By Victoria Ungvarsky
The sisters of Kappa Sigma Alpha (Kappa) relinquished their old Greek letters to join a new chapter of the national sorority Alpha Sigma Tau (Alpha Tau) on Tuesday, Nov. 4. Held on the 115th anniversary of Alpha Tau’s founding, the Ribbon Pledging Ceremony officially marked the emergence of Alpha Tau as the only national sorority currently on campus.
The process of getting to nationalization began two years ago at Kappa’s founding.
“We wanted to be an organization that had a great foundation,” President of Alpha Tau Syeda Showkat ’15 said. The founders of Kappa sought to develop a local sorority within Kenyon’s Greek system, then search for a national organization that shared their values.
“Once we thought we were in a place where we were really stable … we decided to put out a bulletin … that goes out to all the national sororities,” Showkat said. This bulletin attracted Alpha Tau to Kenyon.
“Part of our mission statement is to promote the ethical, cultural and social development of our members,” Ashley Smith, recruitment specialist for Alpha Tau, said. “And doing a little research into the women of Kappa Sigma Alpha, we noticed that a lot of their values in their mission statement was very similar to ours. After meeting them in our extension presentation visit, we knew that they would be a great fit for Alpha Sigma Tau.”
Showkat cited the expanded network as a critical part of the choice to go national. “We talk about the support network, and that’s something that’s really important to us, to get resources, to get support,” she said.
Laura Kane, director of student activities and Greek life, believes the presence of a national sorority will benefit the whole campus. “I think it’s definitely a positive addition to the community,” Kane said. “I think that national chapter can bring a heightened level of excitement,” she said.
These potential benefits come with the responsibilities and challenges of starting a new organization. Alpha Tau plans to recruit new members to the sorority to increase its numbers and work to understand the history, traditions, and culture of the national organization. “I think because we haven’t been really exposed to what a national sorority looks like, we don’t know all of the things,” Showkat said. “We’re still in the transitional phase.”
With their Ribbon Pledging Ceremony behind them, the sisters of Alpha Tau will begin the colonization process next semester, when a representative from Alpha Tau will live near campus to guide them through the pledging and installation process until they are chartered and fully incorporated into the organization.
“It’s very solidified now,” Showkat said. “Now we’ve kind of reached our goal. And hopefully it only gets better from here.”