Talk:Golden Key International Honour Society

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removed personal narrative[edit]

This was in the article:

New entry: I am the President of a chapter of Golden Key International Honour Society at a major university, and given the controversy listed wanted to clarify how a portion of the membership dues are used.

I took it out 98.77.104.249 (talk) 15:17, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Dubious...[edit]

That Ronald Reagan is listed as having been in this honour society considering the fact that reagan was 66 years old in 1977, the supposed founding date of this 'non-profit' organisation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.36.204.253 (talk) 03:19, 5 February 2008 (UTC)


He is HONORARY MEMBER ONLY! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.186.134.49 (talk) 04:16, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

From article[edit]

I moved these from the main article because they took up 3/4 of the first page. That's ridiculous. Cburnett 18:08, 5 June 2007 (UTC) {{Cleanup|date=April 2007}} {{cleanup-rewrite}} {{POV}} {{unreferenced|article|date=November 2006}}

Whether or not you think it's ridiculous is not the point. The tags are put in the article to facilitate discussion of how to remove them on the talk page. They are not meant to be put in an article's talk page, therefore, I have replaced them (minus one redundant one). --Neurophyre(talk) 07:45, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
After reviewing the article I removed the {{unreferenced}} tag (there are cites now) and the redundant {{POV}} tag. --Neurophyre(talk) 07:49, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Stuff at the top[edit]

From a objective critique standpoint, I feel this article must clarify the term "honorary members" - how does GK create honorary members and how does the selected person accept honorary membership?

I also feel that a reference needs to be presented supporting the statement "most members of Golden Key's board are university professors and presidents." And besides, the word 'most' should not be used as it is vague - how bout a percentage here?

--CmdrGuard 16:31, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

Honorary Members are outstanding citizens/professors who are invited to join by the staff of a University's Golden Key chapter. The Honorary member can either accept that invitation and become involved with the organization.

Bebedebroadway 20:08, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

This seems just like a puff piece... could someone add NPOV? I thought Golden Key was just a "take your money and give you a little worthless cord" thing?


It is. However, if you look at the history, Exploding Dog keeps deleating anything negative about these guys as 'unsourced'(while leaving in unsourced comments claiming it's nearly as prestegious as phi betta kappa).

This article is a joke, and should not be trusted.

Note the famous members are 'honorary' (they wern't actually members) and that this is a for-profit company.

Golden Key is little more than a scam to get money out of college students. I think it's irresponsible to allow this article to suggest that they're a genuinely respected society comparable to Phi Beta Kappa. There is also no reason to list honorary members if there is no list of actual members. CKarnstein 17:17, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

hey ckarnstein, it's a non-profit company. check your own sources. mine were guidestar, the association of collegiate honor societies, and the IRS' nonprofit lookup. Hmmm, you or the IRS- who should I believe? Oh. Maybe it's because you posted on April fool's day. Nice joke!
It may be that the society is a scam, but I see no reason to remove the list of honorary members, which was identified as such. I'm restoring it. Exploding Boy 17:29, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Not to mention that the list of members would be far too long for one page. Bebedebroadway 20:08, 8 December 2006 (UTC)bebedebroadway

NPOV[edit]

This article is in serious need for some balance. Therefore I am adding {{POV}} until it is sorted out.

The current sections are:

  1. Honorary members
  2. Controversies
  3. References
  4. External links

What about the community service that is one of the focus' of Golden Key? As a suggestion, take a look at some of the individual chapter websites.

I will point out here that I am a Committee member of the University of Canterbury chapter of Golden Key, so I will be limiting myself.

Lee Begg 12:07, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Phi Beta Kappa is also a , "take your money and give you a little worthless cord" thing... it has a $55 USD membership fee itself...

The article which states that the society is a 'scam' is completely biased. It assumes that total expenditure is financed by membership fees. To inculde it in the article without noting its shortfalls is extremely biased and undermines the neutrality of the artilce. Amonthemerciful 08:12, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

And I'm removing the tag. The correct procedure here is to improve the article, not to slap a POV tag on it (and I disagree with your assessment in any case). Exploding Boy 03:08, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
Exploding Boy, what, in particular in the 'assessment' do you not agree with?
The Ubyssey article completely biased; the article cannot show that the society is intentionally dishonest, it cannot show financial irregularities or corruption, it states nothing about the sources of total expenditure, it says nothing about what proportion of membership fees are returned to members as scholarships - the article says that as total expenditure exceeds scholarships that not all membership fees are returned to members, which is highly fallacious as ALL membership fees may be returned to members, and the society may use 'other' sources of income for its other expenditures - take an accounting course and you'll realise that the Ubyssey article's reasoning is a joke.
secondly, lets say a particular university has 1 000 students acheiving in the top 15%. Then 1 000 students are invited to join the society. But 200 of the students cannot afford the $50 membership fee, then the society will only extend membership to the 800 students that pay the memebrship fee. THERE IS NO SECOND ROUND OFFER TO GOLDEN KEY - hence, NO ONE will take the place of the 200 students who cannot afford, theior places will just be left empty.
For the above reasons, the Ubyssey article is a laughable attack on a reputable organisation, and the article attempts to suggest a 'scam' based on unreasonable and false premises. The Ubyssey article should NOT be included in the page as it is biased and clearly stupid in its reasoning. Amonthemerciful 08:12, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

First of all, there is more than one article referenced. Second, you seem to have misunderstood the remarks regarding the membership fee. Third, those issues are discussed in the "controversies" section, which includes other points of view as well. As I said above, feel free to improve the article. Exploding Boy 15:47, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Two articles or not... the wording in the page does imply it - the articles states that:
""Although the society claims to "return 75 per cent of each membership as benefits and services to local chapters and their members [while the] other 25 per cent is used for administrative expenses," the Ubyssey found that in 1997 salaries, management and general expenses totalled $2,997,827, almost 47 per cent of the $6,430,054 in total expenditures.""
The above implies that the Honour Society's policy to, "return 75 per cent of each membership as benefits and services to local chapters and their members [while the] other 25 per cent is used for administrative expenses" is not carried out, merely because the 'administrative expenses' total almost 47% of total expenditure!!

