The Golden Key Society is an elite academic society that is so exclusive, many students are unaware of its very existence. Golden Key is an international honours society with over 2 million members worldwide. They are focused on the three pillars of academics, leadership and service.
This society is invitation only with only those in the top 15% of their faculty receiving invitations each year.
Each chapter of this society has to meet a certain amount of outreach initiatives to reach either bronze, silver or gold status, within the overarching organization. The UNB Saint John chapter has been around since 2007, and they always aim for–and almost always achieve– gold status.
Co-Presidents of the society, Angela Morris and Luke Duffley talked about the society and Morris explained that once accepted into the society, “ you are in it for life—and you have access to (networking with) all the honorary members and alumni, not to mention scholarship opportunities,” which are only available to the members of this society.
In addition to the requirement of being in high academic standing to become an official member, a $90 application fee is also required.
“A portion of [the application fee] helps to fund the society and the events we hold throughout the year,” Morris explains.
Morris adds that if invited students find the fee is a barrier there are other options. “(Students) can apply for funding through the SRC (Student Representative Council), but that there (is) no guarantee since (Golden Key) is an exclusive society.”
Though an invitation is required to be a member of the international network, students can still get involved with the society by volunteering at events.
Morris explained that the groups they fundraise for depend on our executive members and what they are interested in. “Much of it is science geared, but we do try to
reach out to new members to ask for ideas.”
Some organizations that they consistently support are the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and Spark a Change.
The group says they “try to be very inclusive with all disciplines and all students” though Morris admits they struggle with notifying students about upcoming events because, “the SRC doesn’t allow (them) to have access to their mass email lists because of stipulations about confidentiality.”
Morris says she is confident that if students learn more about how they operate there will be an increase in their membership which sits at around 60 students.
The Golden Key has already hosted a number of successful events this semester: a stem cell drive on September 14, a bake sale in support of Spark a Change on September 30, and a networking and games night on October 12.
In the near future, they plan on hosting a practice interview session for med students as well as a Halloween “creative coffee” with free coffee, hot chocolate and colouring sheets.
Next semester, an event to look forward to for members and non-members is the community volunteer fair, which will be hosted by the Golden Key Society. This event consists of representatives from different organizations in the Saint John area that actively seek volunteers. It is an opportunity for students who are looking to get involved to interact with these organizations and perhaps get involved with them.
For those students who have received emails this year, the group is still accepting new members until the end of October. If you are interested in volunteering you can email either Angela Morris (Angela.Morris@unb.ca) or Luke Duffley (firstname.lastname@example.org).