When I was invited to join the prestigious International English Honor Society as an associate member in my freshman year at college (two years ago), my excitement could not be contained. To be a member of Sigma Tau Delta was to be a part of something big. Sigma Tau Delta is, for lack of better words, a fantastic accomplishment!
And speaking of accomplishment, that is what the focus of this blog entry is about: the success story of how a holiday fundraiser makes a difference for one college’s chapter.
Nothing screams “Happy Halloween!” at Stephens College like Sigma Tau Delta’s annual Spook-a-thon event. Members of the Alpha Epsilon Eta Chapter embrace the holiday with a literary flair, attracting participation from faculty, students, and the college’s president. From spooky readings to the costume contest, this night of ‘terror-ific’ fun does more than celebrate the holiday. It raises the essential funds for members to attend the Sigma Tau Delta International Convention held each spring, among other things.
The Alpha Epsilon Eta Chapter tends to go unnoticed amongst the many other flourishing organizations at Stephens College, especially among the attractive sororities that initiate high numbers of new students every year. Getting students to apply for membership to Sigma Tau Delta is a bit of an obstacle because belonging to an English organization appears to lack an enthusiastic appeal when competing against obtaining membership to a high-end sorority. However, unlike so many clubs that require an annual membership fee, the one-time fee for a lifetime membership at Sigma Tau Delta reaps benefits.
So, what does this information do for the crux of this post? Spook-a-thon is a multi-functional motive for collecting funds for members to attend convention and as an attractive approach to lure new members into the chapter. It is our organization’s way of demonstrating how fun and interactive belonging to an Engish organization can be. Many current members of the chapter took an interest in the Society because of this holiday festivity. This is why Spook-a-thon plays a crucial role in the Sigma Tau Delta chapter here at Stephens College.
Long before I joined the chapter, Spook-a-thon established itself as the vital fundraiser for my college’s chapter. Keeping with Sigma Tau Delta’s literary obligations, reading participation serves as the event’s primary objective, and is actively encouraged by its members. Published works, including personal writings, are both welcome. With each reading our anonymous donor contributes to the chapter, raising money to support members to attend the convention. In 2017, the donor gifted $300 and the college president matched it. A total of $600 was awarded to the chapter. Through the help of these funds, our organization is able to aid our members’ expenditures and help our section thrive.
As a member and active participant, I look forward to sharing this yearly event with my English/creative writing department. Faculty and students are always eager to join in the fun and come together to share a universal love: stories. However, the annual event is not segregated to the one department. In fact, many non-major students show up every year garbed in their creatively, singular costumes ready to engage in the event, and the holiday itself.
Each year our chapter aims to outperform the prior years’ successes. This Halloween, I have high expectations that Spook-a-thon will have another rewarding run. We as a literary organization are dedicated to promoting and advocating literacy. The members of Sigma Tau Delta vow to continue these responsibilities through Spook-a-thon where we openly invite the Stephens community to join us in celebrating the English language and literature.