Statement of Position on Single Sex Fraternities
The Sigma Chi Fraternity has always placed a high value on educational diversity. By the very nature of our pluralistic society, students must be offered a wide range of educational options. One of the basic options that form the foundation of our educational system is the freedom of association.
Over the years, this freedom has been called into question because it has been used to discriminate against people based on their race, creed, color or sex. However, sexual discrimination in and of itself does not necessarily constitute an illegal, immoral, or unwise form of discrimination. It depends on the circumstances. In the area of employment, sexual discrimination is not a legal or acceptable criteria for screening employees. In education, some forms of sexual discrimination have been and continue to be acceptable. There are, at this time, a number of single sex colleges throughout the United States that see themselves as offering a valuable educational option.
Higher education in its beginnings in this country was based almost exclusively on single sex education. Over the years, this philosophy has changed and the vast majority of our educational institutions are now coeducational. However, there still exists and is an apparent need for institutions that provide single sex education.
The question is not always whether sexual discrimination is legal or moral; in some cases the question is, "When is sexual discrimination appropriate and when is it inappropriate?" In fact, most coeducational institutions that provide university housing and varsity athletics do discriminate upon the basis of sex. When the students are assigned to a room in a residence hall, men and women are rarely assigned as roommates, in even the most open coeducational institution. The vast majority of varsity athletic programs are clearly separated on the basis of single sex.
The Sigma Chi Fraternity presently subscribes to the concept of a single sex organization as it relates to the Fraternity's educational and social choices. It should be noted that, within the Governing Laws of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, as presently constituted, the Fraternity affirms its present membership position as a male, single sex organization.
If a change to coeducational membership is to be sought among the various fraternities and sororities, it should be done through the art of persuasion, not through regulations.
Adopted by the Executive Committee in 1991.