Sigma Society

A group of Sigma Society members listen during their meeting Sept. 13, hosted by several returning members who introduce themselves with powerpoints. Sigma Society recently removed female pronouns, now replaced with gender-neutral terms. 

Sigma Society changed its constitution to allow anyone of any gender to participate in the organization. 

Sigma Society was founded in 1970, originally as a women's service organization. It helps local charities like the Nodaway County Humane Society and national charities like the Ronald McDonald House. In its original constitution, all of the pronouns were limited to she, her, young women and sisterhood. 

Last semester a suggestion was left in an anonymous comment box. It mentioned some of the members may not identify with standard she/her pronouns. Sigma Society’s original constitution was composed entirely of female pronouns. Those have been removed and placed with gender-neutral terms. For example, every time the term “women” was used it was replaced with “adult.”  

Sigma Society President Jalyn Bryan said she is ready for the change.

“We have had members in our past not go by she/her but go by they/them,” Bryan said. “Gender identity has always been kind of fluid with our members. So it feels nice to be able to accept people and give them their proper pronouns so they can feel welcome.” 

Adrienne Reynolds is the faculty advisor for Sigma Society, and she believes in accepting more people, no matter their gender.

“This should not be just an organization for women because this is an organization about service and giving back to the community,” Reynolds said.

By removing all the pronouns from its constitution, Sigma Society has now opened the door for men and non-binary people to join their organization. 

“Service should be open to everybody. It should not have a gender label,” Bryan said. “Men have just as much of a right to serve our community and be in an organization that serves the community as women do. So we are totally open to anybody who shares the same values as our organization does.” 

Sigma Society Parliamentarian Kayla Torres, who made the changes to the constitution, said the revisions made her feel better about Sigma Society’s future. 

“I understand that at first we were first just a women's organization but opening up to be more inclusive will be better for everyone, especially if that means everyone feels more comfortable,'' Torres said.

The change in the constitution brings some adjustments to how new members join. When someone new joins the organization, every member will provide their pronouns. 

“I just think it’s fabulous that we have become so inclusive and that students want to have an organization that they can not only give to their community, but also have others feel at home in that same organization,” Reynolds said.   

Bryan hopes other campus organizations will follow their lead and remove any gendered language from their constitutions.

“I hope other organizations follow suit. I think it will be good, and it would help everyone find their place without having to worry about whether people will accept me or respect my pronouns,” Bryan said. 

Those who are interested in joining Sigma Society can go to its website and contact their recruitment chairs.

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