It seems the only thing one can do in the face of a pandemic is react. During COVID-19, nothing prepared us for months of sheltering in place or distancing ourselves from others. Reacting was our only option. And, as many have
stated: The only control we have is how we react to what life throws at us. How Psi Chi chose to react was important for both the present and the future of our Society.
The Psi Chi Board of Directors acted swiftly in response to COVID-19. Their focus—our members. The Psi Chi COVID-19 Member Support Fund was enacted in late March. The response was a thoughtful one geared toward
helping students who were negatively affected by COVID-19. Many students lost jobs and many more, after years of working toward a degree, found their commencements postponed or cancelled.
The Psi Chi COVID-19 Member Support Fund is raising funds to support student members during these unusual times. The Psi Chi Board identified ways to support members. One was to provide some small way to celebrate the milestone
of a graduation and that was to provide an honor cord free of charge to deserving students graduating in 2020. In line with our dedication to members, Psi Chi has agreed to match $25,000 when raised to put its complete support
behind the Fund. It is our hope that all Psi Chi faculty advisors know they can take advantage of our Fund to benefit students.
One other way was to help those students who were eligible to join but could not afford the cost of a Psi Chi lifetime membership to our Society. This is an opportunity to become a part of a unique population of students and professionals
dedicated to excellence in psychology. And, it would afford them all the benefits associated with being a member of Psi Chi.
Response thus far to our Member Support Fund has been modest. We have found that getting the word out about how to take advantage of our Psi Chi COVID-19 Member Support Fund is a challenge in and of itself given that so many faculty
advisors are still working remotely. However, good news is that during the Psi Chi Summer Board Meeting, the Board members voted to continue the COVID-19 Member Support Fund through fall 2020. This will enable Psi Chi to continue
to raise funds to directly help members and reach a broader audience of our members.
It is important to point out that Psi Chi continues to dedicate itself to members. Our mission states that we both “recognize and promote excellence in the science and application of psychology.” That means that we are
an extremely strong Society as our members too are dedicated to excellence. It is times like these that try even the most dedicated students. Therefore, Psi Chi hopes that, via its Member Support Fund, we can make things just
a little easier for students who are faced with mounting challenges.
As a reminder to all members:
- Psi Chi membership is a lifetime one.
- Whether you are an undergraduate student, a graduate student, faculty of psychology, or an alumni member, you are eligible for Psi Chi’s awards, grants, and scholarships.
- Our Career Center is something that is always available to aid members who are looking for work in their field.
- Our online Store is a great place to find your favorite Psi Chi memorabilia while supporting the Society.
- And, there are many research opportunities available to members. All this information can be found at www.psichi.org.
In the initial phase of the pandemic, there was only time to react, but now, we are faced with being proactive during a time in which it is difficult to plan for next week, let alone next year. However, the Society is moving forward
with plans for a Fall Membership Drive and Chapter Challenge. The Chapter Challenge is a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign as part of which students fundraise on behalf of Psi Chi. This year, all proceeds will
benefit our Psi Chi COVID-19 Member Support Fund.
I am excited to share that this year, in fall 2020, Psi Chi will split the proceeds of funds raised with each chapter 50/50; meaning, if your chapter raises $1,000 together as a team, then we’ll send you a check back for $500 to
benefit your local chapter. We feel that now, more than ever, is a time to give back. And, in the true spirit of excellence, we will give back so that local chapters can thrive.
COVID-19 has presented some difficult and unusual circumstances. But at Psi Chi, we are continuing to work toward our mission. We hope to serve our members in every way possible. If you have ideas for how Psi Chi can do more to
serve our members, please reach out to me directly at email@example.com. I’d love to hear from you and learn about your chapter. Thank you for your devotion to excellence.
All the best for a successful fall term.
To give to the Psi Chi COVID-19 Member Support Fund, please visit: donate.psichi.org
Copyright 2020 (Vol. 25, Iss. 1) Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology