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Wednesday, September 3,204 The Statement 3B
Ann Arbor's not-so-secret society
by Margo Levy
hat do former-Pres-
ident Gerald Ford and
/ Denard Robinson have
in common? To start, they
both attended the Universi-
ty. While here, they also both
played on the football team. Finally,
their senior year extracurricular overlapped
- they were both members of The Order of
The Order of Angell is a senior leader-
ship honors society that was created in
1902 by a group of seniors who were in cor-
respondence with James Burrill Angell,
the University's president at the time. One
might wonder what type of club would seek
out both a public policy major and a foot-
ball quarterback for its membership. Yet
the Order's members are compromised of a
diverse group of campus leaders from a vari-
ety of backgrounds.
LSA senior Natasha Dabrowski, a current
Order of Angell member, said the group was
created to join leaders from across campus,
and to provide a community for them to cre-
ate connections that strengthen and improve
organizations and the University.
"Order of Angell strives to advance excep-
tional leadership through a lifetime loyalty
to and engagement with the University of
Michigan," she said.
Yet the history of this organization is sur-
rounded by historical allegations of racist
rituals, sexist policies and an elitist selection
process. Recently The Order of Angell has
done much to rid itself of this controversial
legacy. According to a 2012 article published
in The Michigan Daily, the organization,
originally named Michigamua, changed its
name in 2006 to Order of Angell, a symbolic
separation from its former controversies.
It has also released the list of each year's
members every April. Today, Order of Angell
members see themselves as creators of open
dialogue rather than an exclusive society,
according to Dabrowski.
"Order of Angell seeks to reflect upon the
campus climate and engage with students
and administrators at the University," Dab-
rowski said. "As individual leaders and as an
organization, Order of Angell and its mem-
bers continually strive to positively impact
the campus community."
Each year a new group of incoming
seniors are selected by current members to
make up the next year's members.
LSA senior, WOLV-TV Producer and cur-
rent Order of Angell member Shelby Roberts
said there is 100 percent turnover each year,
so the group gets brand new members com-
ing into the organization.
Members described their invitation to
become a member as very casual. In fact,
Dabrowski explained that she was just hav-
ing coffee with a few of her friends who hap-
pened to be members when they asked if she
would consider joining.
When juniors are asked to join, they are
encouraged to talk to current members in
order to receive as much information to
make an informed decision.
"Every organization has a past and a
future, and of course you have to consider
the past," Dabrowski said, "but you have to
focus on the present and the future that you
will actually be apart of.
"The Order of Angell is one of the most
diverse organizations that I have ever been
a part of at the University. We really have
members from all over the University from
different backgrounds and organizations."
Like any other organization or group,
Order of Angell has to revive certain practic-
es over time in order to improve as a collec-
tive and also serve the campus community.
In 2012, The Michigan Daily documented
the rumors and hearsay that have spread
across campus about a secret room in the
attic of the Union where meetings are held.
But, a rumor is exactly what it is. Accord-
ing to Roberts, each of The Order of Angell
meetings are held at a different location
around campus so members can have an
opportunity to see parts of the University
that they may not have necessarily had a rea-
son to go to otherwise. LSA junior Melissa
Weintraub said she saw the 2013 members
meeting in the basement of Hillel.
"In the past it seemed like people tend to
move around, just to try and get the feel for
campus overall because every student leader
tends to get caught up in their own personal
bubble, so it is nice to see that there is more
to central campus than just one aspect,"
Roberts said. "It is cool to go to North Cam-
pus, go to South Campus, different parts of
central, and see what the buildings you pass
by every day but don't even think to go in and
According to Roberts and Dabrowski,
when meeting, members sit down for a dia-
logue about the problems they are facing
within their own organizations. In the past,
Order of Angell has received criticism for
their elusive activity since they previously
did not publish a list of their members.
But current members deny the secretive
nature of the organization. "We're really not
exciting - literally we come together and we
just talk about what challenges we are facing
in our (organization), we sit down have cof-
fee and we talk." Roberts said.
"Our programming is transparent, so as
an organization we should be transparent."
When members were asked about rituals
or traditions, they responded with laughter.
