Protecting a Student’s Right to Gather


For the first time in a decade, Congress is working to reauthorize critical higher education legislation.

Using our Action Center, tell Congress to include critical protections for single-sex organizations in the 2018 Higher Education Act.

What is the problem?

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.

Yet, 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 co-ed 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 2018 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% of adults think students should have the right to gather in the student organization of their choice, on campus or off campus
  • 60% 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