Breathing heavily on all fours in front of Oglesby Union, Student Boosters President Teremy Alexander blissfully sighed as he finished his masterpiece for Burning Spear: a cryptic yet glaringly obvious sidewalk chalk for the secret society’s next meeting. The writing was in code that only higher-intelligence, J-Cole-listening prestigious leaders (read: SGA and anyone else who owns an ill-fitting garnet blazer) would understand.
“In the past we used GroupMe to discuss club matters, like how to ruin every qualified student’s shot at competing against us Spears… but that’s neither mysterious nor an effective way to get the attention that fuels us,” Teremy sneered as he adjusted his esoteric pin with the words ‘BURNING SPEAR’ boldly written on it that he also wore in his official SGA headshot. “Our secrecy and exclusivity is why we have this kind of control over Florida State University. We do everything in our power to protect our image, like having a document of our procedures just a Google search away for anyone to access. It’s full of platitudes, including the fact that we will never openly oppose any member of this organization for the rest of our lives regardless of how under-qualified, over-hyped or flat out wrong they may be. Does that open the door to endless conflicts of interest? Sure! Is it also just one of the many cute and enigmatic things about us? Definitely, but shhh! Don’t tell anyone!”
A tour group of prospective students stumbled across Burning Spear’s exclusive invitation, located conveniently in FSU’s highest traffic area. “There are so many fun ways to get involved on campus!” Chirped tour guide Brandy Storey. “Similarly to how we exploit people of color in advertisements despite being a predominantly white institution, we love to say we’re full of quirky, silly clubs to lure in lost freshmen who will never end up actually trying out, or leaving their dorm at all really. For example: Battleship in the Leach pool, or Quidditch!” Gesturing at the chalking, Storey added, “Burning Spear is also a great, laid-back way to get involved. It’s like a cute little secretive simulation of the real world, in that a small, undemocratic group of arrogant and condescending examples of privilege gone too far has endless power over organizations that actually want to do good, with little to no oversight or consequence when they err. PLUS, it looks great on your invisible ink résumé.”
Inspired by the top secret and not at all ever once heard of Skull and Bones society at Yale University, Burning Spear was developed by a group of students with the best interests of the university in mind, and goals of improving student involvement and social change within FSU. However, their objective quickly changed when they realized they could serve something even more important than the university: themselves! Why focus on small to intermediate student-centric solutions to improve life on campus when you can marginally increase the name brand of the degree you received fifteen years ago? Right? Keeping their most classified and confidential objectives padlocked away in a My Password Journal from the 90’s, only the voice of the Spear president whispering “we are like the mafia” can grant access to the list of plans to Advance FSU by controlling SGA, SAA and IFC while making sure nothing beneficial to students is accomplished.