Let us say that the total membership fees is $1,000,000 and that, as above, total 'administrative expenses' is $2,997,827... then the Honour Society's policy is to use 25% of membership fees, $250,000, towards that $2,997,827 total 'administrative expenses'... Hence, the other 'administrative expenses' may be paid for by other non-mebership income. The mere fact that the total 'administrative expenses' is 47% of total expenditure says nothing about whether the policy is being carried out. The Ubysses article attempts to imply that total expenditure is paid for SOLEY by membership fees, and as 47% of total expenditure is used for 'administrative expenses' this is higher than the 25% limit in the policy... but the 25% limit is about membership fees, not total expenditure, and total expenditure IS FINANCED BY OTHER NON-MEMBERSHIP INCOME!! Amonthemerciful 05:34, 31 May 2006 (UTC)


On the "NO SECOND ROUND" thing, the point isn't that more people (with lower grades) are asked in to fill some sort of quota, but that a large net (top 15% of students) is cast right away, so that students who can pay that are in the top 14% of students can get in, while students that are in the top 1% of students who can't pay aren't allowed in. So, in that sense, lower achieving students do get in over higher achieving students who can't pay. -Posted by a guy who doesn't really know how to use Wikipedia

it is completely IMMATERIAL... is the premise that the 1% of students is poor... it may be a handful here and there in the 1% that are poor, but in its essence it is immaterail to the acheivement of the society's members... in the example above - there is nothing that says that the 200 studnets who cannot pay the membership fee are necessarily also in the top 1% - think about it, it is highly unlikely... also, i can post links to other articles which show that membership in Phi Betta Kappa are not taken up by students as they recive all sorts of offers and invitations but cannot differentiate because of lack of education about which societies are highly regarded and not... but, it does not mean that it is all the top 1% of studnets who are not paying the Phi Betta Kappa membership fee, it is likely a even distribution... AMONTHEMERCIFUL

The point is the principle. Sure a good number of the top 1% can pay, but if any of them can't, then the organization's mandate is put into question. If it's about rewarding the top achievers, then the top achievers should be allowed membership in the organization regardless of financial status. Otherwise, it's about the money, not the level of achievement. And it should be noted that in Canada, where both the cited articles originate from, there are few other (if any) "honours societies" competing with the Golden Key, so all the comparisons to "Phi Betta Kappa" mean very little in the Canadian context. -Same guy

I think I have sat on the sideline for long enough. I am going to add some text soon, mostly about the education and community service aspects of Golden Key, unless someone beats me to it. --Lee Begg 11:41, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

About Membership[edit]

Inside information...

Fact: The invitation for new members to join officially remains open for 12 months after the initial letter to do so has been sent.

Also, nearly all decent universities will provide interest free loans to their students.

Golden Key does not favour wealthy students anymore than any other honour society.

Also, please remove all claims that cannot be proven. I look forward to posting more about GK in the near future.

I've found GK a useless scam[edit]

On a personal note, I joined GK after my FRESHMAN year at McGill University. I paid my fee, and never got anything useful for it. Maybe part of the reason is that I didn't care to involve myself as a volunteer, but the connections and job networking that were advertised never materialized for me. I tend to agree with those who call GK a scam started for the financial benefit of its directors, employees, investors, etc.

For people who do not participate in any events, of course they won't get any connections and job networking opportunities.... If you buy something from a store and not use it, you won't say the store scammed you, would you? -vwchu Sept,2006.


vwchu, your argument is flawed. Nowhere in the GKS invitation does it say that membership benefits are conditional upon volunteer work. Benefits ARE conditional upon being a member. -jd

Honestly, the benefits you speak of are there. If you chose not to use them it is of your own accord. In giving a benefit that does not mean they must hand it to you. Sometimes you need to take initiative. In order to get connections and networking opportunities you may want to try actually trying to network. Networking is active, not passive. - Venus Brown May, 2012 — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.110.4.244 (talk) 11:34, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

I too have found GK to be a scam[edit]

I was invited to join Golden Key after the first semester of my first year at UMass Dartmouth. This was probably because I had transferred from a community college. I joined thinking that it would provide me with some opportunities, but the local chapter doesn't do anything that a traditional student organization doesn't already do (food drives, local activism, etc). The meetings are always scheduled when I have class, and the only things I have received thus far from Golden Key are credit card offers in the mail. I don't even receive a newsletter from them. I vote scam.

I've been an active member of Golden Key in Canada. It's like anything else in life, you get out what you put in. If you don't bother to come to meetings or participate in events, what do you expect? Someone to read your mind and put on the events that interest you?

College is also a useless money making scam (if you have the same attitude as some gk members that is)[edit]

I downloaded hundreds of dollars worth of 'Vault' career guides completely FREE!! I participated in many ledership symposiums exclusive to members where sucessful big name people from investment banks, industry, media etc gave talks - my employer had participated in golden key events and was impressed that I was a member - my friend was active in organising events and attended meetings and now has enormous network of contacts - i think i got something out of it... but had i sat at home and expected golden key to arrive at my house and motivate me to do something active, then i dont expect i would have gained anything from membership either...
University/college is a complete money making scam also - i enrolled and paid hundreds of thousand of dollars in fees, but didnt attend lectures or classes, and now i have nothing from it at all - i have no gain.. just a monetary loss - yes, college was a complete money making scam also... BUT had i actually been proactive, then it may have been different - same-same for you golden key members i suppose... it is not some magical society that provides something to you for nothing... it is an OPPORTUNITY for you to extract some benefit... good luck in your career if you failed to take advantage of that opportunity... and good luck in life if you seriously expected that you would have some benefit without doing a f#@ken thing!!!!!!!!!!! your attitudes make you losers!!!!!!!


