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About the Tomahawk


The first Tomahawk was a four page sheet, about 12 by 18 inches and sold on the campus for six cents per copy. Here's how the first issue introduced itself:

"Be not offended fellow students, that once again your attention, your interest and your support is called to another college sheet. Though we come a stranger, our cognomen unfamiliar, and perhaps uncouthly; though at our stealthy approach you shudder, conjuring up strange phantasms of havoc and merciless destruction and were want to follow the flight of the tomahawk, in those days when the wild savage roamed in our primeval woods, and with his unerring weapon hurled pain and death upon his white foe; though indeed you find everything repugnant in our name, and our nature, and our unexpected and (perhaps to you) apparently uncalled appearance; yet be assured we have just claims upon your ears, yes, though we come with a tomahawk in our hands!"

What that very long sentence meant was war.  Fraternity life at Yale in those days stood not only for loyalty to one's own society, but for bitter opposition towards every other organization. Kappa Sigma Theta had not been sparing of its abuse of Alpha Sigma Phi in The Banger so The Tomahawk retaliated  with a vengeance.

The Tomahawk has continued to change in appearance and purpose, reflecting the changing nature and needs of the members of Alpha Sigma Phi. For many years, the magazine reported merely on the activities of chapters and members. Today's Tomahawk seeks to do more than just list new chapter officers and routine chapter news. It reports more in-depth chapter programs and projects. It reports on the achievements of our members worldwide and it reports on Alpha Sigma Phi's changing policies and priorities. It seeks to challenge and stimulate new thinking . . . to share new approaches to fraternal living and achieving a better Brotherhood.

The Tomahawk (ISSN #0741-5435 Print and ISSN #1931-9606 Online) 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.

Today, The Tomahawk seeks to reflect the Vision and Purpose of Alpha Sigma Phi by presenting news of active chapters and affiliate organizations, individual members and the national organization; 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 Foundation; and by serving as a historical record. The Tomahawk is distributed in a variety of formats. Every month, all alumni and undergraduates with a good email address receive an electronic Tomahawk Newsletter. Other formats include a printed magazine typically distributed twice each academic year.

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