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 (talk) 15:17, 23 October 2009 (UTC)


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 (talk) 03:19, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

He is HONORARY MEMBER ONLY! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (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.


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.

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 (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 (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 (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...)



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 20:58, 22 October 2006 (UTC) 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)


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)

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

That honorary members section is junk. (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 (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 (talk) 16:48, 4 April 2010 (UTC)


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 (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 (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)

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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: 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: 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: 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)

Honorary Membership[edit]

Does anyone have information one way or another as to whether or not those receiving Honorary Membership in Golden Key have to be asked if they accept it?Naraht (talk) 14:39, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

All the puff pieces I am seeing are about people accepting them at some sort of ceremony and, sometimes, being the keynote speaker. Some don't distinguish between membership and honorary membership; Bill Clinton, Colin Powell, Ronald Reagan, Elizabeth Dole, and Bill Cosby are all routinely named as honorary members in addition to those already listed (e.g., [3], [4]). All of the reports I am seeing seem to have guilelessly accepted the promotional materials of the society itself; I see no indication these claims have ever been independently verified, but I guess there's not really much reason to think the society would be blatantly lying about the membership of public figures. Chubbles (talk) 17:42, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
For the ones where they accepted at the ceremony, I'm fine with including, but for the rest, the secondary sources aren't much better than the primary. :(Naraht (talk) 12:37, 17 June 2017 (UTC)

Other Languages[edit]

There are also articles in the Portuguese Wikipedia and the Chinese (see the Languages to the left side of the article). The Portuguese is pretty vanilla, but it looks like the Chinese was translated at a point when the article was pretty NPOV. Not sure how much these can be dealt with other than with a native speaker. (Might be a bit in the Chinese we can simply chop).Naraht (talk) 12:39, 17 June 2017 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

A user has recently begun making sweeping changes to this article. That user claims no conflict of interest on the user talk page, which I will assume is true (i.e., the user does not work for Golden Key and is not a member). User:Fdrlwi, could you please describe the nature of the changes you are making? Chubbles (talk) 17:48, 2 November 2017 (UTC)

I have a grandson that is about to be college age. I did some research on the Society and was very impressed. I went back and looked at some older versions of the page and honestly couldn't figure out how it could have changed into what it was today. I felt that the page needed an update and some positive items. Why do you think all the negative things should remain? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fdrlwi (talkcontribs) 22:16, 2 November 2017 (UTC)

You are welcome to add positive (factual, neutrally worded) items to the page, so long as they are reliably sourced - and if you are also the anonymous editor who added a reference from the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, I think that would be a reasonable citation from which to begin adding to the page. However, the society has had significant negative (factual) press coverage, including regarding its finances and recruitment tactics. I added much of this sourcing, and attempted to make it as neutrally worded as possible. If we remove those, it fails to robustly tell the story of Golden Key as a historical entity. The purpose of this page is not to act as a promotional outlet for Golden Key nor to burnish its reputation; it is to give an accurate account of it using sources from the historical record. Your edits removed about ten of those sources. I think a better way to go about this would be to start with the article as it was before your removals, and then add to it the factual information you've found in the GCN article. If there are changes needed to the wording to make passages more neutral, we can discuss here as well. Chubbles (talk) 22:24, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Chubbles. Historical criticism and issues regarding the founder of the organization do have a place. Also, secondary sources (what others have written about Golden Key) are preferred to primary sources (what Golden Key has written about itself.Naraht (talk) 11:32, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
Okay, I want to work with you, Frdlwi, so here's what I've done. I've restored the version as it was before your arrival, and included some (but not all) of the additions you made. I put the entire Criticism section back since this was well-sourced and since it is important to note that the organization has been subject to extensive scrutiny in the press. I kept the minor wording change you made in the introduction. Most of your edits were to the "membership and activities" section. I restored the old version of this section, then included information about international offices, the number of chapters, recent volunteerism efforts, and awards - all of which I sourced to the GCN article. I also kept a sentence noting that it is a registered 501(c)(3) and that it is currently rated A+ by Atlanta's BBB. There were some additions you made that I did not include. I did not keep the part about tax auditing, since this really needs independent sourcing (the organization's own webpage is too self-promotional for it to be a good source for this). I didn't keep the paragraph about the board of directors, though this is something that might be a good addition if it can be sourced to a news article or journalistic source. I also didn't keep the part about the size of scholarships distributed - their scholarship awards have been one of the major aspects of their operation that have received criticism, so I'm leery about including dollar amounts that don't come from rigorous external accounting (and the GCN piece seems like it may be relying on Golden Key's own reports). Lastly, I didn't keep the laundry list of membership societies. Most of these aren't really noteworthy enough to be included; if we can find a reliable source substantiating that Golden Key maintains membership in the National Collegiate Honors Council, that'd be a nice counterpoint to the ACHS paragraph. Let's talk here if you'd like to see further changes made. Chubbles (talk) 02:01, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
Fdrlwi, I see you have undone all my changes again without speaking here. You noted in an edit summary that the information you have repeatedly removed is outdated; however, as I have noted above, this is not a page that exists solely to relate current information; it is also a place to relate the society's history, which is decidedly checkered. You may be impressed with the society as a grandfather, but that does not give you leeway to unilaterally remove all this information, an action inconsistent with Wikipedia's policies of neutral point of view, reliable sourcing, and refraining from edit warring. Can you please reply here with further explanation of the need for your edits? Chubbles (talk) 17:15, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
Fdrlwi, I see you have continued editing without responding to my last message. I hope you have realized by now that editing without discussion is unproductive; this will be the case in the future as it has been in the past. Chubbles (talk) 18:19, 4 November 2017 (UTC)

