I didn’t think this was quite a GQ, so I put it here. Mods, move if appropriate with my apologies.
I got an official (ooohh, shiny and official!) notice from the office of the Dean inviting me to a event for the Mortar Board Honor Society (based on my “excellent academic record”). I’ve read the official webpage and all that crap, but remain skeptical as I always am of this sort of thing. Is this anything worth pursuing, any mark of distinguish at all, or just another “you’re so special (not), now raise some money!” kind of thing?
I guess basically what I want to know is, is this anything beneficial to the community and (perhaps most importantly - I’ll be honest) worth putting on my law school app if I go with it?
Mortar Board is a secret society. I don’t know much about them as they are secret, but at my school there is a thing called ‘Tap Day’ where people are inaugurated into a variety of secret societies. It’s quite an honor to be in these as far as I know. It’s a pretty big deal to be in them. I think they are involved in community building and stuff but their doings are kept secret. If you’ve been nominated, take it! A very small number of people are invited to join. They don’t ask just anyone to join. You usually have to be really smart and involved in campus stuff and a leader to be in one. So congratulations!
Do I get a Super-Sekrit Decoder Ring?
Looking at my university chapter’s webpage, they look pretty standard to me as far as activities - food drives and stuff. The student profiles are pretty interesting though. Lots of Type A biological science undergrad researchers. It might be fun to join just to throw them all off…heh heh.
What (if any) are the politics of this org? I don’t want to join up and then find out I joined the John Birchers or something. I suppose I should just go to the reception. :dubious:
I was inducted into Mortarboard about 8-9 years ago. Don’t get too excited about the “secret” part of it. For my part, I was invited to apply, I did, I was accepted, and I went to a big induction ceremony with my parents. And that’s the sum total of my Mortarboard experience.
That said, it is a well-respected honor society of long standing. IIRC, it used to be an all-female honor society, but is now coed. It’s up there with Phi Beta Kappa in prestige (but isn’t quite on par with PBK).
I joined every honor society I was invited to join in the hopes that it would look good on my law school applications. I did in fact attend a Top 3 law school; conclude what you will about the value of honor societies. I think if you are applying to Top 25 schools, you should definitely do it, because your competition will be joining. You should also take this chance in case you don’t get into Phi Beta Kappa next year (guessing you’re a junior), though if you’re inducted into Mortarboard, you’ll probably be Phi Beta Kappa too. (By the way–definitely do Phi Beta Kappa, it is something that does in fact still matter to many people.)
Politics?? As far as I know, they’re officially just about honoring people with high GPAs.
Thanks for the info, Q.N. PBK would be nice too, but they don’t extend it to transfer students unfortunately.
I think that the main advantage of joining such societies is in order to form connections. Even if you’re not particularly interested in becoming a moveer and shaker, I imagine it always can only be a bonus to have a bigger pool of people to be able to call up in an emergency (i.e. job searching and such.)
Then definitely do Mortarboard, for the sake of your law school apps.