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Panhellenic Encouraging Transgender Women to Join Sororities

The University of Kansas Greek life brings together students from across the country and from different backgrounds, but KU Panhellenic is taking the next step to include more students, particularly transgendered women.

Each fall, over 1,000 incoming freshman and women at KU compile recruitment letters and new outfits in preparation for Greek fall formal recruitment. Becoming a part of a sorority is many times easy for those who rush, but for transgendered women, it’s a different story.

KU has yet to see a transgendered student come through the recruitment process, however, Panhellenic President Johanna Hecht believes they’re moving in the right direction.

“I know National Panhellenic Conference decided this year to allow transgendered students to participate in recruitment,” Hecht sais. “That decision is left to the individual sorority and their national or international headquarters as to whether or not a local chapter can extend a bid for membership.”

While KU Panhellenic encourages transgendered students to go through the recruitment process, nationally only Delta Gamma and Kappa Kappa Gamma have written policies stating they welcome transgendered women in their chapters.

“My initial thought would be how brave that is to do that,” senior McKinlea Burgess said. “I feel like the Greek community has a bad reputation for being inclusive, so I think making the decision to go through recruitment alone would be really brave. Just treat her like a normal woman.”

KU is home to 13 sorority chapters in Lawrence. For more information about KU’s chapters, visit kupanhellenic.org.

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