PROTECTING A STUDENT’S RIGHT TO GATHER
All-men’s and all-women’s organizations, like fraternities and sororities, create a unique community of support on college campuses—a strong network unlike anything else available today. They are the one place, where through a shared experience, young men or women can enjoy a sense of belonging, confidence and personal development.
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?
A student’s First Amendment right to freely associate with single-sex organizations has recently come under threat. It is becoming increasingly common for higher education institutions to propose policies aimed at forcing these organizations to become coed or to impose other membership policies that would violate a student’s right to freely associate with organizations of their choice. We are asking Congress to include language in the Higher Education Act that would protect college students’ Freedom of Association rights to join a single-sex organization.
A 2018 POLL OF PUBLIC OPINION INDICATES STRONG SUPPORT:
77 percent of adults think students should have the right to gather in the student organization of their choice, on campus or off campus
60 percent of adults think Congress should pass legislation that allows students to join any campus organization at the time of their choosing
THE IMPORTANCE OF MEN’S AND WOMEN’S ORGANIZATIONS
These groups are more important than ever as we seek to build men of character and empowered women! This issue matters greatly to the more than 1 million college students and millions of alumni, who are members of fraternities and sororities and value this unique experience. Across the nation, students who join fraternities find valuable leadership, friendship, academic and personal growth opportunities through brotherhood and the fellowship of men. Fraternities:
- Have been proven to prompt greater retention to graduation
- Are linked to higher wellbeing
- Provide a sense of community and connection, at a time where research shows college men are experience higher levels of loneliness
We know the sorority experience provides a space that allows women to support, encourage and advocate for each other, and sorority membership is a proven launch pad for women leaders. In fact, when compared to their non-affiliated peers, sorority women experience:
- Higher graduation rates
- Gains in science, writing and thinking skills
- Better emotional support
- Increased engagement levels in college
- Higher levels of community service