Columbia does not really have any Secret Societies (unless you count St. A's, which can be pretty $ecretive). If it does, then they're pretty damned secret because no one knows about them. But Columbia does have two very low-profile Senior Societies, the Senior Society of Sachems and the Senior Society of Nacoms, and they're pretty well-hidden from public view. Most students don't even know the societies exist.
Each society taps 15 juniors each year, the Sachems by luring the candidates into an ambush where he or she gets hit in the face with pie, the Nacoms by convincing the candidate that he or she is in trouble.
Society membership tends to reflect powerful student leaders across the campus, and some seats develop 'lineages', passing on from one holder of a leadership position to the next.
Their commitment to secrecy is questionable. 1930s and 40s issues of Spec even list new members on the front page. In 1965, the groups appear to have been hit with a crisis as numerous members resigned. Current members take the secrecy element very seriously, but many alumni put the affiliations on their resumes.
There is some indication that there was a secret society nearer the beginning of Columbia's history, possibly called LNF (but what that stands for is a mystery), but little to nothing is known about it, and if it did exist, it is unlikely that it still does.
Society ring designs
- "Tap! You're It," The Blue and White, October 2006
- Behind the News: Secret Societies, Columbia Spectator, 2 March 1954
- STAFF EDITORIAL: Let There Be Light, Columbia Spectator, 21 April 1954
- "Senior Societies: A Study in Secrecy: Nacoms, Sachems Shroud Activity in Strict 'Privacy,' " Columbia Daily Spectator,' 4 February 1960'
- Senior Societies I Columbia Spectator, 3 March 1965
- Senior Societies II Columbia Spectator, 4 March 1965
- Oxman Scores Political Role Of Societies, Columbia Spectator, 2 May 1961
- "SB Candidates Assess Senior Societies' Role Four Minimize Groups' Influence on Board", Columbia Spectator, 28 April 1961