For the last 120 years, Alpha Sigma Tau has claimed victory over challenges and challengers—proving again and again that our Sisterhood provides a relevant experience for women. Like the new professional who entered her first career presentation prepared because of her experience leading Chapter Business Meetings. Or the freshman who found a community of women as she navigated being away from home for the first time. And the group of Sisters who supported the 60-year-old alumna who just lost her mother, easing her grief and pain through an act of Sisterhood. This is our impact. This is our relevance.
But despite the endless examples of the power of our Sisterhood, Alpha Sigma Tau is at a critical moment in time. College enrollment is steadily declining, particularly where we have chapters. Some institutions, like Harvard, are attempting to force organizations like ours to become co-ed and punish members who refuse to comply. Far too many women who once said yes to Alpha Sigma Tau are not experiencing the sisterhood described above and resign believing they can have their needs met elsewhere. And too many members are graduating and leaving Alpha Sigma Tau behind as ‘something they did in college.’ Our collegiate Sisters are facing mental health challenges and despite decades of fighting for cultural change, some fraternal organizations are still jeopardizing the wellbeing and lives of their members.
The stakes are as high as they’ve ever been for Alpha Sigma Tau, but we are strongest when all Sisters together unite to overcome our shared challenges. We’ve done it before, and we’ll do it again.
During the latest round of strategic planning, the National Council acknowledged these imminent existential threats and developed the following statement to guide the Sorority’s direction through the next two-to-three years:
Collegiate members of Alpha Sigma Tau will have a healthy, safe, and values-based Sisterhood that inspires pride and affinity for the Sorority and leads to lifelong stewardship.
In January, Officer Academy attendees got the first look at a few upcoming tactics that support this strategic priority:
- Over the next 2.5 years, Alpha Sigma Tau will begin to increase the national minimum GPA requirement from 2.5 to 3.0.
- Alpha Sigma Tau will invest in members’ health and safety by launching a comprehensive education program addressing mental health/wellbeing and prescription drug abuse prevention. We’ll also enhance and continue our education on sexual violence prevention and bystander intervention.
- Collegiate chapters now have a formal definition of what it means to have a healthy culture and be a successful chapter. With the Five Key Traits of a Healthy Alpha Sigma Tau Chapter guiding chapter culture nationwide, we will create a unified Alpha Sigma Tau experience aligned with our brand.
For us to thrive, we must direct our attention to the collegiate member experience, but we will not discontinue work on our previous strategic areas of focus—alumnae engagement, growth and extension, marketing and communications, and philanthropy. We will continue to increase alumnae engagement, support membership growth, enhance our communications efforts, and grow the Women’s Wellness Initiative.
Championing this strategic priority, combined with the corresponding strategic initiatives, is critical to our future as an organization. With so much uncertainty surrounding the fraternal world, we must all do our part to ensure Alpha Sigma Tau provides an enriching and relevant experience for women. And each and every member plays a key role in making this a reality.
This strategic plan is the roadmap, but each member is in the driver’s seat. We hope that our Sisterhood can count on your help in leading the way.
Here are some ways you can join in today: