Halley Smith, Managing Editor
The brothers of Alpha Tau Omega will receive their formal charter on March 28.
As a colony, ATO has functioned like other Greek organization on campus, but internal elements of ritual and initiation have been absent. With their charter, Samford ATOs will have the same membership rights as ATO’s across the country.
For the fraternity, which colonized on March 14, 2014, petitioning for a charter was a 21-page process that including submitting essays, recommendation letters, membership profiles, grade reports and office programs to their headquarters.
Patrick O’Connor, a fifth-year senior education major and past president of ATO, said that the first step to petitioning for a charter was establishing the organization on campus. ATO expansion officers came to Samford and spent time getting to know Samford and its students, and they took interest in those who were looking to make a difference on campus.
“We as founding fathers have been through a lot to get the petition completed and approved by Nationals,” O’Connor said. “We’re excited for all of our work and ambitions to be realized by the fraternity and to continue bonding together as a brotherhood.”
With the charter comes a new level of responsibilities and privileges for the chapter.
“This charter means we will become a functioning chapter with full rights to fraternity ritual and initiation,” ATO president William Hargrove said. “Initiating and chartering will bring everything full circle from founding as a colony almost a year ago to becoming a chapter.”
Hargrove, a sophomore international relations major, credits ATO’s 2014 executive board for their success in receiving their charter so quickly.
“Some ATO colonies spend much, much longer in this phase,” Hargrove said, explaining that Samford’s time as a colony was much shorter than usual.
“The petition allows us to show the national fraternity all of the progress we have made since colonization,” Hargrove said.
Though it’s bittersweet for O’Connor to graduate, he is excited to see what the brothers will do as they become a deeper part of the Samford community.
“I know I speak for all the graduating men when I say that we expect only the best from the future men of ATO,” O’Connor said.