Clearly, Golden Key has made no error in identifying you as one of the most brilliant and professional students at your university; your diction, grammar, and forensic technique are impeccable. You indeed portray a clear and impressive image of the professionalism imbued upon a student by the Golden Key culture.
However, I can’t help but notice that you have mistaken the price of your access to Vault.com. It seems as though you would not be able to access said media through Golden Key hadn’t you paid for this exclusive membership in the first place—a membership which was not free and in fact cost you $70.
It is probably appropriate at this time to point out that my access to Vault.com was funded entirely by my university’s library. Also, it is worth noting that the multitude of job fairs and company seminars on campus, albeit tiresome, were facilitated and scheduled by companies interested in the students at my university.
Call me pompous, call me arrogant, feel free to call me whatever you wish, but don't call college a scam. Private and state schools are audited, accredited, and thoroughly monitored by government officials, benefactors, alumni, and dedicated members of associated academic and industrial organizations--all of whom work very hard to make sure that college is indeed a fair transaction, and not a scam.
The only organization watching over Golden Key is the IRS.
Bmunden 21:01, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

the point is, Bmunden, that unless you take part in golden key events or take part in college lectures and classes, then you waste your money and "get nothing out of it" - but that in itself does not make either golden key or college a "scam" (I suppose the concept of irony is too much for you to comprehend). Also, to attack the valididty of what I posted by pointing out spelling and grammer is in effect an "argumentum ad hominem" fallacy... please F83k off [AmonTheMerciful] —Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.101.158.111 (talkcontribs)

AND - at the end of the day - i have a membership - even be it that I "get nothing out of it" - and that membership says, if nothing else, that I am in the top 15% of students - even if thats all that it is - let us assume you are correct and that i paid 70USD to a corrupt director - it STILL certifies that I am in the top 15% of students - that is soemthing that you will NEVER acheive - you will NEVER have the chance to choose to take up the membership or not, and thats what its all about anyway - that is why it is prestigious because people like you are kept away - i paid for the RIGHT to certify that i am in the top 15% off studnets - and you'll never be able to make such claim... so please f84k off :)[AmonTheMerciful] —Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.101.158.111 (talkcontribs)

There's another way to prove that you were in the top 15%... its called your college transcript... —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.64.11.164 (talk) 06:01, 19 October 2007 (UTC)


I didn't know that utilizing ad hominem arguments was a means of demonstrating their lackluster efficacy. Congratulations on making the top 15% of your respective college.Bmunden 18:59, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
There are cheaper ways to verify that you are in the top 15% of your class than paying $70 to an outside organization. Not to mention that being in the top 15% of your class does not really matter if you have nothing on your resume and/or transcript for leadership skills, research experience, etc. I would much rather have a "prestigious" faculty member that I can trust to spend time on a recommendation for me (which highlights more than just my grades) than to be part of a "prestigious" organization that merely verifies my class standing.129.186.185.52 22:26, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
Golden Key itself provides a plethora of resume building opportunities! From leadership seminars to community service events, in my two years of Golden Key, I have kept incredibly busy. I'm sorry if you don't find Golden Key to be for you, but I love the time I've spent in the organization and serving my community through it. Golden Key is about more than just the honors attached. It's about taking leadership roles in the community and the plethora of civic opportunities that arise through participation. Then again, people who join just to put "Golden Key" on their resumes would never find out the full benefits of the organization. I whole heartedly agree that you must seize the opportunities presented in Golden Key, and not expect things to be handed to you. For what I've received from my participation, it was well worth the $80. For that matter, my university has a program to help reimburse students for their GK membership. Our Golden Key Chapter just came up with it this year.
Bebedebroadway 04:10, 2 November 2006 (UTC)Bebedebroadway

GK is a useless scam[edit]

i was a gk member and i have no idea why. i simply recieved their letter and suddenly i was in this society. later they asked me about becoming a lifetime member for the 70 bucks or what have you. why? i was never invited to a single event speech fancy ball or dinner. at least the phi betta kappa kids got drunk. gk is a money making scam.


How in the world is it a scam? If you qualify, what you get for your money, more than anything else, is the brand of having qualified for Golden Key. That looks good on a resume. Plain and simple. Alternatively, listing GPA or class rank looks stupid, vulgar, and anal retentive.--TDJankins (talk) 21:17, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

GK is not a scam[edit]

If Golden Key is run poorly at someone's university it is not a fault of the organization as a whole. I have no idea why someone would be invited as a freshman that is a problem with that particular University's exec board. The global organization cannot set up EVERY even or meeting for local groups. With in the past two years, two different young women from my university’s chapter have won $10,000 scholarships for graduate school (as in 10k EACH). I've been able to attend SEVERAL leadership conferences from Golden Key, and all Golden Key members have access to exclusive Scholarship and Job Search sites. Golden Key has done great things for me, but you can't sit around and wait for things to be handed to you. No proper honors society will just hand you things for paying your dues. All you have to do is go to the Golden Key Website and take advantage of the opportunities presented to you.

Bebedebroadway 04:03, 2 November 2006 (UTC)bebedebroadway

use of the term 'prestigious'[edit]

It is not 'sepeculation' to state that it is held by "some" to be the most pretigious... I and others here are that "some" - the sentence is not "speculation" as much as it is inward reflection... ;)

'Prestige' may be defined as, "the level of respect at which one is regarded by others" - it is cleary a subjective thing - whether that level of respect is deserved or not is immaterial. In any case, there are enough people on this thread arguing for the term 'prestige' to make it so regarded by them, even if it is not deserved in whatever other standard...

