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News Release

Oct. 26, 2021

Sigma Society amendment opens organization to all genders

By Kourtnie Stenwall, communication assistant

After more than 50 years as a women’s service organization, Northwest Missouri State University’s Sigma Society is now open to any person, without regard to gender identity.

Sigma Society voted Aug. 30 to amend its constitution and remove restrictions regarding gender identity after an anonymous recommendation suggested a change to more inclusive language. That suggestion morphed into a conversation about ungendering the organization.

“It was very exciting,” said Jalyn Bryan, a senior human services major from Syracuse, Nebraska, who serves as Sigma Society president. “I wasn’t sure exactly how it would go since this was our first time talking about bigger topics like inclusivity. I was really excited that everybody was excited and very receptive of it.”

Sigma Society, founded at Northwest in 1970, supports local and national charities while helping its members build leadership skills. Sigma Society’s original constitution used the pronouns “she” and “her,” but the recent amendment replaced those pronouns with gender-neutral terms. The constitutional amendment opens the organization to students of all genders, including men and non-binary people.

Abigale Petersen, a sophomore elementary education major from Hancock, Iowa, who serves as co-recruitment chair, said she is excited to invite new members as a result of the amendment change.

“I see this impacting Sigma by growing our members,” Petersen said. “This will allow us to take on larger service projects. This also makes us a more welcoming organization for any Bearcat.”

Dr. Adrienne Reynolds, the Sigma Society faculty advisor and an assistant professor of management, said she was ecstatic for the change and sees it as an opportunity for other campus organizations interested in ungendering to turn to Sigma Society for help.

“I’m just so incredibly proud of Sigma Society,” Reynolds said. “This was certainly a big decision to make, and I’m very proud that they see how our society is today and how we’re moving forward in the future. I couldn’t be prouder to be their faculty advisor.”


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215