Psi Chi's Presence Gaining Momentum

By Liz Lyon '12, Design Editor

Early Saturday morning, a time when most of the campus is quiet save for the odd jogger, members of Scripps’ Psi Chi Chapter were busy and awake. By 8 a.m., members were in the Wilbur kitchen, prepping batter for Psi Chi’s all-you-can-eat pancakes. By 9 a.m., students craving banana, chocolate and peanut butter pancakes began trickling in. “We’ve started pancakes as a fund- raiser for Psi Chi and Project Sister, with half the proceeds going to each group,” Psi Chi Co-President Allison Midden (’12) said. “We want to be service-oriented.” 

Psi Chi’s first pancake breakfast was held Feb. 4, and it has been gaining momentum since. The pancake breakfasts are part of Psi Chi’s recent efforts to reach out to the campus community and promote cohesion among psychology majors. With over 40 majors graduating this spring, the psychology department is one of the largest on campus. Psi Chi, an honor society, is trying to promote social activities and bonding among students, rather than being just an academic association to put on a resume.

Pancake breakfasts are only one of the ways Psi Chi is trying to reach out to students. On April 21, Psi Chi will host the First Annual Scripps Undergraduate Research Conference, sponsored by the Psychology department.

The conference will be an opportu- nity for psychology students across the 5Cs to present their research to their peers; for some students, this will be useful practice as they go on to graduate school and present their own research at larger professional conferences.

Scripps’ psychology and politi- cal science departments are cospon- soring the conference’s keynote speaker, Kristen Monroe. Monroe is a political science and philosophy professor from UC Irvine whose re- search interests includes empathy and altruism. One aspect of her re-

search extends to the moral choic- es made by Holocaust rescuers. The conference—held spring semester because the other colleges complete their theses in spring—is made possible in part by a grant from Psi Chi International. The grant funds an undergraduate research conference that has participants from at least three undergraduate colleges. “We’re excited about it, and we [the co-presidents] have learned a lot by getting the grant and putting the conference together,” Midden said. “Scripps was the ideal candidate for this grant since we have five undergraduate colleges right here in Claremont. It was also a natural choice because Scripps theses are empirical.”

The grant’s funding lasts one year, and Scripps can only receive it once. Psi Chi Co- President Sarah Stringer (’12) hopes for a successful event which will indicate that Psi Chi is a robust society and helps develop community. Stringer hopes that future events—including a “sock hop” to gather funds and socks to donate to the Sherman Indian School—will also garner enthusiasm and support for the society.

“I’d love for Scripps’ Psi Chi to be a model chapter,” said Stringer. “Psi Chi was started about five years ago by Katherine Frazier (‘09). There was a lot of support for it then, but the society then became less active. We began work to change that when Allison [Mid- den] and I knew we were going to be co-presidents.” In order to revitalize and expand the society, last spring Midden and Stringer organized an induction ceremony last spring with official statements. A candlelight ceremony also included. Both of the society’s past presi- dents attended. If there is enough interest, Psi Chi will hold another ceremony this semester. As students continued to trickle into the Wilbur kitchen, sitting and chatting or munching on pancakes, Psi Chi’s future looked as good as the pancakes its members were cooking.

Psi Chi serves all-you-can-eat pancakes every Saturday morning from 8-11 a.m. in the Wilbur Kitchen.

For more information, contact Allison Midden at