Despite a lack of official university funding, the revocation of its SAC charter and leadership crises, the Southern Society will organize several events this semester for Southerners and South-aficionados.

For over 15 years, the club that goes by the motto of “Hoyas by choice, Southerners by the grace of God,” has offered Southern students a means of staying connected to the traditions they left at home. It also aims to give the general Georgetown community the chance to appreciate and learn about Southern history, culture and diversity.

The loss of its senior leadership and a drop in involvement left the group almost inactive last fall. The Southern Society also was cut from the list of Student Activities Commission-sponsored clubs after they failed to present a budget for this academic year. The society had its charter revoked and lost all access to official funding, advertising privileges and the right to use the Georgetown name.

The club is determined to not let its unofficial status prevent it from growing or hosting  events however.

“It has forced us to be self-funded and informal but has also made us more creative in terms of fundraising and recruiting,” society board member Tyler Sax (COL ’13) said.

The club has been busily building a word of mouth campaign through Facebook and email since members are unable to flyer on campus. In addition, the group is selling Southern Society T-shirts to raise money and build buzz on campus.

The society plans to broaden the scope of its activities as well as regain SAC funding.

“In the past, our events were mainly cultural and social, but we’re hoping to expand our focus to networking with Southern alumni associations and recruiting new students by helping to spread interest in Georgetown throughout the Southern states,” explained Mary Willis (COL ’13), a society board member.

The Southern Society is also determined not to neglect its core traditions, including holding crawfish boils and barbecues, gathering to watch SEC football games and attending the Foxfield Races in Charlottesville, N.C., in April.

Members have differing opinions on what attracts people to the society.

“It can sometimes be an ‘I miss home’ reaction,” Willis said. “Personally it would have been a lot tougher staying connected to what I grew up [with] without the people I’ve met.”

“Home state clubs are great to have around campus, especially one as diverse and international as Georgetown,” Abigail Smith (SFS ’13) added. “Being surrounded by so many different backgrounds and cultures and trying so many new things, it’s sometimes easy to forget your roots.”

In addition, members pride themselves on bringing a bit of Southern flavor to a campus that can seem dominated by the Northeast.

“We all know the misconception some people from the North have of southern culture, that it’s all deep fried food and NASCAR,” Smith said. “Southern Society is a fun way to correct the stereotype.”

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