Sustainability and Service

Illaria Dana

Education Major


Alpha Chi Nu is the chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at Southern Maine Community College. To become a member, students must receive a grade point average of 3.5. After this qualification is met, students are invited to become members by attending an Induction Ceremony and by paying a fee. The fee can be waived for students who demonstrate need.

The most obvious benefit of membership is members can apply for scholarships to be used during their careers at SMCC and after if they have plans to transfer. Many students become members and remain inactive, unaware of the activities that Alpha Chi Nu is responsible for on Campus and beyond.

These activities make Alpha Chi Nu more than a dull entity of rarefied academia. Last semester, members built a greenhouse at Dyer Elementary School. The intention is that the greenhouse will be used to teach children about agriculture, sustainability, and healthy eating habits. Members of Alpha Chi Nu are reaching out to Cheryl Rich and David Palm, the Department Chair and Division Chair of the Horticulture Department, respectively.

With the support of Rich and Palm, what is needed are students to serve as volunteers. The ideal students would be ones with a passion for horticulture, education, and service to the community. There is an opportunity to collaborate with the youth and educators of South Portland. The reality is that a greenhouse is just a shell without dynamic students who want to share their learning with the greater community.

Despite the qualifications to become a member, Alpha Chi Nu is more of a body of service than an academic club. In this respect, the honor society exists due to the support from the entire student body. Alpha Chi Nu needs students volunteers for the greenhouse project, however, members also want to hear your ideas about how to make SMCC a more effective, helpful institution. Many officers are graduating in the fall, and it will be up to a new cohort of students to determine the future service projects and continue the projects that are already established. SMCC is adaptable to the voices of students and instructors, and this ability to adapt is necessary for an institution to flourish.


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