Golden Key labeled inactive due to lack of e-board

Golden Key | Facebook

Golden Key | Facebook

Baruch College’s chapter of the Golden Key International Honor Society was labeled inactive by the Office of Student Life early in June due to the chapter’s failure to elect an executive board.

In an email from the club’s former president, Brianna Perez, to other members of the club, she states that there is not a complete executive board and that the positions of president, vice president and secretary are still open, if not other roles as well. Right before classes ended in May, Golden Key was still encouraging Baruch students to apply for the various roles.

“I am emailing you to update you on the status of the Golden Key Baruch Chapter for the upcoming academic year,” the email reads. “Unfortunately, the Golden Key Baruch College Chapter for the upcoming academic year will cease to exist on campus and will be known as ‘inactive.’ This is due to the lack of a full E-Board (President, Vice President, and Secretary), and none of these positions have been filled.”

Golden Key is an honor society that spans the United States and various other countries, making it Baruch’s only international honor society chapter, according to information on the club’s official Facebook page.On another level, it operates as a campus club with subcommittees while simultaneously being a chapter, which means that not every member of the club is also a member of the honor society.

This inactivity appears to only be affecting Golden Key as a club, but not as a chapter of the honor society.

Honor society members must pay a lifetime membership fee, which, according to a page on the Baruch Student Affairs website titled “Student Clubs and Organizations: Undergraduate Student Clubs Descriptions (A-H),” is $95.

Former Golden Key advisor and Associate Dean of Students Ronald Aaron told The Ticker in an email conversation that increasing membership dues was having a negative impact on the chapter’s numbers.

“Membership has eroded in large part due to the ongoing increase in the membership fees demanded by Golden Key's International office located in Atlanta, GA,” Aaron, who brought Golden Key to Baruch in 1989, wrote. 

“Lower membership can also translate in fewer students being interested in taking on leadership roles.”

That being said, it is unclear why exactly the club was unable to elect an executive board, and if it was caused by no students running or if none of the students that ran won.

None of the former members of Golden Key’s executive board responded to The Ticker’s requests for comment. 

Additionally, the club’s current advisor, Denise Patrick, who is also a professor in Baruch’s Department of Communications, declined to comment on the club’s situation. Korey Felder, the Golden Key staff member assigned to Baruch’s chapter, did not respond to a request for comment.

Golden Key at Baruch’s Facebook page responded to The Ticker with, “The only comment we will be making is that there was no one who wanted to take on the role as President due to the role's massive responsibilities . . . There is nothing else to say. Without a President, the club became inactive.”

 It is not clear which former member of the club is running the account.

In Perez’s email to Golden Key members, she writes that the club can be brought back by working with Student Life.

“If any of you would like to revive the club at any point in time, please contact the Office of Student Life (Crystal Tejada) for further steps of action,” the email reads.

Unfortunately, Tejada, who is the assistant director of student activities, was not available for comment. Director of Student Life Damali Smith was also not able to be reached for a statement.

The situation with Golden Key’s inactive status came as a surprise to Aaron, who was not notified of the chapter being marked inactive.

“I brought Golden Key to Baruch in 1989 and served as the group's advisor for 26 years prior to my retirement in 2016,” he said. “We were one of the strongest chapters [in] GK worldwide and often gained Key Chapter recognition for our programming throughout the years.”

“I am still in regular contact with a core of past students who served as my Chapter Presidents and Treasurers who grew through their leadership experiences that have enhanced their skill sets that have influenced their ongoing success in their careers,” Aaron continued. 

“A number of these officers were recognized as the outstanding student leader in the Northeast Region of Golden Key and in a few [years] earning the most outstanding student leader recognition that the USG bestows through their annual ‘Bernies.’”

Overall, it is unclear whether the club and chapter’s members will try to revive Golden Key during the fall semester.