The Theta Theta chapter Sigma Delta Pi is the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society. This society was established in 1919 to honor those who study the Spanish language.
It is the largest foreign language society in existence and it provides students with benefits in the field.
At Central Michigan University, Sigma Delta Pi does not only have a historical meaning to the students, it is also a space where they can network with other Spanish speakers and form connections.
Many of the members say it has become a family.
The goal of the organization is to introduce the Hispanic culture and encourage students to speak the language.
This year’s students have shown a great commitment and dedication for the organization and much more enthusiasm than in the past years.
The members of Sigma say that this organization is helping them develop their speaking skills as well as learning about the different Latin American cultures and traditions.
Initiation to Sigma Delta Pi is normally only offered to students with a Spanish major or minor, who are taking the upper level courses. However, this year’s members broke that barrier and invited students of all levels to attend their meetings and events. They hope that those students will join them in the future.
Christopher Marvil said, “It is so much better this year. There is more people and we do more things. Our members and coordinators change every year and this semester has been the best since i joined.”
The group meets every Monday and holds “tertulias” or topic conversations about Latin American literature, current events, culture. Other meetings involve games that encourage students to speak Spanish. Once a month the group meets to share food from a specific region and talk about the countries in that area.
This semester Sigma Delta Pi was invited to host an event during the International Week, where they presented folklore of various Latin American Countries including Colombia, Dominican Republic and Mexico. They also had a panel of students who spoke about the importance of learning a foreign language and how it benefits them in their careers.
The faculty are very proud of the students’ efforts with the event, calling it a success.
“We were not expecting the amount of people that came to our event. The members did a great job and we hope we have people with this much passion in future years,” Dr. Hurtado, Fall 2016 faculty sponsor of Sigma said.
“We are so excited because our members are so diverse, not only in cultures but also in their fields of study. It is awesome to know that what we do impacts their careers in a positive way and they can call themselves bilingual, which is so important nowadays,” Dr. Hurtado said.
Future hopes of the organization are to have a tangible impact with the community by including community service and reaching out to hispanic communities in the state of Michigan.
The members also want to reach out more to students on campus and advocate for the Foreign Language Department at CMU.
“It is essential that we keep this group going. We cannot stress enough how important speaking Spanish is to us and we want it to be evident through our work,” Scott Schlagel said.