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LGBTQ Support

This site is designed to provide valuable information to LGBTQ+ members of the University of Rochester community who are currently affiliated with or interested in a fraternity or sorority. You will find information about:

  • The Fraternity and Sorority Pillar Program – a collaboration between the Pride Network, the Paul J. Burgett Intercultural Center, and Fraternity & Sorority Affairs
  • Safe Zone Training, and the organizations that have participated
  • Member Eligibility Policies that clarify eligibility based on gender
  • Resources from local and national organizations

Fraternity and Sorority Pillar Program

The Fraternity and Sorority Pillar Program is an initiative designed to provide a safe environment for LGBTQ+ students who are members of fraternities or sororities and who wish to receive more information, support, and fellowship about their own orientation. The Pillar Program is meant to be a supportive resource through the Pride Network both electronically and through face-to-face interactions. It is also intended as a resource for prospective fraternity and sorority members or those who have an interest in the intersection between LGBTQ+ identity and fraternity/sorority membership.

The Pillar Program will exist as an initiative through the Pride Network, which will provide a safe location for Pillar Members to gather and will provide resources and advocacy to this aspect of the members’ experience.

Pillar Advocates are fraternity and sorority members who wish to serve as resources to current and prospective members. Pillar Advocates are Pride Network members who have participated in Safe Zone Training and are equipped to answer questions about recruitment and membership or provide a connection to other LGBTQ+ fraternity and sorority members. There is no limit or requirement for the number of members who participate from any single organization. Pillar Advocates will be listed on the Fraternity and Sorority Affairs website and commit to the following:

  • Be an active member of a fraternity or sorority.
  • Participate regularly in Pride Network meetings and programs (must have attended at least three Pride Network Meetings).
  • Be sensitive and supportive of other students and the particular phase of their identity development.
  • Respect the confidentiality of other students in discussions of LGBTQ+ support and issues in the fraternity and sorority community.

If you are interested in becoming a Pillar Advocate, please contact john.disarro@rochester.edu.

Advocates can also answer questions about navigating recruitment and membership, connect you to other LGBTQ* fraternity/sorority members, or simply provide a social connection. Pillar Advocates are expected to contribute to a safe and welcoming environment for our LGBTQ community and to advance such goals within their respective organizations.

Safe Zone Training

Safe Zone Training at the University of Rochester is a dynamic, interactive session for students that includes activities and discussion around: inclusive and respectful language, the process of coming out, understanding sexual and gender identity, taking action on our campuses and in our workplaces, where to go for help and much more. These trainings are for students, presented by their peers, and gives participants the skills they need to provide support and to create environments that are safe, welcoming, and inclusive.

Starting Fall 2018, we will track fraternity and sorority member participation in Safe Zone Training. While Safe Zone Training alone does not show complete information of an organization’s commitment to inclusivity, it provides one measure of steps organizations are taking to create a culture of respect and understanding within their chapters.

Fall 2018 – Of the 25 undergraduate students participating in Safe Zone Training, 15 were fraternity and sorority members:

  • Beta Theta Pi (1)
  • Chi Phi (1)
  • Delta Upsilon (3)
  • Phi Kappa Tau (3)
  • Phi Sigma Sigma (1)
  • Sigma Delta Tau (4)
  • Sigma Nu (2)

Membership Eligibility Statements

Trans-inclusion within fraternities and sororities has been a hot topic on campus and around the nation. Fraternity & Sorority Affairs has requested that all chapters send a clear policy or statement on who is eligible to join their chapter to provide more transparency for students interested in joining a fraternity or sorority. If a chapter does not allow trans individuals to join, it does not mean that they do not want to or that they will not be able to allow trans members in the future. Many inter/national organizations and national councils are in deliberation about this issue and the chapters at the University of Rochester must adhere to the policies set forth by their national or international organization. 

* Currently, there are no chapters that have a policy specific to non-binary, genderqueer, or agender members. If you are interested in bringing a gender-inclusive organization to campus, please contact the Director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, John DiSarro, at john.disarro@rochester.edu.

Alpha Epsilon Pi - For the purposes of membership, the Rho Nu Chapter of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity welcomes anyone who identifies as a man to begin the process of joining our organization. Furthermore, this definition may be altered, if at any time insufficiently inclusive, by the use of a binding resolution to this effect.

Alpha Phi - While members of Alpha Phi are neither selected nor rejected based upon age, religion, race, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability, Alpha Phi membership is not open to males based upon exemption given social fraternities and sororities by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

Beta Theta Pi - Membership shall be conferred only upon male identifying students of The University of Rochester who have met the qualifications set out in Article II in the Code of Beta Theta Pi and Article I of the Bylaws of the Rochester Colony.

Chi Omega - Chi Omega is working at the national level to refine our membership policies in defining eligibility to join based on gender. We understand this is a complex issue that affects all of our members and prospective members deeply and personally. As such, our organization wants to be sure we are doing our due diligence to ensure our final policy is thoughtful and respectful both to our initiated members and to individuals seeking membership in Chi Omega. Please reach out to our organization if you have questions about your ability to join Chi Omega—we are happy to speak with you!

Chi Phi - Any student who identifies as man based on the university's gender marker is eligible for membership in Chi Phi.

Delta Gamma - Delta Gamma Fraternity does not discriminate in its membership selection on the basis of race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, color, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, physical disability or other characteristics protected by state, provincial or federal law. Membership is open to all individuals who identify as women. Those selected for membership in Delta Gamma must have good scholarship, be of good character and standing, have an interest in activities that will enhance the academic atmosphere at the college or university, and have a sincere desire to contribute to the work of Delta Gamma.