"It seems easier to be public so people
can stop asking ridiculous questions ... it is
easier to operate and collaborate, and there
is less speculation, we're just sitting down
and working together and problem solving
together and trying to get different perspec-
tives, rather than just having a bunch of nay-
sayers running around," said John Borger,
current LSA Senior and Order of Angell
Dabrowski said that The Order of Angell
does not formally give money to or spon-
sor programs such as Dance Marathon or
K-grams, but they started in the past as a
result of Order members collaborating with
other leaders around campus.
LSA Senior Paola Mendez, executive
director of K-grams said she has heard of the
Order of Angell but has yet to interact with
"I really don't know anything about it to
be honest ... All I've really heard about it is
that it is kind of secretive." Mendez said.
This year's members hope that won't be
the case for much longer.
-mr- -4w -qr- -1-mr- -IUL --W-
Editor's note: Some names have been
changed in this story due to safety
and/or privacy concerns.
t was pitch black. Quiet,
excluding excited whis-
pers and hurried foot-
steps. A group of five was
circling the Big House,
with a simple mission: get
The date was August 30, 2013,
teetering on the 31st. It was the
night before Michigan Football
would open its season against Cen-
tral Michigan University.
Among the trespassers-to-be
was Matt, at the time an LSA and
Neuroscience senior, he and a
friend - one who had snuck into
Michigan Stadium before - met
up with three other students in
the parking lot. From there, it was
One by one, they climbed the
fence near Section 27. For those
who aren't familiar with the
metal barriers to entry, the fences
are made up of cylindrical, verti-
cal poles that make it difficult to
ascend with grace.
. Matt his friends nearly fell more
than once, but thanks to what be
described as a team effort, those
who stayed became champions.
"We stood up there by the gate
for a while," he said. "Just observ-
ing. We were all shocked because
we actually did it ... but we wanted
to go on the field."
The rush of adrenaline sur-
passed whatever fear Matt had
of being caught. At that point, the
"eerie, creepy feeling" that accom-
panied the empty Leviathan of
a stadium would not tarnish the
The group ran around the field,
laid down by the Block 'M' at the
50-yard-line and took obligatory
break-in pictures - because this is
Michigan, for God's sake. And then,
it was ruined.
"My friend starts running
toward the stairs," Matt said. "As
he was running off the field, I was
running after him, and I see a big
flashlight from the bleachers. It
It was a police officer. Matt
stopped in his tracks, as did the
others, and the light descended
from the bleachers. The students
lined up in the end zone, and the
cop shined his flashlight from the
first row of student section seats.
- The officer asked if they knew
they were trespassing. "No sir, I'm
not a lawyer," one student replied.
do not say
that when B -
nisced. B R -I T1 ?
"We're going to BY M I C H A E L S UG E R M A.N
The group was DAILY STAFF REPORTER
taken outside of the
stadium, where Matt said he saw trespassing activity as an item on safety. After all, scaling those fer
around eight additional cops wait- their pre-graduation bucket lists. es is no easy feat.
ing. One asked what he was study- But sneaking into Michigan Sta- "There are a number of (safe
ing. When he expressed that he was dium isn't just a longstanding tra- issues)," Forsberg said. "You woi
applying to medical school, the offi- dition. It's also a crime punishable need to find a way to get in. Ther
cer replied, "Does trespassing look by jail time. And that's assuming a fence you have to climb, obstac
good on a med school resume?" an individual hasn't consumed any to overcome. You may injure yoi
Ultimately, Matt and his friends kind of drugs or alcohol in the pro- self and be stuck inside the stadia
were set free. The officers told cess. with no one coming to help. If
them to consider the experience Lieutenant Jason Forsberg, do know you're in there ... you
a warning, and cautioned the stu- an officer with the University of taking police away from otl
dents that were they ever to get Michigan Police Department, said areas where they might be bet
caught again, they would face more students who go into the Big House used.
serious consequences. after hours are breaking and enter- It is important that police mo
"It was definitely worth it," Matt ing - a misdemeanor punishable tor any unauthorized entry to t
said. "Totally worth it. At night, by up to 90 days in jail. It could Big House because the stadium
when there's no one there, it looks also result in a$1000 fine. Students the biggest in the country, Forsb
10 times bigger ... like a scene out of who are arrested and charged get said. It is seen as apotential terr
a movie." a mark on their records. Forsberg ist target, and subsequently, it
Matt and his friends are not the said it has happened before. not only on UMPD's radar, but a
only studentsto have snuck into the Legal consequences are not the on that of city police, the FBI a
Big House. Many students see the only problem at play. Another is See BREAKING, PageI