During the spring of 2011, one of McDaniel’s local sororities disappeared only to resurface as something they never used to be. “Alpha Nu Omega is definitely a part of Alpha Sigma Tau’s history at McDaniel but they’re not the same,” said the Alpha Sigma Tau Educational Consultant Emily Hamsher.
Only six girls from Alpha Nu Omega transitioned over to Alpha Sigma Tau, including the current President Austin Westermann. “There’s no bad blood between the girls who transitioned and the girls who didn’t. The ones who didn’t had personal reasons which you have to respect.” The girls who were a part of Alpha Nu Omega last year were offered bids that are good for a year to join Alpha Sigma Tau along with other alumni of the local sorority.
Westermann also talked about how long of a process it was for the members of Alpha Nu Omega to find a sorority that fit what they were about as a group. Alpha Sigma Tau became the best choice.
One of the things the girls had to do in order to get the national sorority to come to campus was increase their numbers to 40 girls. Although they had the numbers in the spring, it dwindled in the summer by at least half due to graduating seniors.
The girls started recruiting as soon as they got to campus in the fall. One of the benefits of the new informal recruitment is that “it’s natural,” said Westermann. “The pressure is off and it’s more relaxed.” The girls are encouraged to get to know the prospective girl by taking a walk or going to lunch together. “I’m really happy the school implemented it.”
The obvious new benefit to being a part of a national sorority is being a part of a large sisterhood. Over the summer, Austin, Chelsea Watkins, and Sara Yost were all able to travel to Indianapolis to meet sisters from other chapters, including Salisbury. Having a strong sisterhood is what sororities are all about. “The girls get along so well. They genuinely take interest in one another. They want to be a part of each other’s lives,” Westermann continued.
An intimidating factor to joining Alpha Sigma Tau is how close the girls already are. During the Involvement Fair, Westermann said she met a lot of great freshmen who have taken an interest. Other girls who are more familiar with the group should not see their bond as intimidating but as loyalty. “Somebody can speak strongly of someone else because they know them in a different circumstance.” One of the group’s biggest supporters has been Phi Mu, a national sorority that has been on campus for a much longer time then Alpha Sigma Tau.
As for what separates Alpha Sigma Tau from other sororities, Westermann doesn’t have an answer, “I’m not in other sororities so I wouldn’t know about them but for us, we’re all in a sorority, specifically Alpha Sigma Tau, because the people made it worth it.”
Right now the girls are considered a colony until their first pledge class goes through initiation in the fall. On Sunday September 11th, the girls held their first pinning ceremony for new members. Alumni from Baltimore came up to show their support for the girls. The girls will soon be involved with the Carroll County Boys & Girls Club as well as Treats for Troops, and Stars & Stripes.
Alpha Sigma Tau’s motto is “Active, Self-reliant, and Trustworthy”. These girls took the initiative to find a national sorority to keep their group together on their own; they have built a solid bond with one another, and are ready to be active with McDaniel’s Greek life as well as the local community. “It feels so good to be back,” says a joyous Westermann.
Having the colors green and gold, how could they not be a good fit for McDaniel?