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Tap Day reveals new 2014 inductees of MU secret societies

The 87th annual Tap Day was held April 25 in Jesse Auditorium.

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Senior Farah El-Jayyousi (left) waits to be unveiled during the 87th annual Tap Day ceremony on Wednesday, April 25, 2014, in Jesse Auditorium. El-Jayyousi was inducted into LSV, a society which honors a secret year of service on the behalf of women.

Mike Krebs/Staff Photographer

April 30, 2014

Tap Day was moved indoors for its annual installment, though the celebration went on undiminished.

April 25 marked MU’s 87th Tap Day, in which MU’s six secret societies revealed their 2014 inductees. This year’s event was held in Jesse Auditorium as opposed to its traditional location on Francis Quadrangle.

The inductees’ friends and families, as well as the MU community, were invited to a ceremony held to honor their achievements and contributions to MU, and their admission into one of MU’s secret societies.

The societies — Omicron Delta Kappa, the Rollins Society, QEBH, Mystical Seven, LSV and Mortar Board — spent the last several months of the school year initiating their new members. The initiation process differs from one society to another, but all are undisclosed to the public.

The students are selected based on their records of academics, leadership and service. Each society also “honor taps” a member of faculty whom they feel have significantly contributed to the experience of students at MU.

“Some of the secret societies have an application process, but Mystical Seven doesn’t,” Mystical Seven inductee Caitlyn Stevens said. “They found me. I can’t reveal anything about the process.”

Stevens said she was contacted by the society a few weeks ago. Since then, she has had to keep her induction a secret.

“I’m really honored,” she said. “I saw so many amazing people on stage today and hearing everyone’s descriptions next to me as I was holding their hands was just amazing.”

The ceremony began at 2 p.m. in Jesse Auditorium. Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Cathy Scroggs welcomed the students, friends, family and faculty to the event and introduced Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, who gave the opening remarks.

“These societies … recognize a variety of talents among a very talented student body,” he said. “Among the things that have impressed me about this university in my eighty-four days … has been our student body. They are extraordinary in so many dimensions.”

The most difficult leadership role of all is leading a volunteer organization, and Loftin said he has seen MU students as very capable of successfully achieving this leadership role.

“We are recognizing at … Tap Day many such leaders here at this university,” he said.

Loftin’s remarks were then followed by the introduction of each society and the reveal of their 2014 inductees. The societies were revealed in order of their founding year, with the oldest society, ODK, revealed first.

ODK is one of the two societies that obtain members through an application process; the other is Mortar Board.

ODK inductee Megan Anderson said she heard about the applications through Mizzou Alternative Breaks.

“The rest is pretty secretive,” she said. “You get told, and then you go through an entire initiation process up until Tap Day. Then Tap Day comes and you get announced to everybody.”

Anderson said she found out she was accepted into the honor society earlier this semester.

“I’m taking it all in,” she said. “I’m so proud of everyone else who got into all the other societies, too.”

Mortar Board inductee Katie Youmans said she was only allowed to contact her parents so they could make travel arrangements.

“It was really hard to keep it a secret,” she said. “But I’m very happy. I’m just really proud to be a part of this.”

The closing remarks were given by Missouri Students Association President Mason Schara.

Schara addressed the fact that MU has a complicated history regarding race and sexual identity, both of which were represented on stage last Friday.

James S. Rollins, one of the founders of MU, was a slave owner and in 1964, Dean of Students Thomas A. Brady formed a committee to expel homosexual students from MU entirely.

“Looking at the collection of those honored today, it is easy to forget that such a diverse group was, at one time, unimaginable,” he said.

Schara said he especially saw humility as a major characteristic in all the students and faculty tapped this year.

“Students who might otherwise serve their peers in their university unrecognized are brought together and celebrated,” he said. “These … leaders have exceeded the mere requirements to graduate, and found within themselves the talent and the energy to serve the Mizzou community and change it for the better. Each one of them has demonstrated an attitude and an aptitude that more than merits the honor they (are receiving).”

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