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, we can discuss the reasons that it may or may not be deserved, but as I noted above, it is completely immaterail to the definion and, hence, the use of the term 'prestige' on the page. We must be precise when using terms in an encyclopedia, and your emotive response to an undeserved use of the term does not make it any less true of it fitting the definition above. It is subjective, deserved or not, hence, it is used on the page - talk to the forefathers of the english lanuguage or the publishers of the english dictionary if you don't like the meaning... It seems that it is your mis-comprehension of the menaing of the term which leads to your emotive opposition to its use on the page. 'Pretige' of an institution relates solely to the sentiment of the public to that institution - that sentiment is dynamic and may be influenced by other standards such as history, assosciation, etc, and the factor influencing that sentiment will change as the important standards of society change... It is a cultural holding in the minds of the populace and not an outcome measured by standards. It is in the minds of the people, and not in the thing itself - it is, as so defined, "the level of respect at which [an institution] is regarded by others" and the institution may be regarded a high level of respect for no particular reason at all, but it will have the defined 'prestige' nonetheless. [AmonTheMerciful]


Without getting involved in the debate about Golden Key, I feel it is my duty to completely disagree with your analysis of the way "prestigious" is used in this article. Wikipedia guidelines clearly advise against exactly this type of sentence - see Wikipedia:Avoid_weasel_words for more details. The sentence in question is one of the worst parts about this article. Arathon 19:10, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
"Held by some" to be "prestigious" without sources is clear use of weasel words and original research. It has no place in an encylopedic article. Also, please sign your statements with four tildes: ~~~~ Neurophyre(talk) 04:56, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

please outline explicitly what it is that you disagree with - do not merely post links - please discuss it in a reasoned fashion. adress the content or concede it...

in particular the sentence expresses a setiment - it cannot by definition be 'biased' - "i like coke" cannot be biased, it is simply an expression of sentiment - a sentence "coke is the best drink" needs to be sourced - but how can one source one's own sentiments... and if those sentiments are held by a majority but not sourced, does it make them biased--- NO!! please use reson and logic and do not post links to clearly unnecessary policies that were not intended for the particular example. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.101.158.111 (talkcontribs)

See my above comment. The burden of demonstrating sources is on those adding unsourced information and using weasel words, not on those maintaining Wikipedia policies and guidelines in the field. Read the policies. They are not "unnecessary" and they are "intended for" every article, not just the ones that people aren't debating. Also, please sign your comments with four tildes: ~~~~ --Neurophyre(talk) 04:56, 24 October 2006 (UTC)


Mr Neurophure - as it pleases you to delete unsourced sentences I will take apart every f#@ken sentence that is not sourced, in the interests of a consistent application of Wikipedia policy :) thank you and regards, [AmonTheMerciful] —Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.101.158.111 (talkcontribs)

This, along with your other recent edit to this talk page, make it very difficult to assume good faith on your part. I've reverted your unproductive edits to the article; kindly read WP:CITE and WP:CIVIL and participate in a more civil and productive manner in the future. --Neurophyre(talk) 10:02, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
Bmunden's post was sarcastic and unpleasant and it completely missed the point - i think my response was true and fair to say the least - in other words completely just. [AmonTheMerciful] —Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.101.158.111 (talkcontribs)
Well, you're wrong. Please read the policies (particularly WP:CIVIL before telling people to "f off") and please sign your comments with four tildes like so: ~~~~ --Neurophyre(talk) 21:30, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

hahaha - I'm "wrong" - thank you for the delicate use of reason to come to that...I have posted for your benefit an extract which you need to think about:

""Take any action allowed to be vicious: Wilful murder, for instance. Examine it in all lights, and see if you can find that matter of fact, or real existence, which you call vice. In which-ever way you take it you find only certain passions, motives, volitions and thoughts. There is no other matter of fact in the case. The vice entirely escapes you, as long as you consider the object. You never can find it, till you turn your reflexion into your own breast, and find a sentiment of disapprobation, which arises in you, towards this action. Here is a matter of fact; but 'tis the object of feeling, not of reason."[HUME]

Neurophyre - you must not assume what you take to be improper is concrete at all... but I thank you for your interest in the finer points of my posts - it pleases me taht someone takes the time... [AmonTheMerciful] (AND, your constant talks about the "four tidels" thing is becoming tiresome...)

----A GOOD SUPPLY OF INFORMATION----[edit]

HI,

I've discovered what may be a more unbiased source for this discussion. Please see the article entitled "Honor Lite" in the Students Section of the March 22, 2002 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education. If you are a student at a university, chances are pretty good that your library subscribes to it (both the health science and regular library subscribe to it at mine). Very enlightening article. I trust this source more than The Ubyssey and e.Peak (I don't trust those sources at all). Good luck finding the article.

For those who have no way of accessing the Chronicle article, you can read a different, but similar, article at [1]. This is how I discovered the Chronicle article.

(You can't access the Chronicle article on their website without a membership www.chronicle.com)216.160.225.153 20:58, 22 October 2006 (UTC)216.160.225.153 21:00, 22 October 2006 (UTC)C

Thanks for the heads up, I'll try to access it when I next have time. --Neurophyre(talk) 04:57, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Very useful article. Thanks.Nilvyn 19:14, 7 November 2006 (UTC) Nilvyn 19:14, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Thus far, GK seems to be a scam to me.[edit]

I don't know how useful GK accolades will be when I apply for a job. But thus far it has been useless.

Th GK Job Board lured me in, but it really doesn't have very much, it's definitely not exclusive. It seems to be limited to those CIA recruitments you see everywhere, ads for programs at the Washington Center (which I believe you have to pay for), and a few volunteer posts at Teach For America which you can access directly.

The Vault guides seem interesting, but you can probably get them free through your school without paying for a membership fee.

I can't comment on their scholarships, I haven't received one, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything.

Their discounts are simple advertisements. The offer the same deals you get in the mail everyday.

For example: Sallie Mae Student Loan Consolidation Golden Key is pleased to partner with Sallie Mae in making student loan consolidation services available to members of Golden Key.

Golden Key MasterCard ® Credit Card from Bank of America Show your pride and support the Golden Key Scholarship Program each time you use your card. No annual fee, and one of the most competitive annual percentage rates available.

