Alpha Chi Omega is a national sorority in the USA that was founded over 120 years ago and boasts alumni like former US Secretary of State Condaleeza Rice, actress Alyson Hannigan, and prominent author Gail Sheehy. It's also just made history as the first sorority to accept transgender women on a national scale.
In a video released in tandem with a letter distributed to members, National President Angela Costley Harris describes the change in policy after being contacted by a number of sisters from across the US enquiring about bringing in trans women.
"Over the past year Alpha Chi Omega has been challenged to reexamine the concepts of sisterhood and sorority through the lens of a quickly changing collegiate landscape," Harris says in the video.
"Members from all parts of the country have sought guidance about transgender women who have expressed interest in joining our frat[ernity].
The sorority's motto is "Creating Strong Women", and the change in policy will help in opening up a section of American society that has struggled to embrace change, with Harris stating that a shift in stance was needed to remain in touch in a world embracing change.
"To stay relevant in today’s world Alpha Chi must be inclusive of all who live and identify as women regardless of their gender assigned at birth."
Pat Tetreault, the director of the LGBTQA+ Resource Center at the University of Lincoln-Nebraska spoke with The Daily Nebraskan, expressing her pleasure that her local chapter would be accepting transgender women.
“I think it demonstrates the growing awareness of gender identity going beyond the binary and a recognition and acceptance that gender is not binary,” Tetreault said.
“This also lets trans students know that progress is happening and that acceptance is increasing even in the current socio-political times.”