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Honor Society email scam preys on students

Photo+credit%3A+Diego+Ramirez
Photo credit: Diego Ramirez

Photo credit: Diego Ramirez

Photo credit: Diego Ramirez

Grayson Boyer

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Chico State students have been barraged with a series of emails asking them to pay into an “Honor Society,” a money grabbing scheme that is a bold-faced lie, scamming struggling undergrads into giving away money.

Most students by now are familiar with the highly stylized emails they’ve been receiving. There’s an urgency to the emails as they warn students that their “deadline to activate membership is approaching.” That urgency lasts until a new email comes with an extended deadline.

The emails are enticing because they look professional and convincing. They have the money to keep up these appearances because, according to their website, they are asking $100 a year to remain a standing member.

This is in sharp contrast to other, legitimate, honors societies on campus. Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honors society, asks for $20 a year to maintain membership and these are fees can be negated with volunteer hours or participation in leadership roles.

The money is not the only sharp contrast between the “Honor Society” and other organizations on campus: The Honors Society cannot be found on the list of certified groups and is not recognized by Chico State in any form.

It becomes more obvious that the Honor’s Society is an attempt to simply steal money from students upon examination of their requirements: they have none. The emails they send out claim that the recipient has met the requirements for the Honor Society, but according to their website, there is no true academic bar for membership.

Honor Society runs off a tiered program, where they give membership rankings depending on GPA.

According to Honorsociety.org, Honor Society offers certain benefits to members, such as discounts on various services, but these benefits by no means make them an actual honors society. They also offer various regalia for graduation, but of course, that costs extra. To even get a certificate showing that you’re a member costs $10.

Paying $100 dollars a year for what is essentially coupons is different from joining an elite organization that recognizes you for your academic excellence and is supported both by the school and in national chapters.

College students are a somewhat naïve and easy target. To all the students reading this article, do not take that as an insult. Students are hopeful, there is an innate belief in the good of people and in the good of mankind. Students want to believe that there is a society out there to help them and uplift them, so they can manifest themselves into the person they want to be.

It’s the scam artists like the Honor Society that drain our youth of their optimism and drag them into the pessimism that rots away at our society. Many economically struggling students looking to improve their situation in life would jump at the opportunity to join something presented as so prestigious and exclusive, and instead, are abused by a perversion of capitalism that preys on the less fortunate.

To the students that have already signed up for their program, their refund policy lasts 60 days and can be found on their website. To the students looking to enrich their academic life, there is a plethora of wonderful clubs, extracurricular groups, and honors societies in Chico State that would love to have such a tenacious scholar.

Grayson Boyer can be reached at the [email protected] or @gray_boyer on Twitter.

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Honor Society email scam preys on students