Secret Societies

Admitting Your Machine Backing Isn’t Courageous

By Mike Smith

Alabama SGA Presidential candidate Jared Hunter dropped a bomb on campus politics after he wrote a piece in The Crimson White acknowledging his Machine backing.

It was a bold, surprising act rarely seen among Machine supported candidates.

The response on social media so far has been a mixture of appreciation and support.

I am here to say that this should stop.

Don’t get my wrong, publicly announcing your Machine backing takes a lot of guts and the honesty Jared displayed should be admired.

But that doesn’t make his actions right.

No matter what is written in a Crimson White column, the fact still stands that The Machine acts as a vehicle for certain Greek students to pad their resume and has systematically oppressed women and minorities for a century.

I will remind you that The Machine has burned crosses on campus lawns, painted swastikas on university sidewalks, and literally physically assaulted an independent presidential candidate.

Jared Hunter is the Machine backed candidate in the SGA election. Photo Credit: Facebook

Within the past decade alone, The Machine has systematically suppressed numerous rape allegations among their members, tossed out FYC applications for black students after labeling them with the N-word, and delayed the racial integration of sororities until 2013.

Being associated with this organization is not something that can be written off in one column.

Read More: Here’s Why The Current State Of Student Government Elections Are Killing American Democracy

Having its support is not a cute, little trivia fact.

Being backed by The Machine is something to be ashamed of.

Lillian Roth getting sworn in as SGA President in 2016. Photo Credit: Lillian Roth/ Facebook

SGA candidate Gene Fulmer. (r). Photo Credit: Trinidad Miller/ Facebook

Over social media, I have heard plenty of people say that admitting to be a Machine candidate takes some real courage.

I vehemently disagree.

It takes real courage for my friends who stay in their Machine sororities even though they have verbally abused, socially ostracized, and personally threatened.

It takes real courage for Lillian Roth (the incumbent and prior Machine backed candidate) to run for re-election even after some of her best friends started working against her.

It takes real courage for Gene Fulmer to run a huge grassroots campaign in the face of two giant competitors.

It doesn’t take real courage to admit something everyone already knew.

Read More: This “Funny Map” Of Tuscaloosa According To An Alabama Student Is Hilarious And Sort Of Spot On

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo: The University of Alabama/ Facebook

WATCH: This Video May Destroy U. Of Florida’s Powerful Secret Society

UPDATE- 1:04 AM EST 2-15-2016

Accusations of corruption in student government at the University of Florida are being put out in the open by a prominent UF student activist who previously helped to perpetuate a notorious secret society on campus.

Sabrina Philipp, a senior at UF was featured in a video detailing her experiences as a leading member of the “system”, a secret organization that helps Greek affiliated students move up in student government and influences actions taken by it.

The “system” is connected to the Florida Blue Key, a prestigious leadership honorary group that operates as a secret society that helps direct student government from the shadows, according to some students.

The UF student newspapers published a detailed expose into the way Florida Blue Key operates in 2012.

From the Independent Florida Alligator 2012 report:

“For students aspiring to hold public office one day, the path seems simple.

Go to UF. Get involved in Student Government. Get tapped to join Florida Blue Key. Make the right connections.

Even students who have no taste for politics yearn to join the prestigious honor society that boasts alumni like former senator and Gov. Bob Graham and current U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.”

According to Not My System, the group that published Philipp’s video on Facebook, “the system” is made up of three different blocs: a political bloc, social bloc, and third bloc.

“Each is led by a bloc leader that represents the interests of various Greek organizations, communicated to them through their house leaders,” Not My System explains on its FB page. “Through massive Greek mobilization and voter suppression, the System has been able to control Student Government at the University of Florida for decades. This System is damaging to everyone involved except for its elite. Students are not given the opportunity to pursue positions based on their merit, but rather must rest on their laurels.”

Despite attempts to expose the “system” in recent years, many have still denied its very existence.

Read More: Anyone Remember When The University Of Alabama Used Bill Cosby To Help Justify Racial Segregation On Its Campus?

But Philipp’s video could prove to be an important moment at UF.

This all comes on the eve of student government elections taking place this week in Gainesville, with the next Student Body President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and 50 senators up for election.

The “system” has drawn comparisons to “The Machine” at the University of Alabama and other secret student organizations that sometimes try to influence college politics.


Student Government at the University of Florida is run behind closed doors and we want to open them.

The System is real. Hear it from someone who was at the top of it. #NotMySystem

Posted by Not My System on Sunday, February 14, 2016


Have a tip about the way “the system” works at the University of Florida? Send us an email to 

Scroll to top