Nov. 11-13 – Phi Theta Kappans from all corners of New York State met in the Historic Region of Seneca Falls. The conference, hosted by members of Finger Lakes Community College’s Alpha Epsilon Chi chapter, further explained the honors topic to students through lectures and discussion-driven seminars.
“Seneca County is an historic area, especially for women’s rights,” said Alpha Epsilon Chi advisor, Doug Albert. During the conference many students elected to visit the Wesleyan Chapel, site of the first women’s rights convention in 1848. The Seneca Falls convention was the first time in recorded history that the issue of women’s rights was discussed in a public forum.
“I didn’t realize that the first women’s rights convention was here in New York,” said Erie Community College student Crystal Murno, who was astonished that it took over 70 years for women to earn the right to vote.
Speakers at the PTK conference talked about issues relating to the honors topic. Prof. Bruce Oldfield of Broome Community College said, “As members of an honor society it’s important to know both sides of an argument.” His lecture pointed out that increasing access to information has resulted in a growing rift between science and religion.
“I hope students were inspired by each other,” said Alpha Epsilon Chi advisor Thomas Prieste, who thought the discussion seminars were a great way for students to analyze and process ideas presented by the lecturers.
Getting students connected and talking about current issues was the underlying theme of the Honors Institute. Erie Community College student Kayla Jemmott said the atmosphere of the conference “gave me ideas and inspiration to bring back to my chapter.”