In what looked like a pre-emptive strike two days before the kick off of the 2009 student government campaign season, the campus was blanketed by an anonymous newsletter alleging that the university is dominated by members of a secret society.
The bright orange fliers were scattered throughout Florida A&M University Monday purporting to blow the lid about a possible secret society, “SA&DH” or Sons of Amenemhet and Daughters of Hatshepsut. The flier also listed students who are allegedly part of the organization.
Strategically placed at bus stops, the post office, the parking garage, and in the Student Government Association chambers, the anonymous fliers claimed to be from a wayward member of “SA&DH” or Sons of Amenemhet and Daughters of Hatshepsut.
The fliers claim SA&DH or S&D is a secret society on campus comprised of former university presidents, a board of trustee member and campus student leaders.
“There are baseline requirements for membership are almost impossible for most students to meet,” the flier states.
The “newsletter” offered a brief history about the secret society and its impact on FAMU.
“Although referenced by many names throughout the years, it began in 1972 as Sons of Aten and Daughters of Ma’at to prevent FAMU from being merged with FSU,” the flier stated.
Henry Kirby, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students was alerted of the newsletter Monday afternoon when one was found on the steps leading to the student government office.
“If there’s a secret society out there they need to come out. Secret any things are not in the business of any organizations on this campus,” Kirby said.
Kirby said he first heard of S&D a year ago, when the allegations surfaced that the organization had influenced the outcome of the SGA president and vice president election.
“Naturally, there was nothing to reveal of such involvement,” Kirby said. “If it is real, the secrecy should end. I have not had anyone come up to me and say they are a member of S&D organization. I’m not aware of any advisors they certainly not registered as an organization on this campus. If it exists, its origins must exist off campus somewhere.”
According to the anonymous newsletter, “A person has to hold one of the following positions: SGA president, SGA Vice-President, Student Senate President or Chief Justice of the Student Supreme Court.”
The newsletter went on to name supposed members of the organization and those who were available for comment all denied membership.
“Everyone knows that I’m not a member of it because I’m the number one advocate against it,” said John E. Williams, 23, a graduate history student.
Language on the first page of the double-sided newsletter was directly taken from Williams’ speech at a recent senate meeting, where he admonished the senate for not being completely transparent “Good is good and right is right. My God is not an author of confusion.”
Williams was out of town Monday when the newsletter first appeared on campus and only found out through phone calls from friends.
“They did [use my words]; they did,” said Williams of Baconton, Ga. “The reason why they are doing this is because they are scared that everyone knows about them and really and truly people do and this is just a tactic to throw people off.”
SGA Vice President of SGA Mellori Lumpkin was also among those named but denied any involvement in the organization, which she termed the stuff of “myth.”
“I really think that that’s what we should be focusing on right now rather than this foolishness, gossip, rumor and what have you,” said Lumpkin, 21, a business administration student from Bainbridge, Ga. “Too many more important issues will be facing the student body next year than this. I hope the candidates don’t get caught up in this.”
The spring election season officially began on Wednesday with candidates, campaign teams, and potential voters squaring off all over campus in anticipation of the Feb. 24 vote.
Mr. FAMU Omari Crawford was also named in the newsletter as being a part of the organization.
“The only thing I can say is that I know nothing about [S&D],” said Crawford, 22, a graduate public administration student from Atlanta.
Ashley Duprat, a senior political science student, also heard about her name being on the list.
“I have heard about [S&D] but more so in the last two months than anything,” said Duprat, 22 from Ft. Lauderdale. “I think it’s very fictional.”
The flier named current past and current SGA members as well as candidates now running for election. Presidential and vice presidential candidates Gallop Franklin, Calvin Hayes, Kristin Murray were also accused of being members of the group. While Murray and Franklin could not be reached for comment, Hayes dismissed the allegation as “foolishness.”
However, Williams believes there is some truth to the newsletter. He said S&D always wants to influence student government and the overall direction of the university.
Williams said this is the first time in a long time the SGA president, currently Andrew Collins, is not a member of their organization.
“They want that position back,” Williams said.