After the names of student and alumni members of the Second Society of Stewards were released through the exposure of an internal message exchange and public tax returns Tuesday night, reactions of university officials have remained largely silent while reactions from stewards have been mixed.
While University Spokeswoman Stacy Kerr withheld comment on the university’s policy regarding secret societies, Center for Student Programs Director Erika Cohen Derr sent a mid-afternoon email to Georgetown University Student Association executive hopefuls urging them to “keep the spirit of theGUSA presidency and vice presidency in mind” and remember that they are “Georgetown students first and foremost.”
GUSA presidential candidate Jack Appelbaum (COL ’14) responded to Shavonnia Corbin Johnson (SFS ’14) and Joe Vandegriff’s (COL ’14) retraction of their cross-endorsement of Appelbaum’s ticket, which Corbin Johnson and Vandegriff announced after learning of Appelbaum’s membership in the Stewards.
“I respect Shavonnia and Joe — they’re great student leaders on this campus and I respect whatever decision they want to make. They run a great, clean campaign, and I respect whatever they want to do,” Appelbaum said.
Appelbaum and running mate Maggie Cleary (COL ’14) are still encouraging their supporters to rank Corbin Johnson and Vandegriff as their second choice.
Tyler Sax (COL ’13), a 2012 GUSA presidential candidate, has been a member of the Stewards for one year, joining after he was already involved in GUSA. He said he does not see the leak as significant.
“I think it tries to make a big issue out of something that’s not a big issue. It’s sort of sad to see someone would go to these lengths to make a big deal out of something,” Sax said. “I’m incredibly proud of the way Jack has handled himself. It shows character, though it’s unfortunate that this unfolded at this time.”
Jake Sticka (COL ’13) confirmed his membership in the Stewards but declined to comment further.
Russell Smith (COL ’98), spokesman for the Stewards, declined to comment on the leak itself or the reaction on campus, but emphasized that all tax records leaked were, in fact, public documents.
“We try to keep our affairs private. We, like a lot of groups, do a good job of that, but these things happen,” Smith said.
Smith affirmed his support of the Stewards’ mission and its members.
“I think it’s an organization that allows me to serve Georgetown in a diverse and imaginative way, and I think it is a collection of people who are the finest people I know in the world,” Smith said.
Other alumni and undergraduate members of the Stewards did not respond to requests for comment.