a school this old not to have a few little secrets in the closet, can you???? Up until the 1960s, Brown was as conservative and old-school as all the other Ivies.<<<

    do you mean to imply that after the pacifica-led reforms of the 60/70's, brown suddenly became liberal and anti-elitist? if so, wouldn't that be self-destructive to precisely those secretive groups that attempted to lead these broad reforms in the first place?

    there is still a streak of conservative, elitist WASPY opinion at Brown, but it's just that it has become overcome by much more vocal interests of "diversity" and "political correctness".
  • yaleboy2008yaleboy2008 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    yalie here. my experience with brown is that it is much more hell bent on issues of diversity and political correctness, which is probably why secret societies like Pacifica House are not really liked around campus. I've only been here a few months and the societies here--ie the "skull and bones"--are detested by a few ppl but largely accepted as an important part of the community.

    anyway so to all you ivy league applicants--remember, brown LOVES diverse/politically correct students. yale does not. don't mention secret society on your application.
  • fredmurtz2fredmurtz2 Registered User Posts: 421 Member
    How do you figure Brown is hell-bent on diversity and PCness?
  • yaleboy2008yaleboy2008 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    Because if you are a waspy elite kinda guy, the person who snuggles with Scroll and Key secret society at Yale, or the Sphinx society at Dartmouth, or the Phoenix Final Club at Harvard, you will be immediately told you are the most evil and oppressive entity in the world at brown.

    until recently brown had a minorities-only orientation at the beginning of freshman year (they opened it to non-minorities after years of pressure), and given all the hatemail pacifica house gets these days from the PC demons on campus it is a surprise they still exist. not surprising--these things have been around for centuries, "PC-ness" has been around only for a few decades.

    not saying it is good or bad. not saying secret societies are good or bad. it's just that the emphasis at brown on pc-ness is just different than other ivies, that's all--different as in, more intense, more continuous, more anti-establishment.
This discussion has been closed.