This past fall, Sigma Delta Pi’s chapters continued to be very active with both remote and in-person initiations of new members and various creative activities. As we continue to innovate during the ongoing pandemic, and as you plan your chapter’s activities in the new year of 2022, please remember these important resources and opportunities:
As we collectively face a new academic year with ongoing challenges due to COVID-19, we must also prepare strategically and thoughtfully to ensure we can sustain opportunities for our students in the future, to include membership for ALL qualifying students, worthwhile activities that reflect the mission of our Society, and continued engagement with our members and campus communities throughout the 2020-21 academic year.
This past spring, many chapters delayed initiating new members until the fall with hopes that “normal” campus activities would resume and face-to-face induction ceremonies would again be feasible. However, we all recognize now that such “normalcy” as many had hoped is not yet a reality.
What to do?: Plan on a regular schedule of activities, even if they must be remote due to social distancing protocols and/or an online semester.
If your chapter delayed a spring 2020 initiation of new members or only inducted graduating seniors this past spring: Plan an initiation, even if virtual, of ALL qualifying members in early September (or earlier!). This will refortify your chapter membership base and sustain the vitality of both your chapter and the national organization.
Plan multiple initiation ceremonies, one in fall and one in spring, to provide ample opportunities to all your qualifying students: Holding two ceremonies will help rebuild your chapter and help provide more students the opportunities that Sigma Delta Pi membership provides.
What guidance can you provide for virtual chapter activities, to include a virtual initiation ceremony? Below is a recently approved policy to guide you with your virtual planning.
Please find the following information to assist with membership dues payments this spring and until further notice:
First, Sigma Delta Pi can send membership materials to your home or university address. Under the shipping section on the order form, simply indicate your preference.
Generally, Sigma Delta Pi does not accept payment from individual students as it will overburden the national office, and because we rely on chapter advisers to confirm membership qualifications at the chapter level. However, some chapters are facing challenges with the collection of membership dues from students who are no longer on campus. Some options:
If willing, the chapter adviser can create a Venmo or Paypal account. Students appear to be very comfortable with this technology and can send the adviser membership payment ($25) directly. After payments are made the adviser can then place a Sigma Delta Pi order (that will need to include $10 or $35 for shipping) on our website. Click HERE for ORDER FORM.
If you are unable to create an account, Sigma Delta Pi will accept Venmo payments from students directly. If you choose to take advantage of this, please do the following:
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know you plan to have students send us payment directly. Include a complete list of students’ full names and emails. Without this information, we cannot accept payments directly from students.
Include in the email to students a deadline for payment and the payment amount for new membership ($25)
The Venmo account the student should use is: @SDPNational. The name associated with the account is “SDP National”.
The following logo is associated with the account:
Instruct students to include their name, email address and university when making payments. Sigma Delta Pi must know the names of those submitting payments and chapter affiliation.
Once payments from all the candidates have been received OR the deadline has been reached, Sigma Delta Pi will email the adviser with instructions for completing the order.
Please keep in mind that shipping and handling charges ($10 or $35 for express) must be paid. This payment can be made by the adviser using Venmo (please include your name, university, email and the address you wish us to ship to) or our online ORDER FORM (enter “0” for memberships and select desired shipping option.
As Sigma Delta Pi begins an untested method of payment, your patience will be appreciated.
It has been true through our 100-year history, the strength of our organization lies with the dedication of our chapter advisers and members. We are grateful that many of you have reached out with questions, concerns and creative suggestions. Please continue that communication with us.
With more colleges/universities transitioning to e-learning due to COVID-19, your chapter of Sigma Delta Pi will likely need to plan for remote induction of new members this spring.
Some suggestions to prepare:
Prior to the remote ceremony
Order and prepare ceremony materials to include membership packets (pins and certificates) and appropriate ceremony table items for display; a small desk/table in an office will suffice for this purpose.
Schedule the virtual ceremony in a space that has internet access and an operable webcam.
Work with your institution’s IT department to determine best software for video conferencing with multiple users: Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc. Once determined, do a test run with the software prior to your ceremony.
Confirm that your student candidates for membership have access to the selected software and are familiar with its use. Provide them with details related to the scheduled ceremony such as access instructions.
Display a Sigma Delta Pi poster or banner behind you during the video ceremony to reinforce the nature of the event.
Due to the special nature of the video ceremony, you may wish to use the “formula abreviada” of the Ritual (click here for access); to access the ritual, use the password: 1919. Be sure to review the Ritual prior to executing the remote ceremony and make small adjustments as necessary since many of the F2F practices cannot be managed remotely: e.g., sitting in a semi-circle, retrieving membership items, signing the registry.
Prepare the membership certificates per the instructions included in the mailing.
During the ceremony
As done with the F2F ceremonies, play some appropriate Hispanic music in the background (e.g., classical guitarist Andrés Segovia)
When reading the name of each initiate, hold up their printed certificate in front of the webcam along with a membership pin.
After the ceremony
Plan to either mail the membership certificates and pins to the students, or arrange for their retrieval when your institution resumes F2F classes. In many cases, mailing might be the only reasonable option.
Work with your marketing/public relations department to announce as appropriate the video induction of your new members.
For those video-inducted members who will eventually return to campus, arrange an appropriate reception in the department to recognize their Sigma Delta Pi membership.
Remind all students who are inducted remotely, and all involved with this important recognition, that despite the unique modality of the initiation, their membership is no less meaningful than those initiated before them. All Sigma Delta Pi members satisfy the same high national criteria, and being confirmed for membership is an honor that ALL current members of the Society share equally as well as share the same available benefits afforded to ALL Sigma Delta Pi members: https://sigmadeltapi.org/about/member-benefits/.
Finally, thanks to all of you, our chapter advisers, for your hard work to ensure all qualifying members of Sigma Delta Pi are recognized this spring and despite the hurdles that face us all during this challenging time.
If you have any additional ideas regarding remote induction ceremonies, please feel free to share as we continue to try to provide the best guidance to our chapters and their related activities.
In response to COVID-19 and related challenges, Sigma Delta Pi announces the following:
Induction of new members this spring term and until further notice may be done remotely with video: Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, etc.
Sigma Delta Pi’s national office will remain open and will receive and process orders 7 days per week, as is customary.
The 73rd Kentucky Foreign Language Conference (April 16-18) has been cancelled, which means that Sigma Delta Pi’s 18th annual Informative Session and 3rd Annual Graduate Research Symposium are also cancelled.
The inaugural “Día de Sigma Delta Pi”/”Sigma Delta Pi Day” will still be celebrated on May 1, 2020.