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January 25, 2001 Golden Key Honour Society sets up here



by Barbara Rolnick

A pat on the back was issued to the top 15 per cent of students in each undergraduate program at Concordia recently, when they got invitations to join the Golden Key International Honour Society.

With over 300 university chapters worldwide, the Golden Key prides itself on having over 900,000 lifetime members. According to Concordia Golden Key Chapter Advisor and Co-ordinator Student Affairs Keith Pruden, the main aim of the society is to provide recognition for academic achievement.

“On a more general level, a lot of employers look beyond academic achievement when they are looking to hire,” he said.

Golden Key is a student-run, non-profit organization that was founded in 1977 at Georgia State University. Canadian development began 20 years later at McGill, and the Concordia chapter is one of its newest additions.

The president of Concordia’s Golden Key chapter is Chris Piché. He was approached about the society by Dean of Students Donald Boisvert last April, when he was the president of the Engineering and Computer Science Association.

Piché has been involved in student politics since he began studying at Concordia, and he hopes to get this chapter of the society established before he graduates later this year.

In his opinion, networking with Golden Key’s international corporate community is one of the biggest advantages to joining the society. “It opens doors to contacts that you might not otherwise have access to,” he said.

While invited students are honoured to be part of an elite and select group, many remain unclear about the concept.

“When I first got the invitation I was really excited, but the benefits are somewhat ambiguous,” said third-year Political Science student David Nachfolger. “It seems like it is just possible benefits, such as getting to know people.” However, he does admit it will look good on his resume.

Of the 1,529 invitations sent out at Concordia, about 100 students have joined the society so far. “The response is actually better than we expected,” Piché said.

Membership comes with a pricetag. Members must pay a one-time lifetime membership fee of $80. Half of this money goes directly to Concordia’s Golden Key chapter, while the remaining half is divided equally between international chapter developments and operating expenses.

New members are invited to attend the official chartering ceremony for Concordia’s chapter on March 19 at the Delta Montreal Hotel, where theywill receive certificates. They’ll also have a chance to win one of three scholarships worth $700, based on academic merit.

Information tables are set up in the atrium of the McConnell library building today and tomorrow, on Concordia’s downtown campus. Further information can be found at http://gknhs.gsu.edu.