Communication studies honor society to affiliate with national chapter

The communication studies honor society is getting ready to undergo a face-lift of sorts as the chapter prepares to join a national organization.

Sigma Pi Chi is in the process of merging with the National Communication Association honor society Lambda Pi Eta, said Jennifer Salim, a senior communication studies major and SPX president.

When TCU started the Sigma Pi Chi chapter, there wasn’t a national organization with which TCU was able to associate itself, faculty sponsor Paul King said. In many ways, TCU is behind the time, he said.

“It’s definitely not common practice to have an honor society that isn’t recognized on a national scale, but the communication studies department and major has really grown in the last few years,” Salim said. “I think that everything, the size, the faculty available and the clubs, they’re all trying to catch up.”

Sigma Pi Chi is unique to TCU and gives members a way to network inside the Department of Communication Studies as well as attend lectures from guest speakers who talk about the best ways to use communication studies degrees, Salim said.

Salim said the problem some members have is that because SPX is unique to TCU, it lacks the legitimacy of a national chapter on members’ resumes.

Lora Chamberlain, the organization’s secretary, was one of the main members involved with the process of getting TCU to join the national chapter, Salim said.

“It was one of the big reasons I ran for a board position,” Chamberlain said. “I have a real reason to add something to the department.”

TCU is choosing to go with NCA because it is the largest and oldest society for studying mass communication, King said.

“That would give them a connection with a national organization and an opportunity for career planning in communications,” said Art Bochner, NCA national president.

Sigma Pi Chi will remain at TCU until juniors and seniors in the group graduate, because they make up the majority of the chapter, Salim said.

Although the goals of the chapter will remain intact, GPA requirements will be raised, Salim said. Members will now be required to have an overall GPA of 3.25 and at least a 3.5 in their major. Currently, members are required to have a 3.25 in their major.

“There will be a dual membership for a little while because not all members will automatically qualify for the organization,” Salim said.