It’s a wonderful feeling to be part of a close-knit Sigma Kappa Delta (SKD) chapter at community college. However, leaving that safe environment and transferring to university life can be daunting and scary. Although SKD membership is not automatically transferable to Sigma Tau Delta, your experience at the community college will be helpful as you consider becoming fully involved in your major during your last couple of years. If you’re unfamiliar with the new student body and faculty, exploring membership in Sigma Tau Delta may appear challenging. But, fret not! It’s not impossible. Here are four tips to make your transition from SKD to Sigma Tau Delta a little easier.
1. Familiarize yourself with Sigma Tau Delta
The Sigma Tau Delta website should be your first stop. Start with the Chapter Directory to first learn if your new university has a Sigma Tau Delta chapter. You should also familiarize yourself with the Society membership requirements. If you don’t yet qualify for membership, you should still reach out to the Chapter Sponsor, as many chapters invite prospective members to participate in chapter activities. Also bear in mind that some chapters have higher minimum requirements for membership—the official Society standards are simply a baseline—so you will want to learn about local requirements.
2. Get to Know the People Who Work in the English Department
Many times, the secretary in the English department will be the one who is up to date on Sponsors and chapter activities that are happening on your campus. If they don’t know the answer immediately, they have the contact information of the person who will know. They can lead you in the right direction. These people are very valuable; get to know them!
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Sponsors and chapter officers are looking for potential members who want to be involved. By asking questions and finding out information about your local chapter, this will let them know you are interested in becoming an active member. They are there to help you, so email them or set up a meeting to talk with them personally. Be prepared to ask questions about local membership requirements, chapter meeting times and locations, and induction practices.
4. Get to Know Your Fellow English Majors
By the time you’re ready to transfer to a university, your freshman writing and sophomore literature courses have already been knocked out. This puts you jumping right in to junior level English courses with professors you don’t know and classmates you’ve likely never met before. Your classmates are essential in helping make your transition a smooth one. Most of them have been there for two years already, so they will know how things work at your university. By talking with your fellow English majors about the Sigma Tau Delta chapter on your campus, you might even expose them to the Society if they didn’t previously know about it.
Transitioning from Sigma Kappa Delta to Sigma Tau Delta takes a little effort and time, but it’s worth it once you’re involved! Keep these tips in mind once you enter university life, and it will be a piece of cake.
Southern Associate Student Representative, 2016-2017
Eta Nu Chapter, President
University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS