The Sigma Delta Tau sisters organize various fundraisers and charity events in order to raise awareness and money for their philanthropies. Leadership, scholarship and a genuine interest for community efforts are their core values.
Founded locally under the Gamma Nu chapter on April 30 1989, Sigma Delta Tau (SDT) is one of the 15 recognized sororities at SUNY New Paltz. Based on the values of community service, charity, empowerment and scholarship, SDT has continued to fulfill their legacy throughout the decades. The start of the spring semester has brought a new president, fourth-year finance major McKenzi Ruetz and vice president, third-year marketing major, Jenna Kirant; who are currently encouraging students to rush to continue the legacy of the well established sorority.
While mainstream media tends to portray sororities as a sea of red Solo cups every week, there are often time committments and a four week rush (recruiment process) to officially become a sister. To achieve their mission of personal growth and service, the chapter engages in various philanthropic efforts such as; Prevent Child Abuse America, and Jewish Women International (SDT is a nationally Jewish sorority).
In fact, Vice President of Gamma Nu, Jenna Kirant explained that what drew her into the sorority in the first place was seeing the balance the sisters had between business, charity and genuine bonding. SDT is comprised of three chairs: community service, fundraising and charity, all which have the responsibility of planning about five events in their category. Past events for fundraising include “Push Ups for Prevention” and “Karaoke for Kids,” with community service entailing clothing drives, visiting local retirement homes, and assiting in animal shelters, noted Ruetz and Kirant. Besides planning events, raising money and engaging in community services, SDT’s mission is to also “enrich the college experience of women, to build lasting friendships, and to foster personal growth,” according to the sisterhood’s facebook page.
To promote concrete friendships in a group of 44 sisters, SDT also has a chair to plan events for the sisters to bond. Bonding activities such as apple picking and hiking are used to create a welcoming environment that could initiate or enhance true sisterhood. “We’re all really good friends, if there’s ever a problem it’s handled,” Kirant said. “From freshman year, [SDT] has helped me grow and it was through my sisters that I learned I had leadership potential, I found myself with strong sisters behind me.” Kirant also emphasized the connections one could make through joining.
The sorority often interacts with other organizations on campus and alumni reach out to the students with potential internships and jobs. Being a part of a recognized sorority creates privileges such as having an advisor, being recognized by the college, and participating in campus events such as the Club Involvement Fair and Meet the Greek, according to the Office of Student activities and union services.
Second-year political science major Bella Rodriguez explained how the business side of the organization has opened up “so many doors.” “The community support is amazing,” said Rodriguez, “but after seeing their business side I realized that the sorority will teach me and support me in ways I didn’t realize would last me a long time.”