By Albert Ivory, Staff Writer
Photo by Albert Ivory/ The Towerlight
Towson’s chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) held their induction ceremony in West Village Ballrooms Saturday.
NSCS is an honors organization that recognizes high-achieving students, provides career and graduate school connections, leadership and service opportunities, and gives out more than $1 million annually in scholarships, awards, and chapter funds. Scholarship, leadership, and service are the pillars that establish the foundation and operation of the organization. It was founded in 1994 on George Washington University. It’s also a member of the Association of College Honor Societies and has over 330 chapters across the country.
The executive vice president of the chapter and junior, Victoria Meoli, stated that “the event is when we honor new members and celebrate the accomplishments that they have achieved and everything they did to get here because it isn’t easy to get in, GPA requirements for example.”
The president of the chapter and sophomore, Serena Kok Sey Tjong, started the event off with introducing herself and the other board members of the chapter.
“The people you will meet and connect with through NSCS are truly valuable,” Kok Sey Tjong said.
The Director of Student Success Programs, Raft Woodus, is the Faculty Advisor for the organization, and the Chapter Operations Manager is Tarah Johnson. Assistant Director of Student Activities and Assistant Director of Leadership, Brandy Hall, was recognized as this year’s Distinguished Honorary Member.
The keynote speaker for the event was the Honors Faculty Director and Professor of the Department of Political Science, Alison McCartney.
McCartney started off by congratulating the new inductees and noted how important an accomplishment such as the membership is.
“We hope that, indeed, with all of the work that it took to get to this point that you understand that this is the beginning,” McCartney said. “This is not the end, but hopefully the beginning of the many successes here at Towson and moving forward.”
She proposed two pieces of advice to prepare for what may come in the future, the first being civility.
“Civility is showing courage to engage and sometimes difficult, but honest conversations with each other,” said McCartney. “Listen to each other politely about our different experiences and to respect each other’s rights.”
McCartney encouraged everyone to never turn away from politics despite the political climate.
The second piece of advice revolved around participation. McCartney pointed out that in the last midterm election, youth voting in Maryland was under 19 percent.
“How can we change our lives if you don’t participate?” McCartney asked.
McCartney noted that Oct. 16 at 5 p.m. is the deadline for voter registration and referred to the Office of Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility for more information.
She also discussed absentee ballots and early voting as other options to pick to not worry about the regular voting deadline. McCartney acknowledged the significance of the policies that are placed by elected officials regarding healthcare, education and climate change.
“You have worked hard to build the skills and knowledge to be accepted into this honor society, there’s a responsibility that goes with that…also [to] contribute, in some way, that goes beyond the office, cubicle, or desk you will working on,” McCartney remarked. “An orchestra never sounds the same without its march section…take out the trumpets, take out the drums…and the music is not as rich.”
McCartney also acknowledged the significance of actions other than voting, such as staying informed about the political landscape, collect perspectives, volunteer in a campaign and local community groups, and attend debates and lectures.
“There’s a lot to do in the next 39 days…and in the next few years, even in the next 10 years” McCartney noted.
McCartney concluded her keynote, but acknowledged the relatives of the inductees and their contribution and commitment in their growth and development.
“You have shown through your membership in this society that you can do it…you will do more than sit on the sidelines and you will go out there to make your world a better place.”
Kok Sey Tjiong, then, called up the new members to the stage to receive their certificates, pins and other membership gifts. After every inductee was called, they had to recite an oath of membership, which is a pledge emphasizing the dedication that they will have to put forth as members. There were nearly 40 inductees.
The chapter meetings are monthly, and the next meeting will be on Oct. 10.