Alpha Chi Omega sorority now accepts 'all who live and identify as women'

- Alpha Chi Omega sorority is now publicly welcoming “all who live and identify as women, regardless of their gender assigned at birth,” to seek membership. Alpha Chi Omega National President Angela Costley Harris delivered the following message in a video shared on social media:

“Over the past year, Alpha Chi Omega has been challenged to reexamine the concepts of sisterhood and sorority through the lens of a quickly-changing collegiate landscape. Members from all parts of the country have sought guidance about transgender women who’ve expressed interest in joining our fraternity. These inquiries come from our collegians' sincere desire to create a sorority experience that more fully reflects the realities of today’s women in today’s world. Alpha Chi Omega is a women’s organization, but to stay relevant in today’s world, Alpha Chi must be inclusive of all who live and identify as women, regardless of their gender assigned at birth. We recognize that for some of our sisters, embracing this position means adopting a new mindset, and, as our understanding of gender identity evolves, so must Alpha Chi Omega. I hope will stand with me and the rest of the national council in embracing Alpha Chi’s inclusive stance. Thank you as always for your support and sisterhood.”

Statement from University of Minnesota chapter of Alpha Chi Omega

“We could not be more excited to announce that Alpha Chi Omega has moved to be inclusive of all who live and identify as women, regardless of their gender assigned at birth. Alpha Chi Omega is, as it always has been, an organization for women. The mission of our organization is clear: From advocating for domestic violence awareness and teaching women of all ages how to cultivate healthy relationships, to providing leadership and education opportunities, Alpha Chi Omega exists to develop and empower real, strong women. We want to continue to live this important mission in today’s world, and we feel this is an amazing step towards achieving that!!”

Policy does not allow transgender men

Alpha Chi Omega’s Statements of Position include the following non-discrimination clause:

“Alpha Chi Omega does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, sexual orientation, religion or other characteristics protected by applicable law. Women, including those who live and identify as women, regardless of the gender assigned to them at birth, are eligible for membership in Alpha Chi Omega based solely on five membership standards.

“The National Membership Standards are: 1] academic interest; 2] character; 3] financial responsibility; 4] leadership ability; 5] personal development.

“Alpha Chi Omega remains, as it always has been, a women's organization. Those assigned female at birth who live and identify as men are not eligible for membership.”

Full letter from Alpha Chi Omega National President Angela Harris

Over the past year, Alpha Chi Omega and its National Panhellenic Conference peers have been challenged to reexamine the concepts of sisterhood and sorority through the lens of a quickly changing landscape.

Alpha Chi Omega is, as it always has been, an organization for women. The mission of our organization is clear: From advocating for domestic violence awareness and teaching women of all ages how to cultivate healthy relationships, to providing leadership and education opportunities, Alpha Chi Omega exists to develop and empower strong women. If we are to continue to live this important mission in today’s world, Alpha Chi Omega must be inclusive of all who live and identify as women, regardless of their gender assigned at birth.

In recent months, members from chapters in all parts of the country have sought guidance about transgender women who have expressed interest in joining our Fraternity. These inquiries were not made out of fear or obligation; they were born from our sisters’ sincere desire to create a sorority experience that more fully reflects the realities of today’s women, in today’s world. This announcement is about meeting our collegians where they are and responding to their calls for inclusion.

This position is the result of extensive National Council deliberation, best-practices research, legal consultation and frontline discussions with higher-education and sorority/fraternity life thought leaders. It did not emerge as a reaction to external influences, but from introspection about how Alpha Chi Omega will continue to redefine the sorority experience.

This does not, in any way, alter our National Membership Standards. Our chapters will continue to recruit potential new members based on: 1] academic interest; 2] character; 3] financial responsibility; 4] leadership ability; and 5] personal development.

Today, our Fraternity is more than 230,000 members strong. We recognize that for some of those 230,000 sisters, embracing this position means adopting a new mindset. And as our understanding of gender identity evolves, so must Alpha Chi Omega.

The power of women’s organizations is real and necessary. This remains true today more than ever. I hope you will stand with me, and the rest of the National Council, in embracing Alpha Chi Omega’s inclusive approach.


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