Fraternity Seeks Feedback on Transgender Membership Eligibility

Important Notice

Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia is currently seeking input from its membership regarding a potential change to the National Executive Committee’s existing policy on the initiation of transgender individuals.

At the beginning of the 2015-18 triennium, the National Executive Committee reviewed all Fraternity policies at the direction of National President Mark Lichtenberg. As a result of this review, the NEC determined that several policies should be considered for potential changes, and among these is the adopted Policy on Transgender Membership Eligibility. Currently, the policy reads:

Regarding National Constitution and Bylaws, Title I, Article I, Section Two, it is the interpretation of the National Executive Committee that an individual is eligible for status as a probationary member and initiation only if he is both legally and medically male at the time of pledging and initiation. For purposes of this policy, the term “legally” is defined as being eligible to be labeled a male on a new driver’s license or other state-issued identification. For purposes of this policy, the term “medically” is defined as being assigned the male sex by a medical doctor.

Since that time, continuing discussions on transgender membership eligibility have occurred at national and regional Sinfonia events, and the National Executive Committee is seeking input from the Brothers of Phi Mu Alpha on this important topic. A growing number of Greek organizations have recently adopted new policies on transgender membership eligibility, and the consideration of a change of standing policy is now upon Sinfonia.

The NEC is currently considering a change to the existing Policy on Transgender Membership Eligibility. This policy exists as a clarification of the duly established requirement set forth by the National Constitution and Bylaws that membership eligibility be limited to male students. The NEC has received requests from individual chapters and members, as well as formal input from the Council of Province Governors and the Council of Collegiate Province Representatives, recommending revisions to the existing policy. If the proposed revisions were adopted, the resulting revised Policy on Transgender Membership Eligibility would read:

Regarding National Constitution and Bylaws, Title I, Article I, Section Two, it is the interpretation of the National Executive Committee that any individual who identifies as a man is eligible for status as a probationary member and initiation. This policy is intended to uphold the Fraternity’s mission as a brotherhood 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 of the Education Amendments of 1972.

The National Executive Committee invites Brothers to submit comments on the proposed revision of the Policy before it is finalized and implemented. The expressed intent of the NEC is to implement the revised Policy with an effective date of January 1, 2017. Any member in good standing may offer feedback, stating his rationale for support of, or opposition to, the proposed revisions, by sending that feedback in writing via email to

 tmepolicy@sinfonia.org

Submissions will be reviewed by the National Executive Committee for consideration. Frivolous or inappropriate comments will be disregarded, as will input provided through any channel other than the email address listed above. Any submission received will be treated as Fraternity Confidential by the NEC.

The deadline for submitting comments for NEC consideration is December 2, 2016.

October 26th, 2016|
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