A four year college or university that meets the following minimal requirements is invited to apply for a charter in Sigma Delta Pi:
- The institution must be in good standing, unconditionally approved by a regional accrediting association;
- Must offer at least twenty-four hours, or the equivalent, of Spanish courses.
- Must nominate three or more students for active charter membership who meet the following basic requirements:
- They must have completed at least three years, or the equivalent, of college Spanish, including at least three semester hours of a third-year course in Hispanic literature or Hispanic culture and civilization. Those students enrolled in these courses are eligible for membership if the instructor will certify that their work is a B quality or better;
- Their grades in all Spanish courses must average at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale;
- They must rank in the upper 35% of their class (sophomore, junior, senior) or in cases where an institution does not record class rank, maintain a 3.20 cumulative GPA;
- They must have completed at least three semesters or five quarters of college work;
- They must show genuine interest in things Hispanic and be of good moral character.
If the above conditions are met, the faculty member interested in establishing a chapter at his/her school should complete the official Charter Petition Form. The application must be accompanied by the following:
- Official statements of approval and support from the departmental chairman and the academic dean or president of the institution;
- The name of a faculty member who is willing to serve as sponsor of the chapter and the names of any faculty members who are proposed for honorary membership. Customarily, members of the teaching staff are admitted as honorary members, a distinction which may also be extended to outstanding teachers of Spanish in neighboring community colleges and schools;
- A list of students who are proposed for charter membership together with their registrar-certified, current academic transcripts;
- An agreement to support the Society loyally, to conform to its regulations, and maintain its standards;
- The $75 application processing fee (check or money order made out to “Sigma Delta Pi”; major credit cards also accepted);*
- A hard or e-copy (web address) of the institution’s current catalog.
The petition for a chapter should be forwarded, properly completed and with all accompanying documentation, to the Executive Director, Dr. Mark P. Del Mastro. After careful review of the application and supporting materials, the Executive Director will send his recommendation to Dr. Lucy F. Lee, National President, who in turn will send essential information to the Executive Council for approval, a process that normally takes two weeks. If the petition is approved, a name will be given to the new chapter and the sponsor notified. The Executive Director will subsequently send the new chapter a start-up packet containing the ceremony ritual and additional information necessary for the installation of the chapter. The Executive Director in conjunction with the proposed chapter adviser may ask a chapter adviser or regional Vice-President from a nearby institution to officiate at the installation ceremony. This step will be necessary if there is no Sigma Delta Pi member available in the college community to assist with the ceremony.
Once the new chapter has been authorized, the sponsor must forward to the Executive Director, well in advance of the installation date, the initiation fee for each candidate, including the honorary members, using the official order form (the order form and accompanying payment SHOULD NOT be sent until the National President formally approves the charter petition). The membership fee is waived for a sponsor who is not already a member of Sigma Delta Pi. The fee provides lifetime membership, a gold pin and a membership certificate. The Executive Director will forward these items as soon as the consolidated payment is received. For further questions, please contact Professor Del Mastro.
*Effective July 1, 2020, the application processing fee will increase to $100. If a chapter changes the planned date of the installation ceremony after the National Office has already printed the charter, then an additional fee equal to the application fee must be paid by the chapter to cover expenses for another canvas.