The best offer I saw was 8% off of car insurance through Geico.

I wish I had done my research a little better before I joined. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nilvyn (talkcontribs)

you seriously regret membership so much that you "wish you had done your research a little better before you joined" - you are talking about a few dollars idiot!! its maginal and immaterial to a recognised certification that you acheived highly amongst your peers - if that alone - i cannot beleive you wont a refund for $50 which you would likely piss up against the wall at a frat party —Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.101.181.192 (talkcontribs)

Us fraternity/sorority members do a whole lot more community service than Golden Key kids. Also, we don't call fellow members "idiots" and we don't lie about our networking opportunities! -Chapter president of another honor society, who realizes how silly honor societies really are —Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.224.38.214 (talk) 07:06, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

Confession of an ex- GK student executive[edit]

During my undergraduate degree I served as a student executive in the Golden Key chapter in my university in Canada. I joined it because it sounded interesting, the academic adviser advised for it (he was the chapter adviser) and I am a person that likes volunteering which this society had plenty of apportunities for. I was organizing events, volunteering, and even ran drives to recruit students. I was too idealistic and naive, but a few months into the position, and a few conferences and conventions later I discovered the extent of its ugliness.

For most of the activities that us student executives ran, we fundraised. We did carwashes, bake sales, solicited donations everywhere to get money to run the events. The activities we organized were with the city poor, underprivileged children for which we bought toys and books. For the homeless people we got food. We ran many academic events too.

The chapter invited each year 500-800 students. About 200-300 joined and paid the fee. That is about 20'000 that GK got, yearly, from my university. From it, the chapter was given only 5'000, and that should have included the costs of the induction ceremony (about 1-2'000), costs of sending a representative to the national and international conferences (about 2'000), and the rest was supposed to help with other activities, like the yearly membership drive/bbq which cost about 500. Not much was left for other events, and so we had to fundraise for them. A group of us, idealistic students put in a lot of time and effort for all this.

Yearly, the chapter awards 2 scholarships of about 500 dollars at the induction ceremony. They go to the two inducted students with the highest GPA. So all the other students, which are told that athletic, artistic activities are taken into account as well, are plainly lied to. So unless your GPA is a straight 4.0, you do not stand a chance to get even the chapter award, let alone the international GK scholarships (which by the way are judged on GPA too and being a president of your local GK chapter - check yourself the winner profiles).

I was a vice-president of the chapter and attended a few GK conferences, partly subsidized by the chapter. They were fun, but I never saw all the networking opportunities GK claims we have access to. All I got in the 7 years I have been a member is advertising e-mails from GK associates. Nothing else. Even they stopped in the past year.

The last shock was when one of the student executives discovered, on the IRS site nonetheless, how much the Golden Key CEO, Alex Perwich III, makes anually from GK. It is over 300'000. This was 2 years ago, but the shock of it hasn't subsided yet. This is a society that functions on the work that volunteer students do, and much of the activities are done on fundraising money. Where does the rest of the money go? Well, nice pay for the GK executives.

I feel terrible about the students that got recruited because of the claims that we, student executives, were telling since we themselves thought them true. GK used our naivite and thirst for making a change in the world to dupe other students. Technically some GK claims were not wrong; scholarships are given out, just not that many, and certainly not to the average honor society person, just the top 2-3 students. I feel sorry that I told students that other achievements were considered; that just isn't the case. I feel sorry for the students that pleaded that they really wanted to join but couldn't afford the fee, and felt they were missing the networing, scholarships, etc. Well, they didn't miss much afterall. The members get only a burger at the annual membership bbq. Hardly worth $80.

My verdict: GK is a scam. 208.59.131.28 04:02, 19 February 2007 (UTC)February 18, 2007


I totally agree with you. I was on the exec committee at Adelaide Uni as well. I signed up for $90 when I got invited because I thought it was really prestigious, but then at the membership ceremony there were a bunch of dumb asses there too. What a rip-off!117.102.134.31 (talk) 07:17, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

You get out what you put in[edit]

Golden Key is not a scam - although I am slightly biased. I joined my local chapter in 2003 during my second year of undergrad.

After crossing that stage to accept that certificate, I was of the opinion that if I did nothing more than add that certificate to my resume I had gotten my A$93.50 worth of value. It proved I was in the top 15% of undergrad students.

What I did get was in fact far more than I had ever anticipated. I made a point of joining the chapter executive, one of the greatest decisions I have ever made in my life. Yes, it takes motivation. I can see how this would be more difficult if your local chapter isn't very active. But the great thing about GK is the networks - you can always count on a nearby chapter to come to the rescue and guide you through establishing your annual plan then following it through.

Since that day, I can honestly say that every major opportunity and positive career move I have made can be credited to Golden Key. My involvement gave me something to talk about in my first job interview out of uni. It showed that I was motivated, involved, well-rounded and had some management experience. I've been head-hunted on numerous occassions both through the connections I've made through Golden Key and because of the profile it has allowed me to develop.

My membership has put me on a first name basis with some of the most influential staff at the University including the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor. It's allowed me to travel, meet the most amazing people and have friends in many countries around the world as a result of GK conferences and networking events.

I've participated in fundraisers, made a difference to the lives of people less fortunate than myself and come to realise the value of philanthropy.

I've since moved on from my first job to another that I love to no end - a job that was created with me in mind by associates I met through Golden Key. I have also been chosen for an amazing postgraduate scholarship and I can assure you that my work with GK provided me with a unique point of difference.

Honour societies are a relatively unheard of proposition in Australia. We don't go in for frats and sororities either. Many times I've had to run through the same spiel about what an honour society is and what GK do. Somehow, it's still had the desired swaying power to help me sell myself in interviews.

It really disappoints me when I hear people say that got nothing from their Golden Key membership. Golden Key will provide you with the tools, it's your responsibility to learn to use them. GK gives you the opportunity, it's your job to make something of it.

