Sigma Delta Tau was founded in 1917 on the basis of empowering and bringing together women who hold the same values. The Gamma Chi chapter at Geneseo was established in 1982 and currently has 107 active members.
Communication major junior Gillian Lindstrom is the current president of SDT. Prior to Geneseo, Lindstrom knew that she wanted to be a part of a sisterhood, and with SDT she found her home. Lindstrom aspired to be president almost as soon as she joined SDT; it has since been a highlight of her college career.
“I wanted to become president because during my pledging process, I realized that I loved being super involved in the sorority, staying in the loop and helping out fellow sisters. I decided early on that I wanted to run for a lot of positions and give my all to SDT,” Lindstrom said. “Once I realized that people thought I was doing a good job with helping others, I realized I wanted to be president.”
As president, Lindstrom has the opportunity to travel to conferences held by SDT nationals. Since joining SDT, Lindstrom has had the privilege of attending two conferences. This past summer she attended a conference in Cleveland for chapter presidents and rising leaders. Last month Lindstrom and SDT’s executive board traveled to Boston for the annual “Elevate SDT” conference.
“The conference was focused on improving our leadership skills. It focused on helping members of our e-board figure out what kind of leader they were, as well as how to address the problems that arise within their positions,” Lindstrom said. “During the conference, we split into breakout sessions with other SDT presidents and vice presidents, and we spoke with other chapters about how they did things which was super interesting. We also got into groups of our e-board and shared the ideas that we learned to address the problems we have had. It was a full day of us talking about how we can fix problems and learn from each other.”
Beyond leadership, philanthropy is extremely important to the sisters of SDT. A charity especially important to SDT’s Gamma Chi chapter is the Jacquie Hirsh for A.L.L. Foundation. Jacquie Hirsh ‘07 was a sister of SDT who passed away in 2007 after battling Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia for nearly a year. In her honor, SDT and their brother fraternity Phi Kappa Chi hold an annual dodgeball tournament, and the proceeds raised during the event go to the foundation.
SDT and Phi Kappa Chi invite Geneseo students to make teams of eight and compete for prizes donated by local businesses. Psychology major junior Emma Slater is the former assistant to the vice president of philanthropy and played a big role in organizing the event.
“Our annual dodgeball event is really fun,” Slater said. “Every year there’s a huge, big turnout. Jacquie’s brother and parents come back every year for the event, and they express to us how appreciative they are that we continue to commemorate Jackie.”
SDT is a unique organization that unites its members through philanthropic efforts and leadership development. It has brought its members lifelong friendships as well as memories that will stay with them long after graduation.