Student Life

Student Organizations

Rhodes is home to almost 150 student organizations that fall into a wide range of categories:

  • Academic and Honorary
  • Advocacy
  • Club Sports and Recreation
  • Cultural
  • Governing
  • Fraternity & Sorority Life
  • Interfaith
  • Media and Performance
  • Service
  • Special Interest

You can see a full listing of active organizations on Presence and search them by any of the categories listed above.

Student Government

The main purpose of the Rhodes Student Government (RSG) is to provide an organization to represent the needs and concerns of the student body to the faculty and administration. RSG is the primary vehicle for student participation in the governance process of Rhodes. The members of RSG seek to keep the group effectively involved in many areas of campus life. All meetings are open to the entire campus, and students are strongly encouraged to attend.

The Rhodes Student Government oversees the allocation of the Student Activity Fund; nominates students for appointment to serve on faculty and administrative committees; directs the Student Government Committees; and generally entertains any matters of student interest or concern at meetings and campus-wide forums. Elections are held in the Spring for all positions except the First-Year Representatives, which are elected in the Fall.

Honor Societies

The Rhodes College Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, Gamma Chapter of Tennessee, was established at the College in 1949. For over two hundred years, election to Phi Beta Kappa has been a recognition of exceptional academic achievement in the liberal arts and sciences. Rhodes students are elected to Phi Beta Kappa by the members of the chapter chiefly on the basis of outstanding academic achievement in the study of liberal subjects.

Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Circle, was established at the College in 1927. The purpose of this national organization is to recognize leadership in college activities and to undertake various activities for the good of the College. Student members are chosen from the junior and senior classes, and not more than three per cent of the student body may be elected to membership. Members must have distinguished themselves in such activities as scholarship, athletics, and publications.

Sigma Tau Delta, national English honor society, was established at Rhodes in 1984. The purpose of this society is to promote the study of literature in English and to recognize outstanding achievement in this area.

Mortar Board, a national honor society for seniors, was established at Rhodes April 17, 1964, for the purpose of recognizing excellence in scholarship, leadership, and service.

The Pi Kappa Lambda honorary academic music fraternity was established in the spring of 1949. It recognizes outstanding achievement in music and may elect not over twenty per cent of those members of the senior class majoring in music.

Eta Sigma Phi, honorary society for students of classical language, was established at Rhodes in 1952. The purpose of this society is to promote interest in all aspects of ancient Greek and Roman culture. Those who have at least a B average in advanced courses in either Greek or Latin are eligible for membership.

The Rhodes chapter of Sigma Pi Sigma, the national physics honor society, was established May 27, 1963. The chapter receives into membership physics students and a limited number from closely related fields when such students attain high standards of scholarship, professional merit, and academic distinction.

Omicron Delta Epsilon is one of the world's largest academic honor societies. The objectives of Omicron Delta Epsilon are recognition of scholastic attainment and the honoring of outstanding achievements in economics; the establishment of closer ties between students and faculty in economics within colleges and universities, and among colleges and universities; the publication of its official journal, The American Economist, and sponsoring of panels at professional meetings as well as the Irving Fisher and Frank W. Taussig competitions. The minimum requirements for admission for undergraduates are completion of 12 semester hours economics courses and attainment of at least a 3.50 in economics courses and an overall 3.50 in all classes. Students do not have to be economics majors, but must have a genuine interest in economics in addition to meeting the above requirements.

Theta Chapter of Sigma Iota Rho, a national honor society in International Studies, is a charter chapter that was founded at Rhodes in 1986. The purpose of Sigma Iota Rho is to recognize academic excellence and to promote information about and study of contemporary international issues. Students are eligible for membership beginning in their junior year, and must have a 3.2 cumulative grade point average and a 3.3 within the major.

Psi Chi, the national honorary society in Psychology, was reactivated at Rhodes in 1987 for the purpose of encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining excellence in scholarship and advancing the science of Psychology as a profession. Membership in this society, which is affiliated with the American Psychological Association and which is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies, is by invitation and limited to Psychology majors.

