Sword and Sandals

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Overview

  1. Overview
    1. The Cabin
  2. Organization
  3. Membership
    1. Recent Memberships
      1. Known
    2. Offered memberships
  4. Older memberships
    1. Faculty
    2. Students
  5. An actual meeting
    1. Before the meeting began
    2. The meeting
      1. The Garrison Room
      2. A room gone dark

logo.pngThe Sword and Sandals logo (from the 1929 edition of El Rodeo). Written in Greek is the phrase "Arthurius," referring to the legendary King Arthur of Camelot. The logo itself is reference to [wikipedia]The Sword in the Stone.

Sword and Sandals ([WWW]website) is a campus interest group that was founded in December of 1921 as a secret society. Based off of UC Berkeley's [WWW]Order of the Golden Bear, it serves as a place where prominent individuals on campus can come together to engage in frank discourse without their titles holding them back. While the organization is no longer a secret society, it was for most of its history. The membership of Sword and Sandals is made up of many undergraduate students, various graduate students, as well as alumni. Because members are selected based upon their leadership abilities, many of the University elite are or once were members — e.g. Past Chancellors, high-ranking members of ASUCD, as well heads of other campus organizations. Sword and Sandals meets every so often on campus to discuss topics relevant to the University. The organization maintains that it never takes action, does not vote on issues, but rather serves as a ground for frank and open discussion. The membership is encouraged to come learn about and debate issues, and to use the information they hear at meetings as they see fit in their everyday lives.

Very much like the [wikipedia]Skull and Bones at Yale University, the Sword and Sandals keeps the proceedings of its meetings secret and is used by members to interact and discuss issues. Several exposes published in the The California Aggie (the most recent are in 1993 and 2005), as well as this wiki page, have diminished the secrecy of the organization. The group still exists today, but the effectiveness of the organization has been questioned. Apparently, it's also a 501(c)3 organization.

The organization's name comes from the Story of [wikipedia]Theseus. Theseus's father left the young boy a sword and pair of sandals under a boulder. When he was big enough to move the rock and recover these items he would be able to claim his birthright to his father.

Note from author: The dirt ritual is questionable, as older members (50 to 60 years old) recently said they weren't aware of it. Younger members say the rituals are "constantly changing," but whether the dirt ritual is true has yet to be confirmed.

There's a great article on S&S in the December 6, 1926 issue of the Dingleberry, entitled "Political Org. Grabs Jobs and Runs Campus." The Aggie seemed to be of the opinion that S&S didn't lead to quality representation in the student government.

Also on the interwiki: nevada University of Nevada's secret society

The Cabin

Organization

The Worthy Ruler is expected to attend the Committee meetings.

Membership

Recent Memberships

Known

Offered memberships

Older memberships

Faculty

E. C. Voorhies (as in Voorhies Hall), S. B. Freeborn (as in Freeborn Hall), C. B. Hutchison (as in Hutchison Hall), I. F. Toomey (as in Toomey Field), S. H. Beckett, H. Sevier, E. H. Hughes, T. F. Tavernetti, C. E. Slatter, W. Feldmiller, D. G. Maclise, R. E. Lockhart, C. Titus, E. L. Wetmore, E. H. Barger, Tel Adams (student activities director), Robert Ball (executive secretary, California Crops), Bob Biggs (head football coach), Marjorie Dickinson (director of government and community relations), Bob Foster (football coach), Bob Franks (former assistant vice chancellor of student affairs), John Hardie (administrative coordinator of med. center relations), Charles Hess (professor, environmental horticulture), Charles Nash (former chairperson of Academic Senate), Robert C. Peral (professor emeritus, Food Science), Darrell Ralls (vice chancellor of facilities), Jim Sochor (golf coach, former athletic directory), Orville Thompson (professor emeritus, applied behavorial sciences)

