Campus to start chapter of French honor society

Parlez-vous francais? If so, you are in luck because a new French honor society is on campus this semester.

Candace Ruocco, a senior French and political science major and president of Pi Delta Phi, the new honor society, said she first got interested in starting a chapter at TCU a few years ago.

SGA passed a resolution in 2006 supporting the expansion of language programs at TCU, such as Arabic, Chinese and Latin, Ruocco said. Despite much lobbying with the modern languages department, the demand for the programs was not high enough for the school to budget more classes and teachers to support classes in those languages, she said.

“It just did not make sense to have classes with only five students in each class,” Ruocco said. “I still wanted to find something to get people excited about foreign languages and to help the department, so we did research on different programs we could endorse.”

Pi Delta Phi has 342 chapters in United States and France, according to the society’s Web site.

The society is currently working on picking a group of charter members, Ruocco said. After the members are selected, they will be initiated into the Pi Delta Phi chapter, she said.

Applicants must have sophomore standing, said Marie Schein, an instructor of French at TCU and moderator of Pi Delta Phi. Students who are accepted into the honor society must also have completed an upper division French class, have a 3.0 GPA in French with a cumulative GPA of of 2.8 and be in the top 35 percent of their class, Schein said.

Schein said the new society gives students a chance to feel like they belong to a community of scholars who study French. It is a chance for them to be recognized for their efforts and is a different way to promote the French language in the United States, she said.

“The goal of the society is to provide an outlook for students that are studying French to be able to come together and recognize French as a legitimate area of study and to support the underrecognized majors on campus,” Ruocco said.

The initiation for TCU chapter of Pi Delta Phi is in March, Schein said,

Ruocco said she hopes Pi Delta Phi will be affiliated to a charity by next fall.

The group plans to meet after initiation to decide on who will serve in office for the following semester, Ruocco said.