Taking a stand

Sorority members at Tufts University leave chapter to protest delay of transgender student’s application

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A pedestrian walks down a set of painted steps at Tufts University (REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

Sorority members at Tufts University in Massachusetts took a stand against intolerance after a transgender student’s bid for membership in Alpha Omicron Pi was delayed by a representative from the national sorority. The president of the AOII International, the group that oversees recruitment for all chapters of the sorority, initially explained the delay by saying that they did not “officially have a position statement on gender identity.” The international sorority apologized and allowed the transgender applicant entry only days later, but the damage was done — more than half of AOII’s 79 members at Tufts had decided to leave the chapter in protest.

“It didn’t really seem fair by them saying we couldn’t give her a bid because they don’t have a policy,” explained Kristen Reeves, the former chapter president. “That’s basically them taking a stance and having an unofficial policy.”

Reeves said she decided to leave the chapter after seeing “how slow and unwilling to change” the sorority was on a national scale. In October, a transgender student who rushed AOII at the University of Michigan was denied membership outright, according to Cosmopolitan Magazine. The sorority’s interim president at Tufts, Amanda Wisti, has said that she has proposed a change to the parent sorority’s policy so that “female-identifying” students would be explicitly welcomed by the organization.

Read the full story at The Boston Globe.

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