Theta Nu chapter of the National Order of Omega was chartered in the spring of 1987. It serves to recognize outstanding members of the fraternities and sororities on the basis of scholarship and leadership. A grade point average equal to or above the all-Greek average is required for consideration for membership. Applications for members are extended each year to eligible rising juniors and seniors.

The Alpha Epsilon Delta Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, international honor society in History, was established at Rhodes in 1990. Phi Alpha Theta brings students, teachers, and writers of history together both intellectually and socially, and it encourages and assists historical research and publication by its members. Students who have completed the required number of history hours at the 3.3 level and maintain at least a 3.2 overall grade point average are eligible for membership. Student members host informational gatherings for first-year students, hold career workshops, sponsor speakers, and publish an annual journal of exemplary student papers.

Beta Beta Beta is an honorary and professional society for students of the biological sciences. The Mu Rho Chapter of this national society was founded at Rhodes College in 1992. It seeks to encourage scholarly attainment in this field of learning by reserving its regular membership for those who achieve superior academic records and who indicate special aptitude for and major interest in the life sciences.

Pi Delta Phi is an honorary society for students of French language, literature, and culture. The Nu Nu chapter of this national society was founded at Rhodes in 2004. The purpose of the society is to recognize outstanding scholarship in the French language and its literatures, increase the knowledge and appreciation of Americans for the cultural contributions of the French-speaking world, and to stimulate and encourage French and francophone cultural activities.

Iota Iota Iota is a national honor society that recognizes academic excellence in the field of women’s studies while striving to maintain the feminist values central to women’s studies: egalitarianism, inclusiveness, and a celebration of the diversity of women’s experiences. Iota Iota Iota works to promote an interest in women’ s studies and research in social problems affecting all women. The Chi Chapter of Iota Iota Iota was chartered at Rhodes College in 2004.

Delta Phi Alpha, the National German Honor Society seeks to recognize excellence in the study of German and to provide an incentive for higher scholarship. The Society aims to promote the study of the German language, literature and civilization and endeavors to emphasize those aspects of German life and culture which are of universal value and which contribute to man’s eternal search for peace and truth.

Dobro Slovo, the National Slavic Honor Society, is an honorary organization for talented undergraduate and graduate students in the Slavic languages. It serves as a means for the recognition of academic excellence in the study of Slavic languages, literature, and history, and provides incentive for scholarly interest in Slavic life and culture. The Rhodes Chapter of the society was established in 2003.

Sigma Delta Pi is the national collegiate honorary society for students who distinguish themselves in the study of Hispanic language, literature and culture. The society was founded in 1919 at The University of California, and the Phi Epsilon chapter was established at Rhodes in 2005.

Theta Alpha Kappa is the only national honor society serving the needs of those involved in the study of religion and/or theology at both the baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate levels of higher education. Honoring excellence in these academic fields is its primary purpose, and it currently hosts over 140 local chapters throughout the United States at institutions both large and small, public and private. The Rhodes chapter, Alpha Epsilon Iota, was created in 2000 and serves approximately 40 members. Candidates for admission to Theta Alpha Kappa must have an overall GPA of at least 3.0, at least 12 credit hours in Religious Studies (including Humanities “Search” courses) and at least a 3.5 GPA in those classes.

Nu Rho Psi, national Neuroscience honor society, was established at Rhodes in 2014.  The Rhodes chapter will be the first for Tennessee.  The objectives of Nu Rho Psi are to encourage professional interest and excellence in scholarship in neuroscience, award recognition to students who have achieved such excellence, promote intellectual and social interaction between students, faculty, and professionals in the field, and encourage service to the community.

Kappa Alpha Omicron is the honor society of the Interdisciplinary Environmental Association, honoring academic excellence in the studies of environmental science or environmental studies. The society recognizes academic achievement and outreach. The Rho Chapter at Rhodes College was established in 2021.