Membership costs less than $100 in any currency. It's a small amount in comparison to the cost of a university education and I find it difficult to believe that if a student truly wanted to take up the membership offer they couldn't get a hold of the money somehow. My suggestion would be to make an appeal to the faculty and explain how your GK membership will work to their benefit. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Mels2 (talkcontribs) 12:07, 4 April 2007 (UTC).


"I was of the opinion that if I did nothing more than add that certificate to my resume I had gotten my A$93.50 worth of value. It proved I was in the top 15% of undergrad students."

Why not just write "placed in the top 15% of undergraduates" on your resume and save your 93 bucks?

99.239.192.235 (talk) 13:27, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Because listing class rank looks narcissistic and anal retentive. Winning awards and recognition does not.--TDJankins (talk) 21:23, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

E-mail and PHONE SPAM![edit]

Should you make the mistake of thinking that such a "reputable" organization would provide you with useful information from respectable sponsors - those that would offer education-related services, perhaps scholarships, etc. - don't be mistaken. After signing up and giving them my real email (only given out to seemingly legitimate companies) and phone numbers, I have been harassed by a good 10 pieces of spam in my inbox daily, all from different addresses - and it is impossible to unsubscribe from them all, as they just resell your email further. As for phone calls, I have received about 3 calls per day for the last week and a half from what turned out to be a marketing company (they'd call and there'd be only silence on the line) - until it did connect and I told them not to call me. Say no to being contacted by their affiliates - and to the Golden Key Society as a whole. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.118.19.68 (talk) 16:48, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

Tags[edit]

I placed the cleanup and NPOV tags at the top of the article. I think most of us can agree that this article is in horrible shape and is being sporatically edited and routinely gutted (including the talk page!), not to mention being copmpletely messed up structurally. There seems to be a lot of agendas that are really wreaking havoc on this article, so I hopefully we can start from scratch and rebuild this into a decent encyclopedic entry. - Masonpatriot 14:16, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

I moved them to the talk page because they were taking up 3/4 of the first page. It's ridiculous to have that many boxes. Cburnett 18:09, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
I reverted Cburnett's move, then removed the cite and POV tags from the top, because cites have been added and the only real POV dispute (currently) is in the Controversy section. --Neurophyre(talk) 07:50, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
I would assert that there are several unsourced statements in the introduction that could be considered biased. The article really does seem, as Masonpatriot notes, to be a battleground between two extreme viewpoints, and simply combining two polemics doesn't satisfy NPOV or make for a decent and readable article. I'm therefore putting the tags back at the top, as per standard Wikipedia practice. --William Ager 22:11, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

This talk page[edit]

For those here who have not had much experience with Wikipedia, it is important to note that talk pages are for discussion of the article and potential improvements, not discussion of the subject of the article. Personal accounts of experiences with the society won't find an interested audience here, and would be more effective if posted somewhere else. --William Ager 22:11, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Re: This talk page[edit]

I came to this wikipedia page to find out if Golden Key is a scam or not before I cough up $75. It would be inappropriate to say "this is a scam" on the wikipedia entry, but the information on this talk page was exactly what I was looking for. It should stay because it's a discussion on how to characterize the subject of the article, but can't be included in the article page because it is anecdotal. </twocents>

Well Known *Regular* Members?[edit]

Anyone got a list of well known regular (not honorary) members? In all the material that I've seen, Golden Key touts the list of Honorary members, but doesn't list famous members who joined as college students. I can't say it's a deliberate omission, but it does leave me curious. -- 16:58, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't believe that GK is a scam[edit]

"On a personal note, I joined GK after my FRESHMAN year at McGill University. I paid my fee, and never got anything useful for it. Maybe part of the reason is that I didn't care to involve myself as a volunteer, but the connections and job networking that were advertised never materialized for me. I tend to agree with those who call GK a scam started for the financial benefit of its directors, employees, investors, etc."

From my experience at Monash University, GK benefits are available to any member so long as you actually attend events and such. You don't have to help run the events or volunteer for anything, but you do have to put in the effort of actually going to the events. If that's not true at other universities, then perhaps you should join the committee and help change things. Some universities don't have as active committees as others do. Monash's chapter have a number of events that promote industry networking. If you’ve assumed that just being a member would 'materialize' business connections for you then you really were expecting too much. Tasrayryn 05:48, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Firstly I'd liked to say that the quotation from university magazine (Peak?) helps to balance the article, as does the critique of it. As a Monash GK member I do have to admit I have had little benefit from my membership so far. However, for the most part I knew this would be the case before I joined - I attended a rural campus where GK presence was greatly lacking (I'd never even heard of them) and my career direction was never going to benefit from business networking (I'm a teacher). However, I don't believe GK (at least the Monash Chapter) to be a scam. We have a very active chapter, with opportunities to attend free and exclusive seminars and lectures by high profile scientists, engineers, etc; careers events; cocktail nights; and monthly alumni after-work drinks. We also have get togethers for new members with free bbq/pizza, and participate in some really good charities, as well as getting discounts at various motels - which could come in handy for business travel down the track. However, I'll probably never get the full benefit of my membership unless I change careers down the track - probably also the only way I'll get the benefit of my other degree. Just quietly, it sounds like there are some shady elements with Golden Key, but I haven't observed any in my chapter.
I do have a question about the invitation process that is relevant to the article. I was the top of my class in my first year of uni - but wasn't invited to join GK until my fourth year. Does the process differ between chapters?

Mr. T, a 'philanthropist'?[edit]

That honorary members section is junk. 75.157.222.39 (talk) 07:06, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

To be fair, there are sources that support Mr. T's community service, even if he isn't exactly known for that line of work. In any case, the revised list on the GK website no longer includes Mr. T. --Scottie_theNerd 17:36, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Anyone ever travel through the Golden Key Society to assist in another country? I am supposed to go to another country and have to make my own travel arrangements. Anything? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.242.230.45 (talk) 09:24, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

Public Relations people at it again[edit]

I noticed that this page read like an advert for the organization. I have restored some semblance of "journalism" to it today using previously submitted information.

