When I began my membership in Sigma Tau Delta, I was a part of the Sigma Beta Chapter at Chadron State College in Chadron, NE; I served as Vice President and loved being involved at my school. Then life hit like a whirlwind and I was suddenly a transfer student on my way to North Dakota. I moved away from the chapter I knew and scrambled to understand my new one. It was a tremendous change, but I discovered all the tips and tricks that helped me—and that may help you—as I transferred to a new Sigma Tau Delta chapter.
1. Check if your new school has a chapter
Not every college and university has an active Sigma Tau Delta chapter. If you are transferring from a school with a chapter to one without, you are still a lifetime member; however, your participation within the larger Society will be limited. Be sure to check the Chapter Directory and see if there is an active chapter where you are going—remember if there isn’t one, you can always start one!
2. Get to know your new Sponsor
New chapter, new Sponsor! Be sure to take the time out to get to know your new Chapter Sponsor, or Sponsors in some schools, and show your willingness to be involved with your new chapter. Not only was my Sponsor happy about my enthusiasm and eagerness to jump right into my new chapter, she was excited about the ideas I brought regarding what worked and didn’t for my old chapter. We learn best by learning from each other!
3. Have your Sponsor update your status with the Central Office
While you’re talking to your Sponsor, have them contact the Central Office so they know you’ve moved. Otherwise, you belong to your old chapter and that would be an awkward game of “who do I sit with at convention,” don’t you think?
Fun fact: I sat with both!
4. Adjust your expectations
My biggest mistake was expecting my new chapter to be exactly like my old chapter—it wasn’t. However, the differences were not bad, they were just new and learning the unfamiliar system may have come easier to me if I stopped trying to make my new chapter like my previous one. The best thing you can do is assimilate to the fresh experience, learn the ropes, and fit in where you’re needed in your new chapter’s dynamic.
5. Don’t be afraid to take the lead
You may have a situation where you transferred from a thriving, bustling, chapter to a semi-inactive one. Don’t be afraid to take the reins and liven it up! Sponsors will appreciate your initiative and as a chapter officer, you may even get recognition for your hard work. If the chapter you’re transferring to is already bustling but needs help in the leadership department, step up! Remember what I said earlier about fitting into your new chapter’s dynamic? Here’s your chance. I did this, quickly became an officer in my new chapter, and I never regretted it for a second.
6. Expect a change in fees and requirements
Though the Society has its own membership dues and GPA requirements, individual chapters sometimes charge local dues and raise minimum GPA standards. This may differ from your prior chapter, so be sure to ask your Sponsor about local dues or GPA requirements at your new chapter.
7. You may get re-inducted
This depends on your receiving chapter, they may want to shower you with quotes from their favorite texts while walking around with candles. This did not happen to me, but you never know. Your new chapter may want to induct you again to honor the fact that you’re a part of them now.
8. Have fun!
You survived your move, all of your credits transferred, and you found your transfer chapter—or you’re being awesome and starting up a new one. Give yourself a pat on the back, Sigma Tau Deltan. Have fun gracing your new chapter with your amazing qualities!