3 minute read

International President's Viewpoint

By Lee Woodham Langub, International President, Gamma Alpha–University of Georgia

On a recent walk, I listened to a podcast featuring Tina VanSteenbergen, Beta Omicron–Illinois State University. While I’m usually not one to listen to things multiple times, I've found myself going back to it. As Alpha Gam continues to navigate sisterhood in a virtual environment, I keep thinking about Tina's words:

“I believe women need women. I believe every single woman in the world, regardless of her background, deserves sisterhood. Passionate, fierce friendships with other women. We can create those experiences if we take some of the traditions and expectations out of it and just invest in the real reason people join— relationships. The reason people stay, the reason these organizations change people’s lives—it's the people...And if we start talking about the experience like that, I think it would lower barriers. Let’s stop selling 'sorority' and start inviting people into our sisterhood. How many more women would want to join that?”

I believe this represents both Alpha Gam's beginning and its future. Alpha Gamma Delta was founded as women started enrolling in college at a significantly higher rate. While widely unwelcome, the need for support—for women, by women—was brought to the forefront for the first time.

As I think about the challenges we are currently facing—the pandemic, political discord, natural disasters, racial injustice—that same need for belonging, support and sisterhood is as strong as ever. And, as I look across Alpha Gam, I see how we are rising to meet those needs.

When Primary Recruitment turned mostly virtual this fall, our collegiate sisters embraced the challenge and focused on making connections. No elaborate decorations or hours of practicing songs. And, while there were some new challenges, our offer of sisterhood and belonging was accepted by many new sisters.

We've also been considering ways to on lower barriers to membership. This fall, we decreased Initiation Fees and are reviewing policies

surrounding recruitment, such as legacy policy and recommendation letters. When the pandemic limited in-person gathering, we recognized the need for belonging is still critical. Staff and volunteers worked with collegiate chapters to manage expenses in order to maintain programming, engagement and sisterhood.

It should come as no surprise the Fraternity has experienced lost of revenue related to COVID-19. We've made difficult budget decisions in order to keep member services from being impacted. This included reallocating the cost of printing and mailing the Quarterly this fiscal year. Distributing our magazine digitally only allows us to focus our resources on supporting the member experience across the ages and stages of our sisterhood.

The FHC has nurtured community by focusing on the safety of our members who live in FHC facilities. No two campus situations are alike, but their care and concern for maintaining a safe place for sisterhood is evident.

The Foundation continues to focus on how to support our sisters during a time when fundraising is a challenge but need is at an alltime high. Read more about this on page 14.

I won’t lie—2020 has brought many challenges for our Fraternity. But within those challenges comes a reminder to get back to the basics, to find ways to support one another, to focus on relationships—to focus on sisterhood.

Loyally in epsilon pi,

Lee Woodham Langub, International President

A Quick Note From the Editor

We inadvertently reported the passing of Julie Wenell Greiner, Rho– Iowa State University; however, we are happy to report she is alive and well in Illinois! Also, Carol Mignonne Wilson Flagg, Epsilon Zeta–Arkansas State University was incorrectly listed as Flagg-McNabb.

It's never fun to find out we've made a mistake, but it feels even worse when it happens in Chapter Grand. Our sincerest apologies go out to their friends and families.

Also, you may notice Collegiate Reports are not included in this issue. As the most popular section of the magazine, it is receiving a muchneeded makeover to maximize the info we present to you. We are excited for you to see some of these changes in the upcoming Winter issue.