History shows their PR dept can't keep their hands off it.

Feel free to restore missing information and citations. Shamwatch (talk) 05:23, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

I tried restoring some missing information in the Controversy Section with reputable sources, and it wouldn't allow me to do so. I guess the Society's PR people have gotten hold of this page and don't allow anyone else to edit it. It is a shame that Wikipedia is now helping GKIHS to dupe more students to join by hiding and glossing over the controversy and the sources of information that support it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.66.233.37 (talk) 16:48, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Sources[edit]

Per WP:SELFPUB in WP:V, sources on a subject published by the subject themselves cannot be used as the primary basis for an article. This article fails that criterion heavily, being based almost entirely on the website of the subject. This also means that it currently fails notability guidelines, and if proper and reliable sources are not found, the article is in danger of being deleted. --William Ager (talk) 06:13, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

I agree strongly and have replaced your edit instead with the one source template at the top of the page. Mystere (talk) 05:39, 29 July 2009 (UTC)


I find this statement non-verifiable: "A recent ACHS report stated that no other honor society provides more tangible benefits and services to its members than Golden Key." This report is not published anywhere, and certainly not by the ACHS, so should be removed. This exact sentence has also been used in Golden Key promotional material. Shamwatch (talk) 06:44, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Adding a "Controversy" Section[edit]

There is ample discussion whether Golden Key exists only to serve and honor its members, so I propose a "Controversy" section added. There is a 2005 article in Peak, Simon Fraser University's newspaper, in which issues are raised regarding Golden Key. [2]

In addition, the 16 May 2009 version of this article included reliable sources arguing that Golden Key is a questionable honor society. Unfortunately they were not presented from NPOV and removed with the 24 May 2009 edit.

I would appreciate if others could assist in finding reliable sources supporting and arguing against Golden Key as an honor society. Mystere (talk) 06:48, 29 July 2009 (UTC)


I agree there should be a Controversy section added. There have been many questions raised over the years. Any "nonprofit" that spends so much on travel and pays their CEO a 1/4 million dollars in salary, for example, and spends so comparatively little on benefits to their paying members is suspect. Currently, the article reads like a Golden Key press release. Shamwatch (talk) 17:24, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

For the love of all that is holy can someone neutral deal with this article?[edit]

I am a student in the US who has of course received information from Golden Key as have many others. I have read through all the drama on this talk page and see that some people have good points etc and others are just making personal attacks. I don't have a dog in this fight if that saying can apply here, but I am ofc someone who got the info from them so I am interested in learning about the nature of this society. Here is my assessment as of February 18, 2011.

The article has a feel to me that someone from the society itself has indeed been keeping watch over it even in the Controversy section. I am wondering about this bit where they talk about prestige. I and most people I know had never heard of this society. Truth be told, Phi Beta Kappa is really the only prestigious one as far as I know. I mean just being in it people will say "Oh my he was in Phi Beta Kappa." I don't know what being in PBK gets you on a job interview, but you do impress people and your girl (or guy, whichever) as most people (at least in the United States) know of it. Anyway, you need to actually have it fit some criteria for being prestigious I guess and maybe determine what actual prestige it grants (good luck with that). I don't feel comfortable using this article for information I can use in trying to decide how I should think of this society.

I think that given the fact that so many people get the emails and letters having the right and correct info here is crucial. It should certainly not be from the perspective of this society. People need to know A, what it actually gets members as told from a reliable third party-perspective. B, a reliable third-party assessment of the practices of the organisation that seem to be in question.

I think one of those Wiki-admins should take a look at this article as it is somewhat important in my opinion. People actually do read wiki when they want to get information on something quickly and having the right info here will help someone to better decide. If it is a shady operation as some people say then it would maybe help them avoid getting rooked.

P.S. If you use personal attacks or w/e in your reply don't expect me to take your reply seriously, because trust me, I won't. TheArchaeologist (talk) 10:04, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

I've had students who definitely were not in the top 15% get invitations, but I see that there has been some historical activity at KU, where I am a faculty member. I guess the real question is whether or not the invitations are really based on the top 15% criteria. This could only be done if there is a relationship with the university that passes the names to Golden Key based on academic standards. I'm suspicious based on the emails my students have told me about, but will see if I can find out. Jpgs (talk) 15:52, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm with you Archaeologist, and most of the article is clearly written by the staff of Golden Key. Even the language of the opening follows the same patterns and construction of Golden Key's own website, I'm going to go on a limb and say the same people wrote both. And the very least it should be considered a massive problem that the ONLY source for what Golden Key does and how much it pays out in scholarships or what activities it's involved in is Golden Key's website. Honestly, even if some Wiki editors want to jump on me for what I am saying here, isn't it a problem that the only source is the website? How can that possibly be considered a "neutral source" of anything other than what the organization claims it does? It should read that "Golden Key claims to pay out $1,000,000 in scholarships" because I see no substantiation of that. An outside source, cited later in the article, examined their IRS records and in fact GK pays out more like 250,000 in scholarships. The only part of the article that sounds remotely not like a puff piece of course has a POV label slapped on it. Obviously editors like Bebedebroadway are paid employees. I am sure I'll get someone from Wikipedia telling me naughty naughty for attacks against other editors, but come on, let's cut the nonsense here, clearly anyone can see that Bebedebroadway has an extreme personal bias in favor of this organization and one would have to be really, really naive to believe that bias isn't rooted in a monetary motivation. GK wants their membership fees from unsuspecting doops and they don't want people they send letters to to come here (where everyone comes to read about subjects now) and see the organization for what it really is so they get employees to periodically troll this article. That much is obvious. With all of that said I will say I don't think it's an actual scam, they probably do payout SOME scholarship money, but from any neutral source I can find it is clear that they don't pay out anywhere near what they claim they do, their scholarships are extremely limited and membership is not based on academic achievement, but rather on whatever sucker is willing to pay $80. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.228.202.171 (talk) 21:00, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

Some more facts and a neutral view-point would be nice[edit]

How about just editing the article to make if more factual and leave out all the opinions (both pro and con)?

