Honor Societies

When I graduated from college I was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and I accepted, because it was prestigious. I did not expect to join another honor society but at this university I have been invited to several and have essentially had to say yes since not to do so would be impolite / because the entire department was in this society / because if I did not join, I could not initiate students, who really want to be in these societies – and so on.

Now I have been elected to a third honor society here, which will be my fourth in all. It is going to cost me $70 and the initiation is on a Sunday when I had hoped to be out of town – yet, I want to keep up good relations here, so I am doing it. So now I am not only a member of Phi Beta Kappa but of Sigma Delta Pi, Phi Beta Delta, and Phi Kappa Phi.

In your university, is it customary to join multiple honor societies? If so, do you put election to yet another one on your annual report as an academic honor? Do you put it on your vita? Can you at least list it as a form of university service? Can I take the $70 off my taxes as an employee business expense, if not a charitable contribution? I want something more than general good will for my $70 and my weekend time, and I am scouring the barrel to see what I can get.

Perhaps I can still be gone the weekend of the initiation. It was to have been a research trip and I am having a hard time with the idea of giving it up. I am also really having trouble with the $70 – there are professional associations I could join for that much, and journals I can subscribe to. How bad do you think it would be simply to decline?

Axé.


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