For Immediate Release
Aug. 18, 2016
Contact: Ashley Martin, Director of Communications
Delta Upsilon International Fraternity Adds Gender Identity to Nondiscrimination Policy
Delta Upsilon International Fraternity has added gender identity to its nondiscrimination policy following the approval of an amendment to the fraternity’s Constitution & By-laws during the organization’s 2016 Leadership Institute in Indianapolis. While many Delta Upsilon chapters already welcomed transgender men into the membership recruitment process, this new policy, which took effect July 30, makes the practice standard among all DU chapters.
The amendment was brought forward by the International Fraternity’s board of directors and presented to the membership 60 days prior to the Leadership Institute, the annual convention of the Fraternity. During the Leadership Institute, it was approved as presented by both the undergraduate and alumni voting delegations, known as the Undergraduate Convention and Assembly of Trustees, respectively. The Undergraduate Convention is comprised of one delegate from each undergraduate chapter in good standing with the Fraternity and is led by the six members of the Fraternity’s Undergraduate Advisory Board.
The policy now reads:
"Any individual of merit who identifies as a man is welcome to seek membership in the Fraternity. In any membership decision, including recruitment, pledging, suspension, expulsion, or electing one to Membership in the Fraternity, a Member, Associate Member, Undergraduate Chapter, Colony, Alumni Chapter or the Board of Directors may not discriminate against any male on the basis of his race, color, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship or physical disability."
"I am so proud that my brothers in Delta Upsilon continue to honor our Fraternity’s Four Founding Principals and are leaders in social justice reform within the fraternal community,” said Walter T. Oliff II, a Delta Upsilon senior at the University of Central Florida and DU’s 2016-2017 Undergraduate Advisory Board Chairman. “The chapter representatives of Delta Upsilon’s 182nd Undergraduate Convention believe that inclusivity is necessary in today's society, as evidenced by the nearly unanimous vote to pass the amendment. Although the acceptance of trans members has been a practice for quite some time in many of our chapters, this amendment officially recognizes it as an open practice within Delta Upsilon and is a testament to our Fraternity motto, Dikaia Upotheke, meaning Justice our Foundation."
When developing the updated policy, the International Fraternity board of directors researched the policies of other fraternities and sought counsel from diversity and inclusion experts. Delta Upsilon is one of just a handful of North-American Interfraternity Conference fraternities to include gender identity in their nondiscrimination policies. Whereas other groups’ policies are not as inclusive, in Delta Upsilon’s policy, any person who identifies as male is welcomed into the recruitment process at any chapter and cannot removed from consideration on the basis of their gender identity. Membership selection decisions for all potential members will continue to be merit-based and made at the chapter level.
The sixth oldest North American fraternity, Delta Upsilon was founded in 1834 as the first non-secret fraternity. Since that time, DU has made all of its governing documents, including the initiation ritual, open to the public. Founded at a time when fraternity membership was based primarily on social and economic status, Delta Upsilon formed on the foundation of merit-based membership. The acceptance of trans men into the recruitment process further honors Delta Upsilon’s founding precept.
“For nearly two centuries, Delta Upsilon has extended membership to men of merit—those with high moral character and the willingness to better their communities,” said Delta Upsilon Executive Director, Justin Kirk. “We are proud to be among the first fraternities to accept transgender members. In an ever-changing society, we believe it is important to continually re-evaluate ourselves and provide a relevant fraternity experience for the 21st Century.”
Established on Nov. 4, 1834, Delta Upsilon is an international men's college fraternity with 77 chapters and colonies across the United States and Canada. The Fraternity, founded at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, is the oldest, non-secret, Greek-letter society and is committed to Building Better Men for a global society through its Four Founding Principles: friendship, character, culture and justice. More than 120,000 men have joined the Delta Upsilon Fraternity since its founding more than 181 years ago.