I realise that uni students tend to get all hot and bothered about all sorts of things, but there seems to be a whole lot of emotional baggage attached to this article and the talk page.

The 'controversy' section seems to be based only on a couple of op-ed pieces, and seems to be an unusually large part of a wiki entry, especially as it appears to relate to past-history more than current finances. If there are some hard financial facts available (eg. last years total new members, total membership fees collected, total scholarship value allocated etc.) they should be included in the article with appropriate referencing. But it seems as if hard data aren't available on this, so it falls into the realm of speculation, which shouldn't be included in a wiki article. Some stats about numbers of chapters and members in each country and so forth would be nice too.

From the comments in this talk page, a lot of the ill-will towards GK appears to be resentment that a) you don't get much tangible benefit for the membership fee, and/or b) some people involved in the organisation are getting paid substantial amounts. Neither of these issues are unique to GK - I never got my money's worth from Mensa, APESMA, IEEE, IEAust, RACI, RAS and the many other professional and other societies and organisations I've joined over the years. But that's because I don't tend to get myself involved and "take advantage" or what these organisations have to offer. I don't expect GK to be any different (I just joined last week - simply because it seemed like a cute idea and I fancy having another pin to tack onto my jacket while I'm in the mood. It's not fair to label an association a "scam" just because it doesn't offer (to some members) great value-for-money.

ps. Regarding the comments about it being cheaper to just put a note on your CV that you were "offered" GK membership, or simply stating that you were in the "top 15%" of students academically, are incorrect. Such notations on a CV are unsubstantiated, while a GK membership listed on your CV (preferably with a member no.) is (in theory) verifiable - a prospective employer could check with CK that the applicant is indeed a GK member. And, at least in my case, the invite letter (on behalf of GK) came direct from my uni, with a cover letter from the uni vice-chancellor which specifically mentions "academic achievement qualifies you for membership". The GK invite came the same week as my "Letter of Commendation" from the uni (based on my GPA for the previous calendar year), so I infer that the GK mailing list is generated by the uni as part of their annual processing of the previous calendar year's results.

Also, the comment that you can just attach your uni transcript to your CV to show that you were in the "top 15%" is also not really correct - unless an employer chooses to wade through the details of uni policy of grade distribution and GPA calculation, a uni transcript doesn't easily covey if you were in the top 5% or 25% or whatever. (At least none of the uni transcripts I have report a student ranking). — Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.239.97.132 (talk) 12:59, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

The unsigned writer (apparently from Australia per the IP address) makes interesting points, but they are moot since GK is not transparent as to how much money is raised, nor where it goes. GK apparently does not publish its membership numbers by school or country, and there is no complete published financial data outside the US IRS 501(c)(3) Form 990 tax return which is available free of charge from Guidestar. This tax form shows the current CEO received in excess of $345,000 in 2009 compensation and travel expenses for the staff were over $650,000 while they ate $251,000 worth of food! $796,000 for travel and food alone is much more than the amount of scholarships reported as awarded that year ($546,000). It's up to the reader to determine, when comparing the same expenses to other competing organizations, if these expenses are a good use of membership funds. I attempted to address this a couple of years ago with these facts, but they were deleted.

Arguably, any honor society membership has little value past one's initial professional job other than networking with peers met during school years; that said, presenting that one was a "Golden Key Honour Society invitee" on a resume will show that the student is a top performer without spending close to $100 for the privilege. Shamwatch (talk) 18:38, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

On balance, a scam. The article doesn't adequately reflect this.[edit]

I disagree with the suggestion that this membership can only help for professional development. Listing it on a resume can look like padding ones credentials with fluff, or perhaps worse like one doesn't know the difference between truly meaningful credentials and fluff. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sareliben (talkcontribs) 05:55, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps it is you that does not understand the difference between valuable credentials and fluff. Crab mentality is not becoming.--TDJankins (talk) 21:26, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

File:Golden Key Honor Society Key.JPG Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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"Controversy section has been removed"[edit]

Should discussions of a Controversy section be confined to the talk page? This revision seems to include such a discussion in the article itself. Is this appropriate? ak5791Talk 16:10, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

See my added section below. "Controversy" section apparently removed by Golden Key Staff: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Golden_Key_International_Honour_Society&diff=prev&oldid=510963000 Shamwatch (talk) 05:05, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Golden Key staff apparently continuing track record of altering page[edit]

While comparing previous versions, I noticed several from user AHouska. As it happens, there is an Ashlyn Houska listed as Director of Operations on the organization's website as of today (3 January 2013). The most egregious changes were on the Funding section, which was reversed later by others, and removal of the Controversy section. See edits on 7 Sept 2012, 5 Sept 2012. See side by side Funding section here: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Golden_Key_International_Honour_Society&diff=prev&oldid=510963000 User AHouska has made other changes back through 2010.

User AHouska also removed the Controversy section and replaced it with "Fund Distribution." See side by side: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Golden_Key_International_Honour_Society&diff=prev&oldid=510963000 Shamwatch (talk) 05:00, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Any reason for an NPOV tag on Fund Distribution?[edit]

In reading through the Fund Distribution section, I see no reason for an NPOV tag. Unless someone can provide a meaningful reason within one week, I'm going to remove it.--TDJankins (talk) 20:13, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

I am removing the NPOV tag on the Fund Distribution section as it lacks foundation. If someone feels this section needs additional content to balance out the point of view, then by all means add it, but an NPOV tag is a serious thing and does not serve as an alternative to adding content. Without question this section could use improvement in the forms of clearer writing and additional citation.--TDJankins (talk) 22:27, 17 April 2014 (UTC)