SMC Honor Societies Still Accepting Spring Applications

Being a part of an honor society is something a student can list on their resume or transfer application while being able to get more involved in the school and community. These societies aim to help students succeed in their future endeavors by training them in leadership and responsibility.

The two major honor societies at Santa Monica College are Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), and Alpha Gamma Sigma (AGS). They differ slightly from one another, but both are well-renowned in the world of academics on a two-year college level. The cut-off date to apply for a membership this spring semester is on April 17. PTK and AGS meet on separate times of the week, allowing students who are interested in joining a chance to see what both are about, and are even allowed to join both. They have the same requirements to join, which is a minimum of 3.0 GPA, and having completed 12 units in total at SMC.

PTK is internationally recognized and the biggest society on campus, with three meeting time slots to choose from; Tuesdays on 11:15-11:50 a.m. and 11:55-12:30 p.m. in the science building room 140, and 4-5 p.m. in HSS 105. There is a lifetime-membership application fee of $80 to join that can be used for all future semesters. Members are required to attend at least five forums and three events throughout a semester. Once a semester is completed with attendance at all required events, a student receives a certificate and an honor notation on their transcript.

PTK held a forum Tuesday, March 20 that started by encouraging people to talk to someone they have not talked to before, as an ice-breaker for students to network and make new friends. The forum gave information about upcoming events, community service opportunities, and workshops about scholarships, transfers, and how to get a good recommendation letter. They also informed attendees about upcoming fellowship events, the next being a bowling night on Friday, March 30.

Communications major Aili David has been a PTK member since she started going to SMC two years ago, and thinks it is a great way to be involved on campus. “I have met the majority of my friends at SMC through this,” David said. “I originally joined just to have something to write for transfer applications, but it evolved into something more.”

In helping students gain valuable skills, Vice President Ryan Ang feels that PTK has helped him a lot with his public speaking skills, along with his ability to communicate with people better. “It takes patience to listen to people and their concerns, and that is something I have learned,” Ang said.

AGS is a California community college honor society, with the vision to “emphasize the development of leadership, character, and judgment." They meet twice each Thursday at 11:15-12:35 p.m. in room SCI 140 and 5:45-6:35 p.m. in room ART 214. Their latest meeting on last Thursday, March 22, consisted of giving a lot of information about upcoming events and community service opportunities, along with reminding their members of the required hours. AGS focuses slightly more on community service, requiring members to attend at least six general meetings, participate in one AGS committee or fundraiser, attend one social event, and complete 20 hours of community service to receive the notation on their transcript.

A biochemistry major, Danielle Asenas, does not believe AGS is more challenging than PTK in spite of a higher hour commitment. “There are many events to choose from, and the hours are not hard to complete when you get to choose them yourself,” Asenas said.

During their meeting, a guest speaker spoke about the Emily Shane Foundation, and their program, the “Successful Educational Achievement,” which helps students who are falling behind in school. AGS members were encouraged to participate in the services by being a mentor or tutor or applying for the many internship opportunities.