Students

Jack Baker, P. Williams-Foote, Harold Kendall, H. Peterson, Ben Robinson, G. Scott, G. True, I. Boone, K. Schmidt, Don Eveleth, Baily Fairchild, Dan Haley, J. Mott, L. Philips, H. Sarrori, W. Siemering, W. W. Weeth, P. Goodwin, W. Beckman, H. Marshall, Deming G. McClise, Clark J. Burnham, Herbert E. Henderson, Frank P. Alexander, Frank A. Cleland, Herbert A. Spilman, Charles A. Reeves, George M. Bogart, R. Donald Walters, Richard B. Barlow, James Woodford, Clarence Waltz, Francis R. Wilson, Robert P. Reynolds, Bailey Fairchild, Don Eveleth, Lawrence Phillips, Leonard Krebiel, Harry Peterson, Haydn Sartori, John Mott, Waldo Weeth, George Garner, Gordon H. True (Jr), Harold Kendall, Dan Haley, L. W. Feldmiller, Ronald K. Allen, Rob Black, Timothy B. Hay, Robert Maulhardt Jr., David Mewin, Alan Nager, Frederick H. Noteware, Henry R. Obana, Charles M. Quarre, D. Williams Rains, Gerald A. Rominger, William Schemel, Rich D'Alessio (ASUCD Executive Council member), Erin Braddock (ASUCD Elections Committee chairperson, former ASUCD President), Stephanie Diebert (director of Campus Lobby), Jenny Fearing (director ASUCD Academic Affairs), Jack Gorman (director of National Lobby), Erika Gotsh (assistant business manager of ASUCD), Ashley Guppy (director of State Lobby), Tracey Hayes (ASUCD Elections Committee chairperson), Steve Johns (ASUCD President), Daniel Kurtzman (Managing Editor of The California Aggie), Seth Merewitz (ASUCD President), Melissa Miller-Henson (director of Human Corps), Darby Morrisroe (student regent-designate) , Wesley Namikawa (chairperson of AS Papers), Dana Shoffner (ASUCD President), Darris Sherman (assistant director of Campus Lobby), Chris Simas.

el_rodeo.jpgThe Sword and Sandals page in the 1929 El Rodeo.

The above names were compiled primarily from the 1922, 1928, and 1929 editions of El Rodeo. These older editions featured a page on Sword and Sandals, listing them as an Honorary Fraternity or as the Order of Sword and Sandals. On the page was a list of active members, present faculty and honorary members (previously students).

Former ASUCD President/Davis Mayor Bob Black was also a member. However, when he and two other students were taken out in the middle of the night and asked to undress, out in a barn near Dixon, they rebelled against the hazing and refused to participate. "No, this is stupid," he refused. They were enrolled as members anyway.

Also seen is the Order's logo: A sword stuck into a stone that reads, in Greek, Arthurius. The logo is a reference to the lengendary [wikipedia]King Arthur and the [wikipedia]Sword in the Stone story. In the story, a young boy is intrigued by a mystical sword stuck in stone, which it is foretold that only the next King of England will be able to remove. An older and wiser magician named Merlyn guides the young boy throughout, and the story ends with the boy removing the sword himself — confirming that he was the King all along.

In the Order of Sword and Sandals, faculty and alumni participation tremendious. There are perhaps parallels between the relationship Merlyn has with the young boy in T. H. White's The Sword in the Stone and the interactions older members of the Order of Sword and Sandals attempt to have with the younger members.

An actual meeting

On Saturday, January 29th, 2005 Sword and Sandals held their yearly Winter Banquet on campus in the MUII. While many of us left our cameras at home, we were lucky enough to have some Davis Wiki users come to photograph through the windows of this "secret event."

Before the meeting began

006_1.jpgThe location and time of the meeting ('Sword and Sandals') was displayed publicly.

The following photographs and text is taken from a purely outsiders standpoint, as the photographers never entered the meeting.

The organization reserved MU II, Smith Room, Garrison Room, and the Fielder Room. The main meeting took place in MU II, and the other rooms were used for catering or smaller meetings.

While MU II is hardly secluded, this was, after all, a Saturday night — practically no one was on Campus and the likelihood of someone stumbling by the meeting while it was in progress was minimal. Of particular note is how well dressed everyone was. The student members were wearing suits or nice dress clothes. The ASUCD officials were dressed much better than they usually are for Senate meetings.

IMG_004_3.jpgBrian McInnis (Student Focus, Director of the Office of External Affairs) on his way up to the meeting. IMG_005_2.jpgSeveral (as of now) unidentified older men on their way to the meeting. IMG_0242.jpgA not-so-good photo of Paloma Perez (ASUCD Vice President, Student Focus) and Chris Goren (former ASUCD Senator, Student Focus) as they leave the MU before heading to the meeting. IMG_1136.jpgLiz Johnson and Liz Tran (presidents of CASAN) as they step out of the elevator.

