Edmund Burke Society
The Edmund Burke Society is an organization that was founded at Columbia University in 2009. It is loosely modeled after traditional notions of the 18th-century gentlemen's club, as a response to nouveau riche culture. Contrary to popular belief, the Edmund Burke Society is not a political organization. Society meetings, as well as membership, are secret.
Surprisingly, the society is approved by Columbia's Student Governing Board, for reasons unknown. Perhaps it is recognized for its members' academic pursuits, which include intense philosophic debate and the preservation of Western tradition--investment in history, literature, and the arts.
The Edmund Burke Society is founded on the principles set forth by Edmund Burke (1729-1797), the father of conservative philosophy. Burke was a prominent Anglo-Irish statesman, a proponent of the American Revolution, and an opponent of the French Revolution. His letter, Reflections on the Revolution in France, is critical to understanding his views, and is required reading for Contemporary Civilization classes. Burke's thoughts on the preservation of local tradition mirror members' interests, serving as the foundation of the society.
The Edmund Burke Society is known to tap prominent Columbia College scholars, with a preference for those with strong international associations, as well as those with distinct philosophical views. Typically, members are outspoken and extraordinary individuals. Specific criteria for membership is unknown; however, a very limited number of students are tapped each year.
In the spring of 2010, the Edmund Burke Society recruited and compensated minority students to flyer Hamilton Hall with posters that read "Redeunt Saturnia Regna", its motto in Latin. The posters also included an image of the fleur-de-lis, an heraldic emblem.
Rumors of initiation include various rituals, as well as the depletion of large sums of money and other valuable goods.