Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ updated 10/03/2019
1. What will our local chapter name be? Will it be Pi Delta Phi?
Each new chapter is assigned Greek letters (e.g. Mu Alpha); the designated Greek letters are, however, not assigned until the date of the installation of your chapter has been confirmed. Your chapter should always include your chapter designation in any documents, chapter webpage or chapter social media group or page, etc., such as:
Pi Delta Phi, Chapter Mu Alpha
Pi Delta Phi (Augustana University)
An exception to this policy is the list of college honor societies on your institution's website or in your college catalogue; such lists typically include only the official names of the societies and do not include the Greek letters that designate local chapters.
Please refer to our guidelines for chapter webpages and social media groups.
2. How many induction ceremonies for new members should I hold annually?
Once your chapter is officially installed, each chapter should hold at least one meeting each year, including a ceremony to induct any new members. You may elect, however, to hold multiple induction ceremonies in order to coincide with National French Week, a college celebration to recognize all campus honor societies, etc. Because some students might be studying abroad, participating in off-campus internships, or completing student teaching requirements, some chapters choose to hold both fall and spring induction ceremonies. The spring ceremony might, for example, serve as your main event and include a full program, guest speaker, banquet or dinner at a local restaurant, etc. A smaller ceremony might take place in the fall, even in the office of the faculty moderator, and include a current member reading a poem, and coffee and cookies after the ceremony. Induct new members, however, only during official ceremonies. If you have no eligible candidates for membership in a given academic year, we suggest that you still hold a meeting of current members that may occur during a luncheon, dinner or even coffee hour.
If you plan to assemble a program and wish to print the names of faculty and others who are already members of Pi Delta Phi, you might like to include the chapter in which they were inducted, such as: Dr. Scott Fish (Epsilon Mu)
3. What kinds of activities do other chapters include during their induction ceremonies?
Most new chapters include a program of some kind, especially for the official installation of the chapter. The ceremony, and indeed your annual ceremony (or ceremonies) to induct new members may be simple or quite extravagant; much depends on the moderator's time, and on your department, institution, and enthusiasm of students. For example some chapters include:
readings of poetry or prose passages by students
student research projects
scenes from plays
a selection of French classical music played or sung by students
comments from faculty about important French literary figures, historical events, trends, etc.
presentations given by students who recently studied abroad
invited guest speakers including Alumni
a dinner at a local restaurant, or luncheon, banquet, or a simple coffee and cookies hour on campus
Moderators are free to include any type of activity that is appropriate for a national academic honor society.
We also encourage, especially for the official installation of your chapter, to invite members of the administration, a representative from your school and/or local newspaper, etc., so that your chapter and indeed your French program might benefit from as much exposure and press from the event as possible. But again, all this is up to the chapter moderator and department.
4. What kinds of activities and projects do chapters organize and sponsor throughout the year?
Although not required, we do encourage chapters to promote French and to sponsor some activities during the academic year. Much depends on the schedule and availabiltiy of chapter members and the moderator. Chapters may also coordinate and co-sponsor activities with the college French club, other language and/or non-language honor societies, an international student organization, a Pi Delta Phi chapter at another school, a local Alliance Française, etc. Chapters have reported the following activities:
members of the language honor clubs serve as official campus foreign language tutors, or amabassadors for international students
French or foreign language film series
campus or community French conversation tables
after-school or weekend French language lessons or camps for children
outreach to area public and private school French language classes
a chapter service learning project on- or off-campus
gathering books to send to Africa
fundraiser for a French-speaking elementary school in Haiti
bake or crêpe sale
Mardi Gras bead sale and celebration
photo or poster contest
celebrating AATF's National French Week
promoting National Pi Delta Phi Day (observed annually on day one of AATF's National French Week)
5. Our chapter has not been active for several years, does it cost anything to reactivate?
6. Our chapter is unable to find our banner and/or charter. Can we request a new one?
Yes. Replacement banners and charters are available for purchase via the Executive Director. Replacement charters will bear, however, the current date and signatures of the current President and Executive Director. Your original chapter number and Greek letters will remain unchanged. Order replacements using either the paper Invoice or through our Database (using Paypal®).
