College of Communication students have the opportunity to rush for a new type of fraternity.
Lambda Pi Eta is a nationally represented honors fraternity for upperclassmen studying in a communication field.
Organizational communication professor Jessica Moore will serve as the group’s faculty sponsor.
Moore, who was a collegiate Lambda Pi Eta member, said students from every discipline of communication at Butler have applied for Lambda Pi Eta membership.
“I think Lambda Pi Eta is really a perfect fit for what a lot of students in the College of Communication want to achieve,” Moore said. “There are a lot of opportunities for students, not only academically, but also socially.”
To join, students must have completed at least 60 credit hours and a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or higher, per national Lambda Pi Eta guidelines.
Applicants must be ranked in the top 35 percent of their class to be eligible for membership.
A national membership fee for the university costing $30 will be required as a one-time payment for all members.
Additional funding for the group will come from fundraising efforts and backing by CCOM and other academic departments, Moore said.
An executive board and president will be elected each year for Lambda Pi Eta, similar to social fraternities and other campus groups.
Moore said students have expressed a desire in their applications to expand their communication studies.
She said they want to add a social aspect to their academics, as well as prestige to the communication discipline.
“I hope to become involved in the Butler University chapter of Lambda Pi Eta so I can show students that communication is worthy of academic study, precisely because it is an essential component of society without which the transmission of knowledge (and therefore academic study itself) would be impossible,” one application read.
The fraternity was founded in 1985 at the University of Arkansas. The fraternity became part of the National Communication Association in 1988 and was named an official honor society in 1995.
Butler established a chapter of Lambda Pi Eta in 2005, but eventually shut down the organization. Moore and College of Communication Dean Gary Edgerton said they were not aware of why the original group fell apart.
Before coming to Butler, Edgerton served as a professor and the department chair at Old Dominion University, where a Lambda Pi Eta chapter was active.
Edgerton said an old certificate of chartership for the Upsilon Delta chapter at Butler hung in his office when he first came to Butler.
“The fact that there was already a charter at Butler really cut down on our legwork,” Edgerton said. “I’m not really sure why it went to sleep, but I definitely think it’s a good thing to have.”
Edgerton said he thinks the organization highlights the evolution of the collegiate study of communication.
“I think something like this shows how far the discipline itself has come,” he said. “I’m glad we have (Lambda Pi Eta) to show the maturation of the field.”
Edgerton said the group benefits students in college and beyond.
“It is a great academic resource, as well as a social resource for students, and it helps encourage the best of the best by saying, ‘Hey, you’re really good at this,’” Edgerton said. “But it’s more than that and a few extra ribbons and cords at graduation. It’s the very best recognition you can get in this discipline, and the social and professional aspects are lifelong.
The networking that comes along with membership is not a factor to underestimate, Edgerton said.
Membership selection for Lambda Pi Eta occurs twice each academic year, in the fall and spring semesters.