of Alpha Sigma Phi

Fall 2023 | Vol.119 | No.2

Building A New Coalition

Alpha Sigma Phi Continues to Address Relevant Issues; Introduces 'Stop Hazing' as Newest Philanthropic Beneficiary


The Tomahawk is an Educational Journal

Publisher // Gordy Heminger, Bowling Green '96
Editor // Jeff Hoffman, Member-at-Large '76
Design & Content // Ian Fraser, Member-at-Large '15
Contributing Editors // Danny Miller, Alpha Epsilon Pi & John Tilden, Binghamton '93

All content materials, business communications, directory listings, address changes and exchange journals should be sent to The Tomahawk, Alpha Sigma Phi Headquarters, 710 Adams St., Carmel, IN 46032-7541.

The Tomahawk of Alpha Sigma Phi (ISSN 0741-5435) is an educational journal published by Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity. The Tomahawk is the oldest college fraternity publication. It first appeared in November 1847 at Yale University and continued until the University suspended it in 1852. Since its revival in April 1909, it has been continuously published.

The Tomahawk seeks to reflect the Vision and Purpose of Alpha Sigma Phi by presenting news of active chapters, affiliate organizations, individual members, and the Fraternity; by addressing current issues facing the Greek community and our Fraternity; by educating and entertaining those interested in the welfare of Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity, and by serving as a historical record.

Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity, Inc., was founded at Yale University in 1845 and currently recognizes 182 chapters, provisional chapters, and interest groups across North America. The Fraternity aims to provide values-driven brotherhood experiences through life.

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Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity
Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity is a member of the Fraternity Forward Coalition (FFC),
Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors and the Fraternity Executives Association.

ISSN #0741-5435 Print | ISSN #1931-9606 Online

Building A New Coalition

Alpha Sigma Phi has been an industry leader in prevention and accountability for over a decade. Its members currently pay the lowest health & safety rate among any IFC fraternity in the nation. Through robust risk management training, a contemporary take on amnesty, and increased confidence between headquarters and our chapters, Alpha Sigma Phi has laid the groundwork for how fraternity can work in a safe manner for its members and guests.

But let’s not be completely naïve. The Fraternity has unfortunately endured tragic results over the last decade-plus as well. Alpha Sig has utilized those very serious, very uncomfortable to discuss, stories as opportunities to educate new waves of brothers, so that those tragedies do not repeat themselves.

The Fraternity’s willingness to be transparent with its members and share harsh realities has led to an increased level of trust and decreased number of high-risk incidents. Alpha Sigma Phi's candid dialogue with members and recent partnerships with high-impact partners has caught the eye of alumni eager to get involved.

Jim McMahon, Illinois Tech ’78, has been a consistent donor to the Alpha Sigma Phi Foundation during his time as an alumnus. Today, he is making a commitment to give specifically to benefit the Fraternity’s health and safety training, research, and resources.

McMahon credits President and CEO, Gordy Heminger, Bowling Green ’96, and his staff for being intentional in how Alpha Sigma Phi administers prevention and accountability.

“I know how much Gordy and our staff are driven by metrics,” McMahon said. “I think it’s made our Fraternity very successful the way he includes that in everything we do.”

McMahon points out that there are ample opportunities for negative metrics in today’s collegiate climate, such as a police report, parent complaint, etc. that indicate moving in the wrong direction. But through improved resources and re-imagined educational programming, the Fraternity can soon equate fewer negative metrics as positive ones.

Brother McMahon is in preliminary discussions with the Foundation about establishing a fund to support the Fraternity’s health and safety initiatives, such as programming like Responsible Sig and additional resources for our collegiate men to utilize to create a safer environment for their chapter and guests.

All this to further expose the Fraternity’s efforts to enhance the safety of our men and the members of the campus community.

“Could we get to a point where it becomes well-known in the Greek community, that Alpha Sig is the model in the Greek system?” McMahon asks. “If there are schools that know (the answer), they are going to invite Alpha Sig because of what we’ve done.”

McMahon’s desires come as Alpha Sigma Phi announced Stop Hazing as one of Its philanthropic partners last summer at Elevate. Stop Hazing joins RAINN (sexual assault prevention), Shatterproof (addiction support), and Active Minds (mental health awareness) as philanthropic beneficiaries that directly combat the underlying motives that drive most high-risk behaviors the Fraternity has seen over the last ten years.

Stop Hazing’s mission is to promote safe and inclusive school, campus, and organizational environments through research, resource sharing, and the development of data-driven strategies for hazing.

Hazing is a phenomenon that excludes no fraternal organization. It has been the direct result of at least one collegiate death per year since 1969. It is something that, according to Stop Hazing’s research, nearly half of high school students endure even before arriving at college. Also, per their research, the most observed instances of hazing come in the forms of alcohol consumption and humiliation.

Alpha Sigma Phi’s partnership with the organization is young, but Meredith Stewart, Operations Manager at Stop Hazing, has already seen buy-in from our chapters.

“I’m feeling really encouraged,” she said. “A number of leaders from different chapters have been asking for resources, asking for information, and asking for presentations, so we know they’re engaging and helping share that information on their campuses.”

This collaboration seeks to tackle the pervasive issue of hazing at its core, something Stop Hazing has been doing since its inception behind Dr. Elizabeth Allen in 1998. Stewart sheds light on the origins of the non-profit and the shared vision driving this impactful partnership.

“Gaining her skills and expertise to do research, (Dr. Allen) launched a national study,” Stewart explained. “From her campus experiences and national study, we knew hazing was a problem, then we had to figure out how to prevent it, and there really wasn’t anything out there.”