Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Join?
Any person in any branch of the Earth Sciences who has completed at least 10 semester hours or 15 quarter hours in Earth Science courses and has maintained a minimum 3.0 G.P.A. (on a 4.0 system) in all Earth Science courses together with an overall G.P.A. of 2.67 in all college courses is qualified for membership. Graduate students in an earth science related field are automatically eligible for membership (entrance into graduate school satisfies the GPA and hour requirements). If you qualify and wish to join, you need only inform any officer or the Advisor of your department’s chapter and they can propose you for membership. Initiation of new members is typically held both fall and spring semesters.
Why Should I Join?
Membership in Sigma Gamma Epsilon or a listing of it on a resume (or the wearing of a member’s pin) tells a prospective employer or a colleague that you are at least a “B” average student and that in the eyes of your peers you are professionally motivated. Members serve their departments in a number of ways such as organizing field trips, tutoring, arranging displays, etc. Many chapters have money-raising activities to obtain funds to use for scholarships or awards or to purchase items needed for student use or to assist the department in other ways. Members of Sigma Gamma Epsilon are encouraged to submit articles to the Society’s professional journal, The Compass, as it provides the opportunity to share your research with the society. The Compass contains student papers and articles by practicing earth scientists in addition to news and notes about the Society. As an associated society of the Geological Society of America, Sigma Gamma Epsilon members are entitled to GSA-member rates for registration at national and regional meetings and for purchase of GSA publications.
Does my school have a Chapter of SGE?
A list of Chapters can be found here. If you have questions about whether your Chapter is active, you can contact the national office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information on establishing a new Chapter can be found at Steps in Establishing a New Chapter. Information on reactivating a Chapter is provided below.
How does our department establish a Chapter of SGE on our campus?
Establishing a Chapter at your school is a four-step process that typically can be completed within one academic year. The exact timeline depends on faculty and student schedules within the petitioning department and the availability of the National Officers. See the SGE document Steps in Establishing a New Chapter for details. The National Office will gladly furnish information and give assistance in reactivating an inactive chapter or chartering a new chapter. Address all inquiries to: Lee Potter, Associate Director Sigma Gamma Epsilon P. O. Box 324 Cedar Falls, IA 50613 e-mail: email@example.com
Our Chapter has been inactive for some years now. How do we go about reactivating our Chapter?
All you have to do to become active again is to select an advisor, initiate new members, elect officers, and send a $55 payment for each new member to the national office to become a lifetime member. Sometimes it is helpful and does expedite the process, to elect officers prior to the initiation ceremony. See the SGE Quick Information Sheet for information on membership requirements, dues, fees, and other helpful information.
What are the duties of the Chapter Officers?
Duties of the officers is found in the SGE Constitution and Bylaws, Article III. Government of Chapters.
What is an Associate member?
Associate membership may be granted by any Chapter to any person on the faculty of the departments teaching Earth Sciences in that school where the Chapter is located, or to any professional person in a field of the Earth Sciences that the Chapter deems worthy of such recognition. Associate Members pay the same $55 fee as regular members to become lifetime associate members. Associate Members should be noted as such on the Member Form.
Do advisors need to be members?
Yes, all active advisors, including associate members, must pay the $55 fee if not a member or the $15 fee to convert to a lifetime member if they became a member before August 1, 2021.
When our Chapter submits our dues and fees in the fall and/or spring, do we have to submit just one check for all members?
The National Office requests that one credit card payment or one check be submitted to cover initiation fees and dues for all members of the Chapter. If sending a check, please send a Chapter check (or money order) rather than individual checks. (If your Chapter does not have an account, take the checks to a bank and purchase a money order for the total.) Never send cash through the mail.
My name is misspelled on my shingle (membership parchment). How do I obtain replacement?
Replacement shingles can be obtained by contacting the National Office. Please contact Lee Potter at firstname.lastname@example.org. to request a new shingle or membership card. There is a modest fee for the replacement.
What does a Chapter need to do to be considered active?
Chapters must submit annually the Returning Members and Initiates form, and Chapter Officers form along with appropriate fees and dues by November 15th.
Our Chapter received a request from the IRS to file a form 990-N (e-postcard). What do we do with this?
Small tax-exempt organizations (SGE Chapters) whose annual gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less may be required to electronically submit Form 990-N, also known as the e-Postcard. If your Chapter receives such a request from the IRS, you should file the form so that you do not loose your tax-exempt status. It only takes a few minutes to file the e-Postcard at https://epostcard.form990.org. The form asks for your Taxpayer Identification Number (EIN), which will be located in the upper right corner of the letter of request. It also asks for your Chapter’s address, SGE website (Chapter’s Website, if you have one), and Principal Officer (we suggest your Chapter Advisor be listed as Principal Officer; incidentally, type of name is “person”). A request to file a form 990-N (e-postcard) should come as a letter from the IRS. Please beware of possible scams from other sources asking for this information or offering to file this information for you. Remember all official government websites should end in “.gov”. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter, please contact us.
Does SGE have items for sale?
SGE has available several items for sale, including graduation honor cords, graduation stoles, pins, decals, and patches. These items can be found here.
What are the fees and dues to be member?
If initiated after August 1, 2021, a one-time fee of $55.00 makes you a lifetime member. If you were initiated before August 1, 2021, and would like to become a lifetime member, you can pay a one time fee of $15.