New Honor Society Recognizes Transfer Students

The Delta Upsilon chapter of Tau Sigma was officially chartered on Sunday, April 28, as a student group on Webster University's campus and 77 students were inducted as the first members of the society.

Tau Sigma First Members & AdvisorsST. LOUIS, APRIL 30, 2013 – This week, Webster University officially welcomed an organization that will provide a community specifically for transfer students.

The Delta Upsilon chapter of Tau Sigma was officially chartered on Sunday, April 28, as a student group on Webster University's campus and 77 students were inducted as the first members of the society. Tau Sigma is an academic honor society designed to recognize and promote the academic excellence and involvement of transfer students.

Transfer students make up 47 percent of the University's student body on the Webster Groves campus. Transfer students face different issues than other students who started as freshmen. It can be a challenge to adjust to a new campus, new professors and fellow students who have already formed communities and friendships. Having a chapter of Tau Sigma will help make the transition easier.

“Webster is a very diverse campus and it is important to recognize the diversity,” said Debbie Zamora, a senior at Webster University and founder of the Delta Upsilon chapter. “We are hoping to create events that will allow all transfer students to become engaged. Eligibility in the group is based on academics; however, the group is so much more than that. It is about community and belonging.”

The community aspect is what attracted new member Renee Laury to the society.

“Membership can help with scholarships but it's also important to meet people with similar goals that you can lean on,” said Laury.

Faculty advisor, Scott Jensen agrees that the group is a necessary community for transfer students.

“Anything that acknowledges student excellence and initiative is important,” said Jensen. “Often transfer students are short-changed because they come into an existing system.” 

To become a member of the Delta Upsilon chapter of Tau Sigma, transfer students must have completed at least 13 credit hours at Webster and must have a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

While attending St. Louis Community College, Zamora was very involved in Phi Theta Kappa, an honor society for students attending two-year colleges. She worked for a year to bring Tau Sigma onto Webster's campus, finding a faculty advisor and securing the School of Communications as the sponsoring school for the group.

“It was important that I attend a university that had another honor society,” said Zamora. “Tau Sigma does not reach all transfer students but it's a start. I hope that the Delta Upsilon chapter of Tau Sigma can be the leaders for transfer students who choose Webster and finish their degree here.”

Tau Sigma was incorporated as a non-profit in 1999 with Auburn University being the home of the first chapter. There are more than 100 universities who have established - or are in the process of establishing - Tau Sigma chapters on their campuses to help improve the services that they provide to transfer students.