And I don't understand why you want to continue to put things out that happened many years in the past. The organization from what I can tell has been through so bad publicity but they seem to be somebody in this day and age that are actually trying to help individuals. So Why do you want to keep reminding people of this. Statues are being torn down in southern states and history is being rewritten or left out entirely because it makes people look bad or hurts others feelings. So why not let an organization put the things that happened and weren't the fault of the current administration, as far as I can tell, away so that they can go forward. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fdrlwi (talkcontribs) 19:08, 4 November 2017 (UTC)

If there were statues to tear down on Wikipedia because they hurt people's feelings, such actions would be inconsistent with Wikipedia's mission. We do not remove content about public figures and institutions from articles because it makes people feel bad or is an impediment to their moving forward, as a matter of policy. If you want to improve the article for the sake of the institution's future, the best thing you could do is find recent news coverage of Golden Key that discusses their more recent history and attempts to build a better organization out of their past struggles. Since your recent edits, and the justification you give here, are fairly plainly in contravention of the guidelines at WP:PROMO, it is likely that I or another interested editor will revert them soon. Chubbles (talk) 19:24, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
Fdrlwi, I encourage you to take a look at that guideline - WP:PROMO, especially #5 in that section - to see why the edits you've made and the justification you've given here are fundamentally incompatible with the Wikipedia project. If you believe the article as it stood before your edits was too negative, we can talk about possible changes here in this forum, but please talk before editing. Blanking out the criticism section entirely is borderline vandalism, since the information is not irrelevant, as you have alleged. I look forward to talking with you here about needed changes before further edits are made to the article space. Chubbles (talk) 00:20, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
Fdrlwi, your most recent revert of Duffbeerforme, without comment (other than "outdated material", which I have at length explained is not a valid reason to wholesale rewrite the article), indicates that you are editwarring, and that you may not be here to write an encyclopedia. Your edits are not constructive, and I am far from the only person who has noticed it. I will revert your changes and ask you once more to discuss here before making further changes to the page. If you continue unilaterally restoring the promotional rewrite, I will have no choice but to pursue administrative action. Chubbles (talk) 05:50, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
User:Fdrlwi appears to have created a new account for the sole benefit of editing this page. User:Be347863 is making precisely the same edits as User:Fdrlwi and the account creation is very recent. This will be your only warning, if another account makes the same edits, I will have to assume that they are sockpuppets and open a CheckUser investigation. Also, on a side note, if the section says history, I don't think "updating it for up-to-date information" exists. Dark-World25 (talk) 07:37, 5 November 2017 (UTC)

If I'm in an edit-war, then Chubbles it looks like you probably are also. And who is to say who is right or wrong, yes, I undo because I believe you are just trying to keep trouble stirred up. And outdated is outdated. Who are the administrators of Wikipedia anyway? And who gets to decided what one page must say. I think there is enough negative information in this world without posting things that have no bearing on today. And another thing, I don't know who Be347863 is. And other than the undo I did last night, these other things happened while I was sleeping. Unlike some who must have nothing else to do and stay up all hours no matter their timezone, I don't. But I will revert as often as I'm able because I believe my voice should be heard and that there is nothing wrong with my words. And as for talking, you don't want to talk and explain why you think negative information should stay or why you are the one that is fighting this battle. I believe in right and wrong but I also believe that things are not always so black and white and that you have an ulterior motive and these other guys are probably friends of yours, if not you yourself, and are helping you to keep from breaking the rule you are so fond of posting on my page that I'm breaking. Maybe if you were honest about things instead of hiding, then we might really have a discussion and see if things couldn't be different. So please don't accuse me of being someone other than who I am. And what are sockpuppets anyway? — Preceding unsigned comment added by fdrlwi (talkcontribs)

