Once Upon a Time.....
The first week of October marked the first inkling that something very important was going to happen at Bowling Green State University. I was called into President Prout's office and given an enveloped by his secretary. I was told not to mention getting this message to anyone.
It read, "Under no circumstances are you to reveal the contents of this to anyone. After you have memorized its contents, you are to destroy it completely. At precisely 12:45 a.m. Saturday, October 5, 1946, you are to report to the Office of the University President in the Administration Building, making certain that you are seen by no one."
I contemplated the unsigned letter as being (a) a fraternity prank, (b) a girl who didn't live on campus who wanted to meet me, or (c) an invitation to be robbed and/or murdered. But it was on official University stationery, so I memorized the date and time and destroyed it. I was surprised to see six other men in the room: Richard Harig, Rev. James Stoner, Ervin (Erv) Potts, Earl Mort, Gilbert (Gil) Fox, Max Hofmeister!
We all found our chairs and quickly noted that the draperies had been pulled shut. At this point, we were still wondering why we had been called there with such secrecy.
President Prout discussed the need for an anonymous booster organization to promote more campus spirit. Six students in the office were selected by the president from a copy of The Key (the university yearbook).
We all agreed that secrecy was the key thing in making such a group unique and we knew we had to come up quickly with a name. The motto SICSIC was born.
After many suggestions, it was decided to use the campus public address system which was built atop the Practical Arts Building (now Hayes Hall). The formation of SICSIC would be announced at 3 a.m. and the students who were awake would be urged to support the football game which Bowling Green would play later on that day.
"In strictest confidence and secrecy we pledge ourselves to SICSIC . As charter members of this secret society, we will do all in our power to help make Bowling Green State University a better place by promoting school spirit and good will among the students and faculty. October 5, 1946, 2:35 a.m.
The Constitution of SICSIC
- The name of this organization which has been organized to promote campus spirit shall be called SICSIC . The name is spelled as one word in capital letters, with a line above and below it.
- The group, which promotes spirit among both students and faculty, was founded at Bowling Green State University on October 5, 1946. Charter members were Richard Harig and Ervin Potts, 1947; Gilbert Fox and Earl Mort, 1948, and Max Hofmeister and James Limbacher, 1949. Frank J. Prout became its first honorary member.
- Members of SICSIC remain anonymous from the time they are pledged to the group at the end of their freshman year until they are revealed at the Honors Day Ceremony in their senior year. The adviser shall be a member of the faculty or administration and remains anonymous during his advisership.
- Membership in SICSIC is limited to two members in each of the three upper classes. The new members can be tapped at the end of their freshman year and pledged at the beginning of their sophomore year. Members are chosen by the active members of the group and every student is eligible. There is no racial or religious discrimination is SICSIC .
- If the identity of a SICSIC member is discovered and revealed to the campus, or any part thereof, the member gives up his right to membership and a new member is immediately pledged to take his place.
- Meetings, banquets and initiations always shall be held in secret.
- Correspondence to the group may be directed to the office of the President of the University or to an alumni member.
- Any alteration to the tenets of the SICSIC organizations must be approved by a majority of the active and alumni member of said organization.
THE CHARTER MEMBERS OF SICSIC
The coveralls and masks came later and were very important to maintain secrecy. Sometimes members would swap masks and change their disguises at one of their secret locations and drive a university car in order to discourage possible identification. No one seems to remember why they picked red and black paint to make their signs (probably because they were available) and who thought of SICSIC SEZ as their theme. But they started putting up signs as soon as the announcement was made. The signs usually asked the students to see that the opposition of coming sports events be "eliminated,""vanquished,""debilitated", "purged," "slaughtered" or some other such dramatic words.
The above provided by: James L Limbacher
The group is still comprised of six involved and active individuals from the BGSU community and tradition of the BGSU Spirit Crew, that was started over 60 years ago, remains very active today. New members are chosen during the end of their freshmen year in order to replace that year's graduating seniors. The annual "unmasking" of the 2 Seniors members typically takes place during January or February.