7. How do I fill out the certificates? Can I run certificates through my laser printer?
Sample completed certificates are available in the Forms section of the website. Certificates can be completed on a typewriter, using calligraphy, or simply by someone who has nice handwriting. Starting in September 2017, moderators will be able to use the new certificate and prepared template that allows printing via a laser printer.
8. I am a very busy faculty member. Can I request that the Pi Delta Phi national office train my assistant to use the database, and to fill out forms or certificates correctly?
All of the national officers are volunteers and full-time faculty members. We thus regret that we don't have staff to train your assistant. We rely on moderators to read and to understand the moderator duties, how to use the database, how to fill out certificates, etc. Most all documents, how-to brochures, and other information needed to serve as chapter moderator are available in the Forms/Documents section fo the website. Chapter moderators are thus responsible to train correctly any office staff or student assistant to use the database.
9. Can I use a departmental or personal credit card to pay for memberships and supplies?
The national office is not able to process credit card orders, but we do accept payment via Payal. Create a free Paypal account and link it to your department, faculty, or personal credit card.
10. When I place an order for memberships in the database, can I choose to enter the new student information at a later date?
We strongly advise chapter moderators to enter new student information into the database at the time an order is placed; enter at the least student names and induction dates. We've unfortunately discovered that some moderators have not entered inductee names and information from ceremonies held from over a year ago or more; in some cases, for many years. If your inductees names are not in the database, the national office has no record of them.
11. Should students who meet all of the criteria for Regular membership except the overall or French GPA, or the class rank requirement, be inducted as an Honorary members? Can Honorary members later be inducted as Regular members and pay the difference in the membership cost?
Pi Delta Phi is unable to offer reduced-cost Regular or Graduate memberships to students who may have been inducted previously into the Society as Honorary members. The full Regular membership fee (with or without cords) is required.
We recommend that Moderators do not induct as Honorary members sophmores or juniors who do not meet the required GPA(s) or class rank. Rather, Moderators should wait a year and advise students to work to improve their GPA(s) or class rank.
We do suggest, however, that Moderators invite any graduating seniors who find themselves in the above situation to join the Society as Honorary members, since these seniors will not be able to meet the required GPA(s) or class rank prior to graduation and may thus miss out entirely on membership in Pi Delta Phi.
12. In order for current students to maintain membership in a local chapter, can a faculty moderator make any of the following mandatory: attendance at chapter meetings or activities, volunteer or service learning projects, enrollment in additional French courses, completion of a French thesis, etc.
No. Once students are inducted into a local chapter they are members of Pi Delta Phi for life. Chapter moderators may, however, require attendance in order for students to considered for any chapter leadership positions. For all other questions, contact the National President.
13. I have leftover supplies (certificates, pins, and/or cords) from students who did not participate in the induction ceremony. Can I offer future inductees free memberships and recycle the supplies?
All candidates for membership must pay the lifetime membership fee, regardless of how many extra supplies a Moderator may have. Moderators should make every effort to forward to inductees the materials for which they paid as part of their required lifetime membership fee.
For any remaining supplies, we suggest using extra certificates in case of a printing error, and keeping extra pins in reserve in case a student loses a pin. For extra cords, Moderators might keep a few on hand and allow inductees, who paid for memberships that don't include cords, to borrow and to wear them at commencement.
14. My school offers only a minor in French, but (a) advanced-level coursework isn't required, only the completion of Intermediate 2 or less, or (2) our minor requires advanced-level courses, but those courses are taught in English. Can we still apply for affiliation with Pi Delta Phi?
Unfortunately no; to establish a chapter of Pi Delta Phi a college or university must offer a major or minor that includes a minimum of two required advanced-level courses taught in French. Visit our Membership page for complete information or contact the National President.
15. Our chapter of PDP desires to set up a bank account for fundrasing. What is the PDP EIN (Employer Identification Number) so that we can do proceed?
PDP recommends that a chapter moderator follow the protocol in effect at the institution. If it isn't possible to set up a club account at the university, follow the university's advice for fundraising. Pi Delta Phi does not give out its EIN for use
by chapters; the EIN is our Society's ID number for filing tax statements. One can imagine the complications that could arise if individual chapters were opening bank accounts under this number.