I miss college.
No, that's not quite right. College was irritating and a waste of time and money. Sorry, mom.
I miss being IN college. I miss hanging out with the SFS. Sure, I miss my friends, but I miss hanging out in the wedge or octagon even more.
This got me thinking. And when I start thinking, I start doing research. So I read up on clubs, then communities, then cults. I came to a simple conclusion.
Save for a few small details, the WPI SFS was a cult.
That's not bad, really. There were at least three religious cults operating in WPI while I was there, and I'm sure my oblivious self wasn't aware of several more. None of them were evil, irritating, or dangerous in any way. That, of course, doesn't mention the many other cults such as successful frats, Apple owners, Harley owners, Linux nuts, otaku, goths, and all of the other communities which inspire such fanatical devotion.
The SFS didn't really inspire fanatical devotion openly. But it did a lot of really incredible things which made it hella fun. In the next few posts, I will outline the methods the SFS took to make being in it so much fun, and point out the weaknesses and limits they caused by not really understanding what they were doing.
The Science Fiction Society at WPI peaked during my stay. Not because of me, but during my stay, nevertheless. Before my stay, it was underpopulated, back to the early years of the nineties. I've heard that it is beginning to fade again, now that I am gone. Again, not BECAUSE I am gone, just at the same time.
In fact, if I had to pin the blame on one person for the success of the SFS, it would be two-time president Mike Wixon. Mike was smart, friendly, and fun... but that's not why the SFS succeeded. It succeeded because Mike was a natural-born socialite, and when he ascended to presidency, he backed any and all attempts to be social.
But first I'll explain what the policies and activities were like before him. That way, we can clearly see what the changes he backed wrought.
Also, it is a little unfair to say "Mike did it". Many of the ideas and fervor were not Mike's. Noah, for example, caused untold socializing. But Mike always backed others to the hilt, so he both took advantage of and caused further burgeoning of social ideas.
Before I start: Why am I focusing on social stuff? Social stuff is the core of every successful cult. Read on, and see my theories! They're full of nouget.