These Sorority Sisters Quit to Protest Discrimination Against Transgender Women

One of the beautiful things about being a member of a sorority is that your sisters will stick with you through thick or thin. 

When the members of the Delta chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi at Tufts University in Massachusetts found the perfect member during fall recruitment, Kristin Reeves and her sisters were excited to offer her a bid, thinking she seemed fun and interesting, NECN reports.

But when the sorority’s national headquarters learned that the recruit identified as a transgender woman, they were unsure if the sorority could legally admit her. The chapter explained further in a written statement.

“On the final night of fall recruitment, September 16th, Delta unanimously voted to extend a bid to Samantha*, a transgender woman who had attended recruitment,” the statement said. “Because there was no official policy in place addressing the membership of transgender women, the Assistant Director of College Experience and AOII International were uncertain whether extending a bid to Samantha would violate the Title IX exemption it had from National Panhellenic Conference.” 

Reeves, along with 46 other members, quit the Tufts chapter of AOII, partially in protest of the way the situation was handled.

Alpha Omicron Pi, which is based in Tennessee and has 139 chapters in the U.S. and Canada, eventually said that Samantha could join the chapter—but it was too late.

“We’re hoping to move on from this event and that we will come with a very well-researched and organized policy in the future,” Courtney West, a spokesperson for AOII, told NECN.

According to Cosmopolitan, there are only three National Panhellenic Conference sororities that have policies protecting transgender women from discrimination.