The Alpha Chi Omega sorority has become the first greek organization nationally to accept transgender students, the Minnesota Daily reported.
“A transgender woman is just as much of a woman as I am,” Melissa Medved, an Alpha Chi Omega member at the University of Minnesota, told the paper.
Medved told the Daily that the current sociopolitical climate likely "pushed Alpha Chi to prove that we are really inclusive and empowering to our women.” She added to the paper that "it would be really cool for greek life as a whole to accept the people who are identifying as one way or the other."
At the university, three fraternity chapters and one sorority chapter changed their policies to offer membership to students who identify as male or female, the Daily reported.
Alex Hansen, president of the university’s Alpha Chi Omega chapter, told the paper that last month's announcement from the national office reflects "a question that was starting to come up a lot."
Here's the announcement from the sorority's national president:
A message from National President Angela Costley Harris on Alpha Chi Omega's inclusive position. #AXO https://t.co/sZx5Ej6Qvw— Alpha Chi Omega (@Alpha Chi Omega)1487360287.0
But some aren't happy about Alpha Chi Omega's transgender-inclusive move.
"I am incredibly saddened by the email I received regarding gender in Alpha Chi," Amy Christopher Rowe wrote on the sorority's Facebook page, adding, "I cannot in good conscience recommend any other young women or my daughter to Alpha Chi Omega with this new policy in place. It is unthinkable that my daughter would one day be involved with overnight retreats and the like with those who have a penis. This is potentially unsafe and does not promote the spirit of true sisterhood incorporated in 1885."
Leslee Haylett concurred:
I am relieved to see that I am not alone in my disappointment in Alpha Chi Omega's decision on gender diversity. We owe it to our current sisters and those to come in the future to protect them. ... It's sad to see AXO falling into the trap of being PC instead of really thinking what this means. You may as well give up being a single gender fraternal organization. What is to stop a male (who considers himself a male) to join? You open the door to all now. I'm very sad. I was sad that my daughter never had the chance to join AXO. Now maybe I'm glad she can't. I will be rethinking further foundation donations, as I'm sure other disappointed sisters will be doing as well.
But Joanna Rice took the opposite position, replying to Rowe directly and saying, "Respectfully, I think you need to open your mind and get up to speed with the times."
We should be applauding Alpha Chi Omega Sorority for taking on the role of pioneers in this ever evolving gender identity topic. Because, some day, in the not so distant future, just as you and I say today, "Can you believe that less than 100 years ago, women weren't even allowed to vote?" The same will be true of the transgender issue now.
(H/T: The College Fix)