Gustavus women interested in Greek life have a new option on campus. The national sorority Alpha Sigma Tau is in the process of colonizing and is set to become an official sorority next fall. There are approximately thirty women already on-board.
The new sorority’s formation is rooted in the ambitions of Sophomores Jenni Harms and Sarah Larson. Harms and Larson both hoped to join an existing sorority, but found that none were a good fit. The two then set out to create their own—but not all at once.
“At first we were just joking around about starting our own sorority. Then we talked about it and thought ‘let’s actually do it’,” Larson said.
As Harms and Larson got serious about forming their own sorority, they quickly came to the realization that starting from the ground up would require them to draft their own constitution and tackle a host of other responsibilities. With the help of the Student Activities Office, the two began to look for a national sorority to bring to campus.
“We had to submit to the NPC (National Panhellenic Conference) that we were interested. We found out in late January that Alpha Sigma Tau was interested in coming,” Graduate Assistant in Student Activities Blair Whitney said.
Alpha Sigma Tau immediately made a big impression on everybody involved and seemed like the logical choice.
“What they value is pretty consistent with the rest of the groups on campus,” Whitney said.
Harms and Larson were equally impressed with the sorority.
“We were very interested in their history of philanthropy,” Harms said
Together, Harms and Larson channeled the obvious appeal of a national sorority and the record amount of Gustavus women not placed in sororities this past fall. Harms points out that numbers alone speak to the necessity of the new sorority.
“If our sophomore class dropped so many people, we can only imagine what it was like for first-years,” Harms said.
Regardless, the new sorority hopes to provide an extra option for Gustavus women and add variety to Greek life.
“Other girls who didn’t feel like they fit into an existing sorority demonstrated interest too,” Harms said.
Alpha Sigma Tau will become an official sorority next semester. The group is currently in the process of colonizing, which involves recruiting prospective members, getting an adviser, and other preliminary legwork. Harms and Larson report that there are currently about thirty women ready to join that ranks of Alpha Sigma Tau, but say that they are hoping to recruit about fifty total members.
As a brand new sorority on campus, Alpha Sigma Tau is tasked with carving out a reputation of their own and establishing themselves as distinct. Larson believes this process has already begun.
“I think we’ve started making an identity. I think it brings some variety—if you want to be in national sorority you have more options,” Larson said.
What started out as a joke between two friends is quickly becoming a reality. For Harms and Larson, it’s the little things that allow them to grasp their accomplishment.
“It was really exciting to get our t-shirts. Seeing all of the t-shirts on campus was very fun; to see people’s reactions who hadn’t seen us before,” Larson said.
“We’ve been working since November. We had to be patient—there were a lot of down times, but now things are getting serious and it’s a really good feeling,” Harms said.
With a banquet event next fall, Alpha Sigma Tau will complete their path to becoming a full-fledged sorority.