Applications to THE TEN due March 10, 2010 at 10 a.m.

The inaugural application process shall commence immediately and shall have a deadline of 10 a.m. on MARCH 10, 2010. After the passing of one week, all applicants will receive a notice of admission or denial from THE TEN. Applications to THE TEN must include one’s full name, one’s resume, and one’s answer to a question of one’s choice, and will be judged on the basis of holistic merit, bold creativity, and evident passion. Applications will be destroyed after notices are given, and must be completed in secret and pledged as such per the University’s honor code. Applications, questions, and concerns should be sent to the10men.uva@gmail.com, and will be responded to promptly.

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Elitism practiced rightly?

What does it mean when THE TEN claim to practice elitism rightly? Simply put:

It is THE TEN’s acknowledgment that some members of society and the University community are better than other individuals. As non-politically correct as it is to say, some students are more deserving and possess greater overall merit.

The reclamation of elitism on Grounds is necessary because the banner of elitism has been taken up not by those most deserving scholars and creative thinkers, but by a sea of mostly uneducated-sounding, party-going fratstars and sorostitutes, not to mention a growing number of toolish representatives from a wide swath of various groups, councils, and committees. THE TEN have nothing against members of the Greek system or of other organizations who uphold the values and ideals claimed as part of those bodies. Rather, THE TEN stand opposed to all things born out of untruth and deception. Elitism practiced rightly, therefore, is elitism based on actual intellectual ability, raw creativity, and philosophical awareness of man’s existential condition. It is elitism based on HONOR, and it is elitism based on TRUTH. The elitism of organizations who claim to engage in service activities — but decidedly do not — or of those organizations who claim to work hours upon hours for the good of the student body — but decidedly do not — is not THE TEN’s elitism of choice, nor is it that to which we aspire.

Do you understand — no, embrace — such an ideal? If so, complete an application today and submit to the10men.uva@gmail.com.

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An open letter to Mr. Laushway

Mr. Francis Laushway
Associate Dean of Students
University of Virginia

Dear Mr. Laushway,

It was at the beckoning of a friend that I write you today, for he told me you had a delightful habit of enjoying the University’s many rich traditions. And so, in the interest of furthering one of this fine Jeffersonian institution’s most recognizable legacies — that is, of secret societies — it is my pleasure to introduce myself as a representative of THE TEN.

Who are THE TEN? Apart from the obvious fact that to reveal our identity would be severely frowned upon at best, THE TEN are an elite group of students organized under the banner of preserving student self-governance, rewarding traditions, and “elitism practiced rightly.” Over the past several decades, these three aspects that once composed the VIRGINIAN GENTLEMAN have withered and been perverted by an adherence to higher education’s norms and a growing segment of the University body that by and large rejects the aforementioned ideals in favor of something more along the lines of “what is socially popular.” Fraternities and sororities near Grounds are fallen enterprises, hollow shells of the values and honorable aspects they only claim to espouse. At the same time, the Honor Committee has been threatened by students who simply don’t understand the concept of HONOR above all else — while Student Council has become a safe haven for the lowest sort of politicking and toolish behavior. Elsewhere, students mostly reject the idea of elitism, not to mention the idea of “pride.”

But what we speak of is not an elitism of money, or of the type that rewards less qualified students with Lawn rooms, or of the type that is hurtful toward underrepresented or minority groups. We are not your usual secret society, and so the elitism we wish to protect and to engender is not your usual elitism, either. This elitism is one based on uncompromising insight and imagination; on determination and raw competitiveness; and on a zeal for protecting the mission of the University and the old traditions of HONOR, respect, devotion, and revolutionary action. Whereas some secret societies make it their goal to provide generous but cloaked philanthropy, THE TEN have at our core a simple meritocratic philosophy. We reward those who impress us, and we will make known those who fail.

Perhaps the most significant difference between THE TEN and other secret societies, therefore, is that out of this emphasis on meritocracy and competition comes the only provision for membership: A student-submitted essay and resume. We do not “tap” students; students join us should they prove worthy. The essay is not a complex one — when we release information about THE TEN to the student body in the very near future, the application shall read something like…

“The inaugural application process shall commence immediately and shall have a deadline of 10 a.m. on MARCH 10, 2010. After the passing of one week, all applicants will receive a notice of admission or denial from THE TEN. Applications to THE TEN must include one’s full name, one’s resume, and one’s answer to a question of one’s choice, and will be judged on the basis of holistic merit, bold creativity, and evident passion. Applications will be destroyed after notices are given, and must be completed in secret and pledged as such per the University’s honor code. Applications, questions, and concerns should be sent to the10men.uva@gmail.com, and will be responded to promptly.”

The reason we have contacted you is to perhaps aid us in our mission, not in joining, but in perhaps helping us to find a way to spread the news of our coming to the University community. We do not wish for recognition, but we are constantly on the lookout for a means to better connect with potential members. As you are a fervent proponent of many University traditions, THE TEN could think of no better professor/administrator than you to provide feedback about our goals and how we could reach out through the University’s mailing lists and student groups.

Within two weeks, another email and notice will be sent detailing the arrival of THE TEN on Grounds. For now, we wish you only the best.

10

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