Delta Upsilon - Any individual of merit who identifies as a man is welcome to seek membership in the Fraternity. In any membership decision, including recruitment, pledging, suspension, expulsion, or electing one to Membership in the Fraternity, a Member, Associate Member, Undergraduate Chapter, Colony, Alumni Chapter or the Board of Directors may not discriminate against any male on the basis of his race, color, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship or physical disability.

Gamma Phi Beta - Gamma Phi Beta is an organization that is rooted in fraternal values and is committed to the promotion of inclusion among our members. Any woman shall be eligible for membership, provided she is currently enrolled in a college or university where there is a collegiate chapter and she is not, nor has been, an initiated member of an existing National Panhellenic Conference fraternity/sorority. Gamma Phi Beta seeks individuals for membership who aspire to live our Core Values of Love, Labor, Learning and Loyalty and want to achieve individual worth, intellectual growth, service to humanity and lifetime commitment to our sisterhood. In an effort to give meaning to the concept of an "all-women" sorority and to give guidance to those making decisions about eligibility for membership, the word "woman" should be interpreted as anyone who identifies as a woman.

Kappa Alpha Theta - All who identify as women are eligible for membership in Kappa Alpha Theta.

Mu Sigma Upsilon - Undergraduate Membership in this Organization shall be open to any woman regardless of race, color, political view, ethnicity, or religious affiliation. In an effort to clarify our identity, a woman is defined as any individual who self-identifies as female, regardless of her assigned sex at birth or her expression or the perceived expression of her gender. In order for an individual to be considered for or allowed membership in the sorority, she must identify as a woman, as previously defined. No member of MSU can lose her membership rights due to a change in gender, gender expression or gender identity. This policy is not intended to change the all-woman character of the Sorority nor to waive the Sorority’s rights.

Phi Kappa Tau - Any student that identifies as a man with the University of Rochester--regardless of race, sexual orientation, color, national origin, marital status, or physical disability--may have the opportunity to become a brother of the Delta Chi chapter of Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity.

Phi Sigma Sigma - Membership is open to those who identify as a woman without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, age, handicap, disability, ancestry, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation or any other classification protected by law or ordinance.

Psi Upsilon - Membership in Psi Upsilon International Fraternity is open to men and women.  Historically, the Upsilon Chapter of Psi Upsilon has chosen to limit its membership to men, as is its prerogative under the constitution and bylaws of Psi Upsilon.  It is the policy of the Upsilon Chapter that any individual of merit who identifies as a man is welcome to seek membership in the Upsilon Chapter. In all membership decisions, including recruitment, election to membership, suspension, or expulsion, members of the Upsilon Chapter shall not discriminate against any member or prospective member on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, or physical disability except as to limiting membership in the chapter to individuals who identify as male.  In addition, the brothers of the Upsilon Chapter recognize that the journey to understand and accept one’s own gender identity may be a fluid and long-term process.  Membership in Psi Upsilon is a bond that lasts a lifetime, and as such, the brothers of the Upsilon are committed to support any of their number in his personal journey toward self-understanding, acceptance, and transition.

Sigma Beta Rho - Any student that identifies as a man (regardless of sexual orientation) and who is in good standing with the University may become a member of the Chapter unless otherwise provided in this Constitution or the Constitution or Bylaws of Sigma Beta Rho Fraternity Incorporated. 

Sigma Delta Tau - Undergraduate candidates for membership are selected at a local/chapter level from matriculated college students at campuses where Sigma Delta Tau has an active charter or is in the process of establishing one.  Sigma Delta Tau does not discriminate on the basis of race/color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, pregnancy, or disability when considering candidates for undergraduate membership.  Eligibility for consideration for membership is open to all those who live and identify as women.

Sigma Phi Epsilon - Sigma Phi Epsilon is a national Fraternity built on the brotherhood and fellowship of men. Any individual who identifies as a man is welcome to seek membership in the Fraternity. This policy is intended to uphold the mission of Sigma Phi Epsilon as a fellowship of men and should not be interpreted as changing the all-male character of the fraternity or as a waiver of the Fraternity's exempt status under Title IX.

Sigma Psi Zeta - Sigma Psi Zeta Sorority, Inc. is fully committed to a policy against legally impermissible, arbitrary, or unreasonable discriminatory practices or procedures, and complies with the Civil Rights Act and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1983. When selecting members, we offer this opportunity to all women and transgender persons who identify themselves as women regardless of race, color, national origin, age, religion, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation, or disability. Males are excluded from seeking membership, as provided by Title IX, 20 U.S.C. §1681(a)(6)(A), which pertains to social fraternities and sororities. However, membership status will not be affected for initiated members who have transitioned and identify as trans-masculine or gender nonconforming. Our organization will be mindful of each potential member’s personal situations that may conflict with sorority activities, provided that these situations are communicated in a timely manner with the current members of our organization and, as such, those potential members will not be barred from the opportunity for membership due to those circumstances beyond their control. As a multicultural organization with roots in advocacy for Asia/Pacific Islander America women’s issues, we are committed to celebrating the diversity and individuality of our membership.

Theta Chi - Membership in the Fraternity shall be limited to male persons of good moral character who have been initiated in accordance with these Bylaws and the Ritual, and shall be of two classes: (1) undergraduate, being any member who is in academic residence at an institution of college or university education where there exists an active chapter of which the individual is a member, and has not completed an undergraduate degree; and (2) alumnus, being all other members. There shall be no other classifications of membership, such as “inactive”, or “social”, or “local”."

 

Resources

The following are a list of both local and national resources. This is not an exhaustive list. If you find another resource that you believe could benefit the University of Rochester community, please email john.disarro@rochester.edu.

Local Resources

Please visit the Paul J. Burgett Intercultural Center website for a thorough list of University of Rochester resources

National Resources