How beneficial are honor societies?

Kiley Ring

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Photo by Bridgette Kaba

Spanish Honor Society students work on an arts and crafts project. The group has tried to emphasize cultural activities to enhance the experience of members.

The 12 honor societies at WJ cover an expansive range of courses\; five cover world languages, while the others cater to math, art and even theater, just to name a few. Each one has its own set of requirements for joining as well as distinct requirements to continue membership in the society. While these vary from society to society, the ones I am involved in typically mandate tutoring of some sort, attendance of all society meetings and one or two other activities related to the overall purpose of the club.

As the current secretary of the Spanish Honor Society, a large part of my job is ensuring that the society is actually purposeful, and not just something people can boast about when they don’t even come to any of our meetings. For Spanish Honor Society in particular, students are required to tutor once per semester, attend all meetings, be involved in a committee, which can range from fundraising to hospitality and attend at least two cultural activities each semester.

The point of hosting these cultural activities (which take place both inside and outside of school) is primarily to foster more student interest for the activity and the group as a whole. They raise awareness for the group, and the activities can allow for the students to explore things related to the society that they may not have learned directly in their general classes.

The things students do in honor societies are extensions of what is learned in the classroom. Students generally learn supplemental material to what they already know, and in most societies, they can proceed to give back to the school by tutoring other students in that subject. If it wasn’t for honor societies, students would have to rely solely on their teachers for help.

Also, membership in groups such as the Psi Alpha Psychology Honor Society extends to college\; students who are in this group are automatically recognized as being part of their collegiate psychology honor society. Essentially, joining honor societies is beneficial outside of the actual group itself in that it is a perfect way to meet new people who share common interests, both in high school and college.

Ultimately, people can get out what they put in for honor societies. If someone wants to sign up for everything, but then sit back and do the bare minimum, they certainly can\; however, they will miss out on all of the opportunities they are presented with. The onus is on the student to take the initiative and meet the requirements, and should they choose to do so, they can take their honor society experiences far beyond just high school. And besides, who doesn’t want another cord at graduation?