Great, let's talk. So, administrators are like "janitors" here; they clean up and moderate things using tools granted to them after a long record of responsible editing. You can read about it at WP:ADMIN. We decide what a page must say according to a few rules; pages need to include verifiable, reliably sourced, and neutral information. I believe that the past has bearing on today, and Wikipedians in general hew to this stance; the history of notable things is as important to explaining them as is describing their current state. A "sockpuppet" is a secondary account that people sometimes use to game Wikipedia systems, in order to pretend that they have more support than they actually do. As you can see from their own editing histories (which are public), all of the editors involved in this discussion have been around a long time and edit independently, except you (who started only a few days ago and have edited only one page) and Be347863 (who did nothing but restore your changes). Thus the suspicion - but it may be pure accident, and no one has opened any official proceedings about it yet. If you believe I am edit-warring, you will see that I have spent a great deal of time trying to explain my reasoning to you here before acting, after which time you typically act and then (sometimes) talk. Your strategy is the exact opposite of the way Wikipedians recommend editing when there is a dispute over content (please see WP:BRD). That's a lot to take in, but you are moving very quickly here; perhaps you may want to take some time to familiarize yourself with established Wikipedia guidelines and policies before continuing to edit this page. Chubbles (talk) 16:52, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
Fdrlwi, I believe I have directly and meticulously attempted to answer to your concerns here, point by point. Will you pay me the same courtesy and continue the dialogue? Chubbles (talk) 21:51, 5 November 2017 (UTC)

Explanations - I'm really trying[edit]

Can someone please explain why User:Duffbeerforme removed a comment that I made about the Better Business Bureau's rating of Golden Key and sourced it with the location of where they have it on their page. What is a reliable source if not from them and how am I suppose to put positive things on the page if everyone keeps removing them? If this simple thing can't be added then what exactly can be? This was a positive comment about the organization. Fdrlwi

I guess there might be some question as to whether a BBB rating constitutes promotional material, but they're independent auditors, in my understanding. Anyone know if there's been a general discussion about the appropriateness of BBB ratings in articles? If we're going to include this information, sourcing it from BBB's own site seems just as good as from a third-party site, as far as I'm concerned; the BBB site would be more regularly updated, anyway - but there might be further question as to whether, if no third-party source has mentioned the rating, it's a noteworthy enough distinction to mention at all. Duffbeerforme, any further thoughts? Chubbles (talk) 01:23, 9 November 2017 (UTC)
Wikipedia should reflect what has been covered in independent reliable sources. Not cherry picked primary sourced factoids selected by promoters of organisations. What makes this rating at this time that significant? It wasn't reported on by the news or anyone. Wikipedia is not a current business listing. . duffbeerforme (talk) 07:57, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

Someone please tell me how you are suppose to source something from a third party if there is no third party. And just why the actual source of something is not significant enough to be listed. People go to the Better Business Bureau for many reasons to check out businesses or organizations. And since they give a rating and people use this rating to gauge many different aspects of the entity why it is not a reliable source. I keep getting my statement removed and I'm trying to show people that check out the Wikipedia page that the Organization is a different one from what the negative publicity from so many years ago show as a negative. Hopefully someone out there will explain. It looks like to me that user:duffbeerforme has a reason but will not say why they want to keep Golden Key as a negative organization when they actually do so much good. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fdrlwi (talkcontribs) 18:52, 2 December 2017 (UTC)

I think you got an explanation already. Duffbeerforme already responded to you immediately above this. You can debate with him on the merits of his reasoning, if you want...or you could go and find independent media coverage of Golden Key to improve the article. Chubbles (talk) 19:10, 2 December 2017 (UTC)

Members List[edit]

First of all, to be fair, the reference on John Holmes was horrible. The reference says that a student who lived across the hall who didn't want to be identified identified him as Golden Key. If Ahouska had challenged the reference, I would have been fine with the removal.

I would accept replacement of the info with what is in : Honoraries include Desmond Tutu, Elie Wiesel and Bill Clinton.Naraht (talk) 21:46, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

I won't defend the third-hand source further. However, I think taking it directly from Golden Key's website is inevitably going to suffer from PROMO and SELFPUB problems; they are only going to selectively list members that burnish their legacy. Furthermore, they treat people who joined on account of their scholarship and people they gave honorary awards to the same way, which, I think, further calls into question the reliability of the primary source of their own website. What is the function of a member list - if it is only a select few of the most famous, it's rather arbitrarily promotional, and if it is a comprehensive list, we'd have WP:NOTDIR problems, given that it could grow to thousands of notable people. We could build a memberlist from scratch using only third-party sources (I think I removed one decent external source), but even those are probably sourced from Golden Key's own unreliable records. So I'm suspicious of the value of such a list at all. Chubbles (talk) 23:04, 15 February 2018 (UTC)