INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., June 4, 2015 — In a response to a rising tide of incidents of reported hate crimes such as anti-Semitism on college campuses, today Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity, Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority and Sigma Delta Tau Sorority announce their intent to provide programming that brings together men and women from across its chapters and colonies in a joint coalition to work toward stopping hatred, bigotry and discrimination on college campuses.
“As inclusive fraternities and sororities with strong ties to our Jewish heritage, we take a firm stance against those who would belittle our culture with prejudice and intimidation. Too many students are choosing hate over acceptance and that needs to come to an end,” ZBT Executive Director Laurence A. Bolotin said.
This new partenrship will utilize the strengths of these organizations to equip their brothers and sisters with the skills needed to not only combat anti-Semitism and hate on campus, but will also bring Greeks together to foster a more inclusive and accepting environment on college campuses.
This summer, the four organizations will work to develop programming intended to be interactive student-led conversations on tolerance, with real world applications and tools that can be immediately implemented. Workshops will launch this fall on campuses where all or most of the organizations have a presence.
Sigma Delta Tau Executive Director Debbie Snyder commented, “We are saddened by the ignorant public displays of anti-Semitism and other hate crimes that have appeared on college campuses. All students should feel welcome and safe on campus, and we as national organizations have the tools to assist in this effort.”
All four organizations encourage their brothers and sisters to be leaders on their campuses in promoting dialogue on breaking down stereotypes and stopping ignorance. Every individual student, chapter and international organization can take action that will support personal freedoms and equality for all. It is the hope and expectation that all brothers and sisters of each organization be champions for justice and advocates for all members of the university community.
"We decry the existence of continued anti-Semitism everywhere, and we are working to educate and inform those whose beliefs are hateful," said Sigma Alpha Mu Executive Director Lee Manders.
Alpha Epsilon Phi Executive Director Bonnie Wunsch said, "As a Jewish sorority, it is important that we, regardless of our individual members' religious backgrounds, stand together with other members of the Jewish community to foster acceptance and tolerance of all. There is strength in numbers, and the message that this combined effort will bring to campuses across the country is significant.”
As organizations who were formed in the days when Jewish men and women were excluded from joining the Greek community, ZBT, ΣAM, AEΦ and Σ∆T remain firmly committed to ensuring that tolerance and acceptance is practiced on all college campuses.
About Sigma Delta Tau
Sigma Delta Tau is a National women’s social sorority, founded in 1917 at Cornell University by seven Jewish women. The National Sorority has more than 60,000 members. SDT’s philanthropic partners include: Prevent Child Abuse America, Jewish Women International and Women for Women International. SDT provides intellectual, philanthropic, leadership and social opportunities within a framework of mutual respect and high ethical standards.
About Alpha Epsilon Phi
Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority, founded October 24, 1909 at Barnard College in New York City, strives to inspire and support exemplary women dedicated to friendship and a lifelong commitment to Alpha Epsilon Phi while building on the vision of its Jewish founders.
About Sigma Alpha Mu
Sigma Alpha Mu was founded in 1909 at the College of the City of New York as a fraternity of Jewish men; the organization has been inclusive since 1953. With Executive Offices located in Indianapolis, IN, the fraternity currently has 54 collegiate chapters and colonies and over 48,000 living alumni throughout the United States and Canada.
About Zeta Beta Tau
Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity was founded in 1898 in New York City as the world’s first Jewish fraternity. ZBT is a Brotherhood of Kappa Nu, Phi Alpha, Phi Sigma Delta, Phi Epsilon Pi and Zeta Beta Tau. ZBT is represented on more than 90 campuses in the United States and Canada and has close to 130,000 undergraduate and alumni brothers throughout the world.