The meeting

IMG_003_4.jpgFolks gather around and chat before everybody's shown up.

The bulk of the meeting seemed to consist of gathering around tables and talking. Kalen Gallagher (ASUCD President, Student Focus) was one of the first students to show up. There was a small podium set up, along with a laptop connected to a projector. IMG_1245.jpgSeveral unidentified individuals can be seen, as well as the laptop and projector IMG_1270.jpgEveryone chatting and dining. Kalen Gallagher, Chris Ryan (Sigma Phi Epsilon), as well as others can be seen.

The Garrison Room

IMG_1142.jpgA document is read aloud by Alberto Garcia to three unknown individuals.

Perhaps the most mysterious of events unfolded in the Garrison Room, adjacent to MU II. Kalen Gallagher and a number of other unidentified individuals headed into the room after the meeting in the main room had began. First the lights appeared to be on, then they turned off and strange music was heard from within the room (note: not sure if the music was coming from the main room or this room in particular). Afterward the photo to the right was taken.

IMG_0245.jpgItems left in the Garrison Room.

After leaving the Garrison Room, a number of items were left behind. Three brown bags, three packets of soil, and a number of candies and coins were left there. The bags looked to be originally taped together, and it is likely the items came from the bags.

It is possible that the reading that took place, the music, and the brown bags filled with strange items was some sort of ritual. After all, there were three people sitting in front of the bags in the first Garrison Room photograph (above right).

IMG_1169.jpgA close-up of the soil found in the Garrison room.

A room gone dark

IMG_0243.jpgA dark room with faint candles visible (click to see).

Suddenly, after the meeting in the main room had been underway for a while, the lights went off. It was then noticed that candles were lit! The room stayed candle-lit for 10-15 minutes. The candles, along with the mystery of the Garrison Room, helped reinforce that while this organization has lost much of its secrecy in recent years, it is still filled with tradition and is alive to this very day.

IMG_0244.jpgA closer view of the candles.

After the lights came back on, their meeting proceeded as before — much chatting, and socializing. At this point one of our photographers was then asked by a member (who was on his cell phone outside at the time) "What are you taking pictures of?" This, along with the general lack of activity inside the meeting and the fact the photographers had prior commitments caused us to take off at this point.

Comments:

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"SS is an insult to student officials who have been elected by the students to represent them. It is also an insult to hired and appointed student leaders and faculty who go through a rigorous hiring process to be able to work on behalf of the students. Instead of bringing ideas or starting dialogues with the elected and hired student leaders, SS instead selects certain students to have these important discussions." -James Schwab, 7/30/07, [WWW]Schwab's Public Blog

"As an alumnus member of SS, I have to say that I understand why the natural response might be to distrust and reject something that looks like this on the outside, such fears are unnecessary. To characterize the meetings of SS as 'important discussions' is inaccurate. The meetings are an attempt to expand understanding of issues through hearing varied viewpoints from a number of individuals. It is an exercise of learning and discovery - not a process of discussion, negotiation, or decision. The group as a whole has no, and tries to gather no collective power or interest, they are united only by a desire to make UC Davis the best university it can be.

The reason for selectivity in my opinion is simple: people are invited who have proven their commitment to the university and whose opinions are deemed valuable to the order. People who have attained positions of service for reasons of personal power, or people who are deemed to be untrustworthy or overly combative are simply not invited. It is the right of the members of the order to seek out and accept members based on character and merit. The biggest problem is that a lot of very well qualified student leaders go unnoticed that indeed should be invited - but are not. - Tim Keller 3/9/08"


2009-04-22 23:48:27   Does anyone about know what this group's real affiliation with the university is? I have a curious idea .. —DavidPoole

""Years ago in the 1990 era the students overtook Freeborn Hall in protest of the Regents increase in student fees above legal limit. What is interesting is 1) Freeborn Hall is always booked...except for that weekend 2)All the students that were leaders of the protest were S&S members. 3)The reason Gov. Pete Wilson did not give more money to the University is that the president of the university had a higher pay than him, and the president's secretary also got paid more than the him. 4) I was arrested on the Quad for telling where the registry for S&S is located.""


2010-07-22 16:41:31   As a Legendary Hero of Davis, I am somewhat insulted that I have not been asked to join. —BarnabasTruman

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