The Sons and Daughters of Liberty published their annual list of “Rebels and Tyrants” before midnight April 12.
The group, founded in 2003, is a semi-secret society that keeps its membership secret until final exercises. The “Rebels” are mentioned in praise while the “Tyrants” are criticized.
“Whereas these Rebels have upheld the highest standard of liberty and have valiantly decried Tyranny whenever encountered, crafting the University into a bastion of Freedom; Whereas these Tyrants have made attempts to undermine the Cause, be it the Cause of Happyness [sic], Freedom or Righteousness, through acts of Tyranny,” the proclamation reads.
Each year, the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society and its president appear on the list of tyrants. This semester’s president, third-year College student Henry Knight, was listed as the society’s “Head Court Jester.”
“The rivalry between the two groups goes back, as far as I know, as long as the Sons and Daughters have been around,” Knight said in an email statement. “Every year on the night before Thomas Jefferson’s birthday they attempt to ‘prank’ Jefferson Hall on the range — typically with flower, glitter and other relatively harmless substances — while the members of the society defend the hall.”
The other tyrants listed are Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces, Sweater Vests as Tank Tops, James Franco, the line at Roots ‘Natural’ Kitchen (quotation marks theirs), Derby Days, “Kwonald,” fourth-year Batten student Collin Campbell, fourth-year Commerce student Robert Alexander Spears and Sippers and Smokers.
“Kwonald” refers to fourth-year College student Andrew Kwon and fourth-year Batten student Donald Fryar, president and vice-president of the Class of 2016, respectively.
Honor referenda options 1 and 2 were also listed as tyrants.
Those listed as rebels this year are History Prof. Gary Gallagher, Environmental Sciences Prof. Dave Smith, basketball player and fourth-year Curry student Caid Kirven, third-year College student Muhamad Mo Khalid, fourth-year College students Eric Leimkuhler, Jacob Woodroof and Stephen Scipione, fourth-year Architecture student Love Jonson, fourth-year Nursing student Nicole Burkhardt and fourth-year Curry student Ana Mendelson. Burkhardt and Jonson’s names were misspelled on the list.
Scipione was the president of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity at the time of the publication of Rolling Stone’s now-retracted article “A Rape on Campus,” in which University student “Jackie” alleged a gang rape took place at the Phi Psi house.
“Some of my students mentioned this to me in class this morning, and I had to admit to them … that I had never heard of the Sons and Daughters of Liberty and had no idea about this annual list,” Gallagher said in an email statement. “The students told me this is a secret society — which exist in such profusion at U.Va. that I never have attempted to keep them all straight.”
Woodroof said when he found out, his roommate told him he was labelled a tyrant, but he was relieved to find out it was a misunderstanding and that he was actually on the list of rebels.
“It took me incredibly by surprise, and the note they gave to me was really something encouraging and heartwarming,” Woodroof said in an email statement. “It is humbling and an honor to be listed, for sure, and even though I'm not entirely sure why I was picked, it really means a lot to me.”
Jonson also said she was honored to be labelled as a rebel.
“There are, of course, countless others who could have been listed for their contributions,” Jonson said in an email statement. “But I hope the listing can in some way shed light on the amazing people I've been fortunate to work with during my time at U.Va.”
Johnson has worked with groups such as the U.Va. Community Garden, the Materials Working Group of the University Committee on Sustainability, the Student Council Sustainability Committee and the Urban and Environmental Planning Department.
The other rebels include cajun bacon cheesy fries from St. Maarten’s, “Wheely Kid” and Middle Tennessee State.
“Horse Rights” received an honorable mention as a “rebel.”