As with any organization that is first starting out, it can be a difficult task to establish a name and reputation for themselves; however, a new fraternity on campus, Alpha Tau Omega, or ATO, has already began that process quite well.
President Bradford MacGillivray has high hopes and plans to make ATO a fraternity with an outstanding recognition across campus. As president of a newly founded fraternity, his plans for the future of ATO, “are to hit the ground running, and to really get involved with the community and campus. We have a ton of ideas and things we want to do, but we’re taking it one step at a time. We recently participated in Dash for Trash this previous weekend, and we’ve got Kappa Alpha Theta’s event “Kat at Bat” on the horizon, as well as Pep Supper. We definitely want to continue to expand and give back to the community, but we also don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. We have big plans though, and we’re really excited for the future.”
Although the fraternity is considered “new” this year here at College of Charleston, it is actually a recolonization. This means that ATO once existed on CofC’s campus before, but now they are coming back to restart the chapter this year.
For the members who initiated, this means they hold a special position of being the first group of people to be a part of this chapter of ATO on this campus, or “founding fathers.” This is a rare but distinguished title because not many people can say they were the first group of people to be commenced into a fraternity, much less those who take on building the fraternity’s foundation upwards.
MacGillivray notes that the process of colonization and being a founding father, “has been challenging, but it has also been very rewarding. [Recolonization] definitely played in our favor because it means we have over 200 alumni in 50 square miles to give us support, and to help guide us through the process. The alumni, along with all the resources we’ve been given, have made the whole process much easier.”
Alpha Tau Omega is also different than other fraternities at College of Charleston because it is a leadership fraternity first and foremost. In fact, all it takes is a Google search of “leadership fraternity,” and Alpha Tau Omega is the first hit. MacGillivray adds that this is one benefit of being in ATO, for leadership development is a strong value within their fraternity. Moreover, the Leadershape program which the College puts on annually initially began as an Alpha Tau Omega program, so one can see how leadership is strongly emphasized throughout this organization.
Being the new kid on the block can definitely be challenging, especially with Greek Life’s connotation, but MacGillivray states that, “everyday is an adventure, and we really appreciate the support from everyone on campus. The showing of support from other organizations has really been a pleasant surprise.” For those who are interested in joining ATO, members comment that joining is “a chance to get involved and be a part of a brotherhood of great guys. Ruh Rah Rega!”