Honors Societies induction ceremonies connect members during virtual learning

Students+gather+together+on+Zoom+to+celebrate+their+induction+into+the+Math+Honors+Society.+Covid+has+forced+Honors+Societies+to+come+up+with+innovative+ways+to+maintain+their+usual+traditions.+

Photo by Ela Jalil

Students gather together on Zoom to celebrate their induction into the Math Honors Society. Covid has forced Honors Societies to come up with innovative ways to maintain their usual traditions.

By Ela Jalil, News Editor

For many WCHS students, Honors Societies are not only resume boosters, but they are also ways to be a part of a large organization to hone specific skills. Many societies are offered, providing tutoring services in subjects ranging from engineering to English. However, they all contain the common elements of induction ceremonies and service points. 

With the school year starting online, WCHS Honors Societies have needed to adapt to fit the virtual setting. Induction ceremonies were known for every member gathering together in the WCHS band room, reciting a pledge and getting pizza and cake. Now that large in-person gatherings are no longer an option, Zoom calls have become a way to replace this honorable tradition.  

“I think it’s an important ceremony, kids really like it and I think it’s important for those who are joining. I feel like you guys are missing out on enough stuff this year that we could do something simple,” Teresa Volante, WCHS AP Spanish Lang teacher and Spanish Honors Society advisor said. “It’s not a long ceremony either way, it’s really short, so we just figured that we would try to do something meaningful.”

Although students were not able to enjoy free food, Spanish Honors Society Members recited a pledge in Spanish that officially welcomed them into the organization. Family members were able to attend, and this ceremony helped bring a sense of togetherness and unity for the members of the Spanish Honors Society, even though it was online. 

“I liked the induction ceremony and I thought it was nice to have all of the members being welcomed in together. Even though it was short, I believe the honors society did the best they could through zoom to make us feel included in the society,” junior Sonia Bhatia said. “I have only been in one other induction ceremony so far which was also online so I’m not sure how different this induction ceremony was from usual ones. I felt the induction ceremony was a good welcome into the honors societies.”

Although the Spanish Honors Society has been extremely successful at working virtually, other Honors Societies (such as the English Honors Society) have not held induction ceremonies. Instead they have opted for general meetings with all of their members due to lack of student interest

“I’d be interested to know if they want to have an induction ceremony because we could do something like that later in the year if it’s something that people feel like they’ve missed out on,” Mary Dempsey, the English Honors Society advisor, said. “But, my experience with EHS is students prefer to have as few non point-based meetings as possible.”

On the bright side, the lack of the induction ceremony was able to lower member’s dues because the budget no longer had to account for the parties that were usually held. Dues are not the only thing that has decreased, with some Honors Societies lowering their service points requirements.

Overall, Honors Societies have tried their best to adapt to these unprecedented circumstances. Members are adjusting along with these organizations to try and make the most out of this virtual year. st

“As I have only recently joined the societies, I am not quite sure how this year is different. I do know that in-person lectures and workshops are no longer possible, particularly more interactive societies like Engineering,” junior Queen Balina said. “I am definitely saddened by the limits on what honor societies can do, but am both excited and glad to be a member, regardless.”