ASCC PTK seeks community support

ASCC students are fundraising with the hope that they will be able to attend the Phi Theta Kappa 2012 Annual Convention being held this month in Nashville, Tennessee. It has been several years since the PTK chapter has attended the national convention. (Front, l-r) Adelila Toussaint, Eric Roe. (Back l-r): Advisor Evile Feleti, PTK Vice President Manetta Lafaele and Tos Utu La'a. [Photo: J. Kneubuhl]

For many years, the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society has held a special place in campus life at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC). However, few may realize that the PTK is in fact part of a nationwide organization, a fact that will come into sharp focus when the Society holds its 2012 Annual Convention on April 12-14 in Nashville, Tennessee.

The official PTK website predicts that more than 3,000 Society members from across the USA will attend the three-day event, described as “one of the largest gatherings of Phi Theta Kappans under one roof in recent history”. Members of the ASCC chapter of the PTK, known as Alpha Epsilon Mu, currently have a number of fundraising activities underway to try and send delegates to the upcoming Annual Convention, but at the moment it remains uncertain whether they will raise the necessary resources in time.

“We want to attend the event to obtain new information and methods on how our members can better approach the four PTK hallmarks - leadership, scholarship, fellowship, and service – within our school and community,” said Alpha Epsilon Mu President Sophia A’asa. She explained that the local chapter hasn't attended a regional or International PTK convention in about 15 years.

“We PTK officers would love to see our society grow into something more significant than what it is now,” A’asa said.  “Attending the upcoming conference would allow our delegates to learn the fundamentals and objectives of the Honor Study Topic Program and apply it to the local chapter, which would in turn open up more opportunities for PTK members to go on to higher degree universities. We need to develop a stronger connection with Phi Theta Kappa members within the Pacific region as well as internationally, and also be recognized by headquarters as an active society”, she said.

Among a wealth of planned activities, the Annual Conference will include information on the PTK Five Star Development Program, which many chapters now follow to bring mutual benefits to Society members, their schools, and their communities. Alpha Epsilon Mu’s own community-oriented goals include the establishment of an Alumni Association to provide support for their activities, programs, and services.

“Most of our local community, except for PTK alumni, doesn’t know who we are and what we stand for”, said A’asa. “You can say that trying to improve our local chapter is our legacy that we want to leave behind. We have so many hard-working and intelligent people involved with the Society, and we want them to reap the benefits of their hard labor. This is why it is important for us to go to the conference and why we are so passionate in getting this goal accomplished.”

The Alpha Epsilon Mu chapter of the PTK recognizes and encourages excellence in scholarship among ASCC students. Every semester, PTK advisors review student transcripts, reference letters, application forms and essays, and other relevant data to determine which students qualify for the membership in the society. Candidates must have taken at least 12 credits, passed their English 150, English 151 and Math 90 classes, and have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher.  Qualifying students receive an invitation to join PTK, and most of those invited readily accept the offer.

Community members who wish to help the ASCC PTK students attend the conference should contact them by email at ptk_684@hotmail.com, or contact advisors Elvis Zodiacal or To’aiva Fiame-Tago by calling 699-9155. The Society would especially appreciate donations in the form of Hawaiian Miles to help them meet the prohibitive travel costs. For more information on the PTK Annual Convention, visit the website: convention.ptk.org.


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