On August 13, 2007, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia announced its withdrawal from membership in the Professional Fraternity Association (PFA). For more information on this action, please utilize the resources on this webpage or call the National Headquarters at (800) 473-2649.
Official Letter of Withdrawal Submitted to PFA
Frequently Asked Questions
"How is Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia changing as a result of this action?"
The Fraternity is not changing at all. Each chapter will continue to function exactly as it has been—the Fraternity’s withdrawal from PFA concerns only its voluntary affiliation with an association and does not signal any sort of shift in the character or mission of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia or its chapters. Anyone unaware that the Fraternity has left PFA should notice absolutely no change in the activities of its chapters.
"Does this mean that Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia is no longer a professional fraternity?"
"Is Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia planning to join the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC), the national association of ‘IFC’ fraternities?"
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia was founded as a social fraternity, but increasingly used the label “professional” beginning in mid-20th century, primarily in order to distinguish itself from general fraternities and emphasize its position as a fraternity focused around a specific interest--music. After the label of “professional fraternity” came to have more specific meaning in the 1970s as a result of Title IX, the Fraternity sought and obtained exemption from Title IX from the Department of Education on the basis that Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia is a social fraternal organization. Title IX exemption was granted in 1983, and in 1985 all descriptions of the organization as “professional” were removed from the Fraternity’s governing documents. The Fraternity has embraced its correct classification since that time.
In short, the Fraternity has operated as a social fraternity for over 20 years, so the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia known around campus is the same fraternity today that it was before the national organization withdrew from PFA. For more information on this topic, please refer to the resources at www.sinfonia.org/social
No. NIC is a voluntary association of fraternities much like PFA, and several fraternities classified as “social” choose not to hold membership in NIC. Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia does not consider membership in NIC to be in the best interest of its members or chapters at this time.
"What is changing in Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia as a result of this action?"
Additionally, NIC’s dues structure is based on a member fraternity’s number of active collegiate chapters. Because Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia would rank fourth in size among NIC-member fraternities (215 active chapters), our dues would be as high as some of the largest and wealthiest fraternal organizations in the United States--over $17,000 per year--which the Fraternity’s leaders simply cannot justify.
The Fraternity plans to operate outside the umbrella of any primary association, though it will continue its affiliation with the National Interfraternal Music Council, Association of Fraternity Advisors, College Fraternity Editors Association, and other interfraternal collaborative groups.
The only things changing are that Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia’s national leaders will no longer attend meetings of the Professional Fraternity Association or pay dues to that organization. No local changes in the character or mission of our organization will occur, and the activities and involvement of our chapters in music departments and musical activities will be unaffected. Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia will continue to consider its closest counterparts to be the other music fraternities, and will continue to interact with them both locally and as part of the National Interfraternal Music Conference (NIMC). Membership in PFA (or lack thereof) in no way determines our classification; though we anticipate questions from campus administrators about our decision, reclassification of our chapters’ campus registration should not be necessary.