Scarlet Key, a Boston University alumni honor society, has changed hands in leadership after an administrative decision in the spring 2013 semester, officials said.
The Dean of Students Office handed the Scarlet Key society over to the BU Alumni Association, which originally had jurisdiction over the alumni honor society, said Assistant to the Dean of Students Katherine Cornetta.
“We figured it would make more sense for them [the Alumni Association] to run the whole thing,” she said. “They also have processes in place in their office, they do a lot of ordering of awards and things like that, and they are masters of running selection processes.”
Each year, seniors are nominated by BU faculty and administration and are voted into Scarlet Key by existing members, according to the Dean of Students website. Scarlet Key members are chosen for their academic excellence and exceptional involvement in activities and organizations at BU. Around 80 students are selected each year.
One of the main changes being made by the Alumni Association is moving the Scarlet Key selection process from the spring semester to the fall semester, Cornetta said.
“While students will be inducted at the end of their senior year, they will find out in the next couple of weeks whether they’ll be inducted instead of waiting until April to find out if they’ll be inducted,” she said. “Then they’ll be invited to things throughout the year.”
Dean of Students officials helped to facilitate the transition in leadership in the spring, Cornetta said.
“We were a little worried at first because we weren’t sure how it was going to turn out, but it has turned out so well,” she said. “… I can’t wait to see what they’ve done, and what they’re going to do for alumni weekend and for the induction.”
Director of Alumni Programs and Events Susan Richardson said under the leadership of the Alumni Association, the traditional “tapping” of nominated seniors will take place during Alumni Weekend in the fall semester.
“The candidates that are ‘tapped’ will have opportunities throughout the year to come together as a group for special programming, events and points of engagement, such as panelists and hosts,” she said in an email. “As student leaders, we hope that they will feel connected as Scarlet Key members before leaving campus.”
The Scarlet Key induction ceremony will take place before BU commencement in the spring semester, Richardson said.
“We will continue with the traditions that have already been established such as tapping with the sword,” she said. “During the induction in the spring prior to commencement, each new member will sign the book that all Scarlet Key members have signed for 75 years and receive their Scarlet Key.”
Scarlet Key member Matt Kevin Bae, a 2012 College of Communication graduate, said he did not know that the Scarlet Key was changing hands.
“I was not aware that the Scarlet Key’s leadership was changing hands,” he said. “I will say that, if the award remains largely the same, then I have no problem with the change in leadership.”
Scarlet Key Member Brian DeVito, a 2012 COM graduate, said the DOS and Alumni Association should work with one another.
“It’s an interesting situation,” he said. “While DOS has the best handle in terms of selection, AA has better tools to keep the society robust, as students are inducted only days before receiving their diplomas. Ideally, the offices should work hand-in-hand.”